Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that almost 90 percent of horses seized in 2017 in the Fingal County area were euthanised.
These figures show that 139 of 155 horses taken in around the Fingal area were euthanised with only fourteen being reclaimed by their owner and two horses being rehomed.
To deal with horses in public places, Fingal County Council use by-laws that were created under the Control of Horse Act 1996 and came into effect on the 12th January, 1998 led by the DSPCA.
These by-laws are in place to regulate and control the horse population in the Fingal area and create procedures for the impounding and disposal of unlicensed horses.
According to these by-laws any person keeping a horse in a control area must have a license that costs up to €31.25 (Licence holders must be over 16 years of age), a horse passport and suitable accommodation for the horse.
Fingal County Council said: “When horses are seized they sometimes have to be euthanised when they are not claimed and it isn’t possible to rehome them.”
In terms of prevention and looking for solutions to this problem they said that “there are education programs run by the Department of Agriculture as well as initiatives such as Horse Projects and the DSPCA also pursue many initiatives to alleviate this problem.”
Independent councillor Francis Timmons has spoken out on the issue before suggesting that fewer horses be available to the public. “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,” he said.
The Animal Welfare Convention took place in 2018 under the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine where a new Animal Welfare Strategy Consultation Document was presented and submissions from members of the public were invited.