Register horse premises
From May 1, horse owners will be required to record their details on a register of horse premises compiled by the Department of Agriculture.
Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney has just signed an order that will require all horse owners to register the address where horses are kept.
The move is aimed at creating a central database of horses that can be used in the event of a disease outbreak.
A senior Department official explained that the register was critical from a disease point of view.
"The bottom line is that all farm animals -- cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry -- are all registered but there is a gap in terms of horses," the spokesperson said.
Department officials are still working on a draft of the registration form, but it is believed that horse owners will be required to inform the Department of the address where they keep horses, how many horses, what breeds and whether they are horse dealers or private owners.
It is understood that there will be no charge associated with the registration process and application forms will be available from local Department of Agriculture offices and the Department's website.
The minister's order also dictates that nobody should keep a horse unless details of the premises where it is kept is on the Register of Horse Premises.