Iris scanning is now being developed as a new way of identifying horses. The first portable equine iris capture and identification system to help track and identify horses is being developed in America.
The system could make brands and microchips a thing of the past. It is claimed that there is a strong interest from around the world for this system as it is non-invasive, accurate and a low cost alternative to identifying horses.
Markings from branding are not only painful and unattractive, but brands can fade over time and can be faked, but each horse has a unique iris pattern — even identical twins irises differ.
The system is based on the same high security systems now being used at Airports to identify people. It will be able to capture the image of the iris with a low-visibility infrared light source and is effective at a distance and can even be used while your horse is moving.
President of the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) Chris House agreed the idea could work, but said it sounded “impractical”.
“Scanning a microchip takes seconds and gives the horse’s information immediately. I can’t see how iris scanning could be more effective than that,” he said.
“You could identify a horse using DNA, but you have to use a method of identification that is practical and simple.”
I say, the more ways we can protect and identify our horses the better and I am sure we will see more on this over the coming years.
The Stable Doctor
Advice is given without legal responsibility