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  • Southside

Massive majority of seized horses are euthanised

Thursday, 22nd February, 2018 8:00am
Massive majority of seized horses are euthanised

Nine out of every 10 horses are euthanised.

Massive majority of seized horses are euthanised

Nine out of every 10 horses are euthanised.

Rachel Farrell

NINE out of every 10 horses seized by South Dublin County Council in 2017 were euthanised, it has been revealed.

According to new statistics from the council, of 227 horses impounded last year, five were reclaimed by their owners, nine were rehomed and 213 were euthanised.

The council explained that owners have five days to reclaim their horse before action is taken.

 “Horses seized and not reclaimed by their owners within a period of five days from the date of seizure by the council may be disposed of by way of sale, or rehoming,” explained a spokesperson for South Dublin County Council.

“Horses that are unsuitable for rehoming are euthanised.

“Given that horses should only be kept in a registered equine premises, and that all applications for rehoming or reclaiming horses are assessed to meet adherence to this requirement, it is not uncommon that the number of horses euthanised is high when compared to the numbers rehomed, particularly in urbanised areas. 

“Nonetheless, we are currently working with key stakeholders in efforts to increase rehoming and regulated premises.”

Cllr Francis Timmons (Ind) raised the issue at the most recent monthly meeting of the council.

“What we’ve decided in South Dublin is that this is a county wide issue, it can’t be sorted out within just South Dublin. To really resolve the issue, we need to take a county approach.

“It’s really to look at what can be done, obviously we want to try and limit the amount of horses being euthanised. Part of that will be to limit the amount of horses that are available.”

Cllr Timmons explained that education is the key to improving the figures for 2018, and plans are being put in place to educate young horse owners.

“The Equine Club are doing great work to educate young people on the care of horses. One of my main interests was that we don’t want to see the abuse of horses and neglect.

“It won’t happen overnight, it could take a year, it could take two years. Some of the horses are so badly neglected they just have to be put down. Responsible horse ownership is what we’re trying to promote.”

The Ballyowen Equine club was founded by SDCC, the Clondalkin Equine Club and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and the Marine to improve conditions for horses in the area.

“SDCC has collaborated with key stakeholders to develop and deliver the Ballyowen Equine Centre. This facility opened in February 2017 and operates under an Annual Management Licence,” said Maguire.

“Already there are very positive outcomes evident including the provision of education and training for young horse owners, the stabling of horses in a suitably developed environment and the increased employability of young people from the area, and the building of trust and positive relations between all relevant parties.”

Head of Media at the DSPCA Gillian Bird described some of the conditions these horses are found in, leading to the high numbers of euthanisation.

“Many are injured, sick or have conditions related to inbreeding. They are not kept in legally registered equine premises, often kept in unsuitable areas such as waste land and on common green areas in housing estates.

“We need education, there are not enough good homes. Horses are very expensive and can live for over 40 years so it’s a huge financial and time commitment.”

The net cost of the service totalled €108,264.69 in 2017, with the council receiving subvention from the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine.


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