Farm Ireland

Wednesday 21 February 2018

FAWAC: Owners must vet horse purchasers

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

Horse owners have been warned that they bear resp-onsibility to ensure that any horse sold by them will not suffer with its new owner.

New recommendations issued by the Farm Animal Welfare Advisory Council (FAWAC) to the Minister for Agriculture, Brendan Smith, caution that horse owners have a responsibility to make sure they do not sell an animal to someone who will not look after it.

The council also advised horse owners to adhere to the legal requirement for all horses in Ireland to be identified and in possession of a valid passport.

Horses must be identified and documented within six months of birth or by December 31 of the year of birth, whichever date is later.

If a horse is not registered, owners could face significant disposal costs in the future, according to FAWAC, as disposal options for undocumented horses are both limited and expensive.

Where an owner can no longer adequately provide for a horse or the horse can no longer fulfil the purpose for which it was bred, owners should be proactive in seeking to dispose of the animal before its welfare is compromised, the council advised.

Owners should consider the option of humane disposal where the horse cannot be transferred to another responsible owner.

Humane disposal in this case would help prevent the emergence of long-term and severe animal welfare problems.

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FAWCA comprises representatives from a wide range of stakeholder organisations including the farming, veterinary and equine bodies.

Irish Independent