Written answers

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Control of Horses

Photo of Maurice QuinlivanMaurice Quinlivan (Limerick City, Sinn Fein)
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176. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he is satisfied there is sufficient legislation to deal with the challenge of wandering and stray horses in urban areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16955/22]

Photo of Charlie McConalogueCharlie McConalogue (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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The Control of Horses Act 1996 provides powers to local authorities enabling them to appoint authorised officers under the Act, enabling them to control stray and wandering horses in their areas. Enforcement of the Act is a matter for each local authority and my Department provides financial support to assist with these enforcement measures.

The scale and extent of straying equines has reduced significantly and consistently in recent years. Almost 5,000 horses were seized in 2014. In 2020, 817 horses were seized, a reduction of 84%. Indications are that even fewer horses had to be seized in 2021 under the Control of Horses Act in 1996.

The Control of Horses Act is currently under review with a view to simplifying and further improving the legislation. Plans are advancing and consultation with the local authorities is ongoing.

A broad stakeholder engagement process will follow to facilitate a cohesive national approach in considering and implementing the proposals.


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