Procedures for the Seizure & Release/Disposal of Horses

Seizure of horses:

1. The seizure of a horse to be effected by the company in accordance with predetermined procedures as agreed between Limerick City Council, the Gardai and the company. These procedures to be drawn up privately between the relevant parties, due to the sensitive nature of the work and the need for confidentiality.

2. When a horse is seized by the company, and where the owner is known, a notice of detention is sent to the owner or keeper of the horse A further notice is displayed at the pound where the horse is being held.

3. If the owner is unknown, a notice is displayed at the Garda Station nearest to the place where the horse was seized. A notice is also displayed at the Garda station nearest to where the horse is being detained and a further notice is displayed at the pound.

4. These notices are kept in place until the horse is returned to its owner or otherwise disposed of in accordance with the Bye-Laws.

Release/recovery & disposal of horses:
Horse Release Application Form May '13 (1,358 Kb)1. In order to secure the recovery of a horse, the following items must be produced:
  • (a) Production of a horse licence (or exempted person).
  • (b) Documentary evidence of the identity of the person seeking the release of the horse.
  • (c) Documentary evidence of his/her ownership of the horse or the right to keep the horse.

2. Payment of fees for the following:

  • (a) Fees in respect of the keep, care and sustenance of the horse at the pound.
  • (b) Cost of seizing and transporting the horse from the area where it was seized to the pound.
  • (c) Fees of the Veterinary Surgeon who checks the horse on delivery to the pound and fees for any other visits.
  • (d) Any other expenses incurred by the pound.

3. A horse may be disposed of by the pound at any time after 5 days from the date the horse was seized. This section is subject to Section 39 of the Control of Horses Act 1996, which states that a horse needs to be detained for a longer period if:

  • (i) the horse is required as evidence in any criminal proceedings
  • (ii) where it is intended to make an application to the courts for the forfeiture of the horse, in accordance with Section 8 of the Act.
  • (iii) where the horse has previously been detained on two or more occasions within a period of 12 months from the first impoundment of the horse, it is dealt with in accordance with Section 40 of the Act.
  • (iv) in any other case, the horse can be dealt with in accordance with the bye-laws made for the area.

4. Where the horse is subject to the provisions of Section 41 of the Control of Horses Act, the disposal of the horse can also take place.

5. In cases where it is claimed that the horse is normally resident in an area outside the control area, neighbouring county, then adequate evidence must be produced to this effect. This will include the production of a horse licence.

Undertaking by Involved Parties

Limerick City Council:

The Control of Horses Act 1996 along with the Limerick County Borough (Control of Horses) Bye-Laws 1998 to be fully implemented by Limerick City Council.

No horse to be allowed in the Control Area without a horse licence except for horses mentioned under the exemption clause.

Any horse projects within the Control Area only to be granted approval by Limerick City Council provided that they comply with all the requirements for keeping horses within the Control Area.

Any tenant of Limerick City Council that keeps a horse at their residence is in breach of their tenancy agreement.

Meetings of the Control of Horses Forum will take place at quarterly intervals to discuss any problems that may arise.

The number of horses seized to be monitored on a monthly basis and any trends/issues arising to be brought back to the forum.

Garda Siochana

In co-operation with Limerick City Council, the Gardai to fully implement the Control of Horses Act 1996 and the Limerick County Borough (Control of Horses) Bye-Laws 2013.

Last update:25/07/2013