New animal welfare guidelines for horses at gatherings and sales have been produced by the Farm Animal Welfare Advisory Council.
Agriculture, Food and Marine Minister Simon Coveney, who launched the guidelines, said they have been produced in an effort to assist all those responsible for ensuring the welfare of horses at fairs, marts and sales.
“Horses have long been an integral part of the Irish tradition and our way of life and there is no doubt that horses and ponies make a positive contribution to the national economy and to the sport and recreation sector, which is a significant source of employment in the country.
“By maintaining the recommendations in the guidelines, all those who are responsible for ensuring the welfare of horses at fairs, marts and sales can demonstrate their commitment to maintaining the highest standards of practice in horse welfare,” he said.
Mr Coveney also referred to new regulations which he signed into effect in March, relating to the control of places where horses are kept, the identification of horses and transfer of ownership of horses.
He described the new regulations as a further step forward in the process of providing permanent identification for all horses and improving traceability in the equine sector, which all stakeholders have called for and supported.
Mr Coveney thanked the chairman of FAWAC, Professor Patrick Fottrell and the members of the council for producing the guidelines and for their valuable work.
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