FEARS have been expressed that horses are being brought into the city by their owners who are then proceeding to “dump” them in parks or on green areas.
Paul Foley, acting director of service at Limerick City Council, says there is anecdotal evidence that the practice has increased in recent months as people can no longer afford to take care of their animals given the recession. “We have a slight concern that some horses are being brought in from outside (of the city) and are being left off. We are keeping an eye on that situation,” he said.
New figures show the local authority spent more than €168,000 during the first six months of the year seizing 118 horses.
Almost 40 separate operations were carried out between January and June at locations across the city including Moyross, Childers Road, St Mary’s Park, Clonmacken, Garryowen and O’Malley Park. The single biggest seizure (19 horses) was made at Childers Road on January 16, last.
Under existing byelaws it is illegal to keep a horse within the city boundary without a licence, and according to Limerick City Council, no licences have ever been issued.
Horses that are seized in Limerick City are taken to a pound in Cork, where if they are not claimed by their owners, they are put down. A release fee of €1,000 applies for each horse.