CORK City Council has had almost 80% of horses seized on public lands euthanised since 2014.
During the period from 2014 to November 2018, there were 258 horses seized. Thirty-four were reclaimed by the owner, 18 were rehomed and 206 were ‘put down’.
The charge for reclaiming horses that are seized is currently €835 plus vat of 23%.
Councillor Mick Nugent (SF) said more needs to be done to deal with the issues of education around horse ownership and the possibility of rehoming seized horses.
“The Council has euthanised over 200 horses and I think that’s sad. The cost of trying to reclaim a horse is prohibitive to people who have horses seized. We need to be looking at alternatives to this. I just think it’s a shame that the Council is having healthy horses euthanised — and in some cases, they are definitely healthy horses.
“The horses are being taken from public greens and public roads and they may not be chipped. Horses shouldn’t be on public roads, of course, but it can happen.
“The first effort should be to try and look at alternatives to euthanising horses. There are a number of educational courses which City Council would be part of delivering through a number of groups. There was also the horse project that didn’t get planning from County Council out on City Council lands near Kerry Pike. There is an interagency group working on horses and things happening but I just think the figures are alarming.”
A spokesperson for City Hall said: “Cork City Council continues to participate in the support of the Horse Initiative Steering Group. Funding has been secured from the Department of Agriculture to deliver a number of equine courses for young Travellers across the city and to undertake some research and development work to consider the needs of horse owners.
"The steering group continues to pursue the objective of a horse project. It is envisaged that Cork City will continue to participate in the project.”