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Dublin: 2°C Monday 17 January 2022

Almost €1 million spent seizing over 2,500 horses and almost 90% were destroyed

When a horse is seized, a public notice is put up and if it’s not claimed after five days, the animal is destroyed.

File Photo
File Photo

ALMOST ONE MILLION euro was spent seizing 2,683 horses last year and the vast majority of them (2,191) were shot and disposed of.

The number is more than double what is was in 2008 – when a total of 1,069 horses were seized under the Control of Horses Act, according to figures from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Figures up until May of this year show some 1,214 horses have been seized at a cost of €558,932.15.

People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny is facilitating a Dáil Briefing at Leinster House today about the need to enforce legislation to end the unregulated breeding of horses.

Kenny told TheJournal.ie that “there’s no magic wand” to fix the problem and that a huge amount of horses are abondoned and these animals are often not microchipped and can be quickly replaced by their owners due to the widespread availabilty of cheap horses.

When I was a councillor – I couldn’t get my head around the amount of money that the council was spending in a year and the majority of those horses are destroyed. It’s quite extraordinary.

When a horse is seized, a public notice is put up and if it’s not claimed after five days, the horse is destroyed.

Kenny added that relatively few people are ever prosecuted as it’s difficult to trace ownership, despite the recent tightening up of legislation.

My Lovely Horse Rescue (MLHR) is a charity focused on rescuing and rehabilitating mistreated horses.

A MLHR spokesperson said, “No matter how many horses we save, the number of cases being reported to us is on the rise.

In our experience, when a space of land is cleared of all unwanted horses, it creates a vacuum to be filled. Soon enough that open space becomes populated with horses again. This in turn encourages more breeding and perpetuation of the problem.

“Creating a giant vacuum of this kind will only encourage unregulated and irresponsible breeding and even more unwanted horses requiring the care of a volunteer charity such as ours, or indeed further culling.”

Kenny said a lot of young people love horses, adding, “We’re trying our best to promote good equine progress and work with clubs and young people that are trying to do their best.

The MLHR spokesperson reiterated this saying, “It’s time to start tackling the root causes of this problem. We’re calling on the government to provide resources for the enforcement of existing legislation and for education.”

Read: Abandoned horse left with maggot infection after headcollar embedded on its head>

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