Scores of stray horses recovered from housing estates in Galway city this year have been put down.
Nine horses seized in the latest overnight operation bring to 67 the number impounded since the start of the year.
Galway City Council said most owners do not reclaim the animals and they have to be put down, usually after a short time at a pound.
The horses which are left to graze on common green areas were seized after complaints about them being a danger to the public, and children in particular.
Owners have to pay a €500 impounding fee, a €250 and an extra €25 for every day the animal is kept at the pound if they want it returned.
A Galway City Council spokesman said most do not bother because it is a lot cheaper to simply buy another horse.
Last year, 62 horses were seized in the city with only four being reclaimed. The remainder were put down.
The latest round-up of animals between 3am and 8am this morning targeted public spaces in the Westside, Headford Road and Ballybane areas of the city.
“We are very happy to have undertaken this operation which takes these horses off public lands,” said the council’s acting director for housing and environment Frances Mullarkey.
“This will allow residents and their families to enjoy these green areas as part of their local amenity without the danger of stray horses.”
She added: “These operations will continue as necessary into the future.”