THOUSANDS of stray or abandoned horses have been seized by councils in Ireland since 2015, according to the latest official figures.
Across Waterford city and county 266 have been seized. Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed told the Dáil the number being seized by county and city authorities is dropping.
But the figures reveal big variations in the numbers seized from county to county. In Waterford 31 horses had been seized by the end of September, compared to 28 for the whole of last year.
Mr Creed said the Control of Horses Act 1996, provides the necessary powers to local authorities to deal with stray and abandoned horses.
number of horses being seized nationally continues to decline
He said the Act contains provisions for the licencing and identification of horses and was introduced to address the issues caused by stray and wandering horses due to public safety concerns.
“The number of horses being seized nationally continues to decline,” he said.
“This reduction is reflective of a number of factors including initiatives by my Department in the animal welfare area as well as active enforcement of the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013.”