A leading horse rescue charity are calling on Dublin City Council to carry out routine and random welfare checks on all carriage horses in the city.
My Lovely Horse Rescue made the call following the sentencing last month of Myles Howe, a carriage operator in Temple Bar, for animal cruelty after his horse was found emaciated and injured in 2016.
Howe was sentenced to a two-month suspended sentence, as well as a three year ban on owning, possessing or being in control of any animal. Judge Grainne Malone remarked that it was a “shocking case”.
According to Dublin City Council’s vetinary report, the horse – now named Sean – was incredibly thin, had marks on his head, shoulders and rear limbs as well as eye discharge.
He also wasn’t microchipped, passported, and there was no horse licence for him – all of which are legal requirements.
In the wake of the sentencing, My Lovely Horse Rescue have called on Dublin City Council to “urgently introduce ad-hoc and routine welfare checks” on carriage horses across Dublin city, to aid in the prevention of any further, similar incidents.
According to My Lovely Horse, only 15 horses in the Dublin City Council area were licenced in 2016.
Under the Control of the Horses Act 1996, Dublin City Council and An Garda Siochana are expected to proactively enforce horse licencing.
This means that the council and the gardai must ensure horses are microchipped, passported and have adequate stabling.
The charity have also asked the council to begin a review of the existing Control of Horse Drawn Carriages bye-laws (2011) as soon as possible, calling for it to be on the agenda of the next Transport committee meeting in July.