16,747 horses euthanised by local authorities ‘alarming’ - John Brady TD
Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow John Brady has said that figures released to him by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine showing that over 22,000 horses were seized by local authorities with 16,747 of these horses euthanised between 2010 and 2016 are alarming.
Teachta Brady said:
“Between the years 2010 and 2016, a total of 22,784 horses were seized by local authorities across the State at a cost of €14,322,162 million to the taxpayer.
“Out of the 22,784 horses seized, 16,747 were euthanised and only 3,667 were rehomed. The fact that the majority of the horses being seized are killed begs the question as to whether or not alternatives, such as rehoming, are being properly considered.
“Euthanasia of horses when seized will not solve the issue. The real solution is to provide education and training to these horse owners.
"The Department needs to work with local authorities to ensure that equine projects are rolled out in all local authorities to work with local communities educating them on animal welfare.
"Some local authorities have excellent projects in place and they should be replicated. The Government also need to increase funding to horse welfare groups to enable them to carry out their work in rehoming animals.
"Over €14 million is being spent on seizing, impounding and euthanising horses, and this money would instead be best served going into funding these groups and putting projects in place.
“We need to ensure that euthanasia is the very last resort when horses are seized and every effort needs to be made for alternative solutions particularly, rehoming.
“At our recent Ard Fheis, Sinn Féin passed a motion committing our party to develop a comprehensive animal welfare policy paper.
"The Government must do the same ensuring that animal rights and animal welfare is protected.”