By using this website, you consent to our use of cookies. For more information on cookies see our privacy policy page.

Text Size: a a
Home A-Z Index Subscribe/RSS Contact Us Twitter logo small white bird

Minister Coveney Announces Significant Animal Welfare Action on Horses in Cork

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, announced that a multi-agency operation, involving his Department the Gardai, and Cork City Council, took place in Cork earlier today to seize a large number of horses in the area known as Holly Hill as part of a major animal welfare initiative.

The Minister said that the background to the operation is that there have been ongoing welfare concerns in relation to the horse sector over the past 12 months arising from the over-production of horses and the presence of unidentified horses on both public and private lands. His Department has been addressing this problem in co-operation with the local authorities and, where appropriate, with the Garda Siochana. More than 3,000 horses have been seized throughout the country so far this year. Some 247 horses have been impounded in the Cork area.

Minister Coveney said that there have been particular problems with horses in the Cork city areas of Gurranabraher/Holly Hill/Knocknaheeny/Nash's Boreen, with incidents of dead horses found on sites and stray horses on public roads causing risk to public etc. There are significant numbers of horses grazing illegally on NAMA and Local Authority owned land in the north Cork City area. Contrary to the legislation introduced by the Minister last year, the site is not registered as an equine premises and there are also serious concerns about the welfare of the horses. 

The Minister said that his Department and Cork City Council have been working to prevent the emergence of a welfare problem over coming months and had decided to take this action, which is aimed at removing the horses, evaluating their welfare and checking on their identification.  The horses impounded will not be released unless the owner can provide proof that they have a passport, have paid the appropriate fees and have access to lands registered under the equine regulations.

The Minister reminded all horse owners of the importance of complying with legislation on horse welfare, identification and the registration of equine premises.  He emphasised that his Department will continue to deal with any animal welfare issues relating to horses through its existing mechanisms and he indicated that it is in position to provide emergency funding to assist horse owners who cannot afford to pay for their humane disposal. Owners who are facing a critical horse welfare issue over coming months can contact the Department helpline for assistance.

The Minister thanked all those involved for their participation in the operation.


Date Released: 19 November 2013