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Ó Clochartaigh highlights concerns around the cost of seizing stray and unaccompanied horses

27 November, 2013

Sinn Féin Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has said that he is concerned about the amount of taxpayers’ money that is being spent on the seizure of stray and unaccompanied horses and that the state needs to promote chipping and equine passports as part of a holistic solution.

Senator Ó Clochartaigh raised the issue with Minister Simon Coveney following the news that the state will spend over €3.1 million this year picking up stray horses this year.

The monies being paid by the Department of Agriculture to Local Authorities were €2.7m in 2011 & €2.2m in 2012 to compensate for picking up stray and unaccompanied horses.

Senator Ó Clochartaigh said:

“One of the major problems is the lack of chipping and equine passports, which has previously created a revolving door approach.

“I raised this issue on foot of reports at a recent Galway County Council Joint Policing Committee meeting where the council stated that over €212,000 of taxpayers money was needed to deal with the problem in Galway. Ninety-eight of horses seized could not be traced to owners due to a lack of chipping and equine passports being available.

“We support in general terms the approach that the Minister is taking but we are concerned that so much of taxpayers’ money has been spent.

“We also want to ensure animal health and welfare is a priority, but the State also needs to take practical steps to support projects which allow groups such as the Travelling Community to practice their culture and celebrate their traditions. Equally the Travelling Community has responsibility to do that in co-operation with local authorities and communities in a positive way.”

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