Minister reminds horse keepers to submit their Equine Census Returns before closing date next Monday 17th January 2022

  • 14 January 2022, 17:11

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, TD, is urging equine keepers to submit their returns for the first equine census before the closing date next Monday 17th January 2022.

Minister Mc Conalogue highlighted the importance of the census in a series of measures to support the welfare of equidae. The Minister stated “The equine census is a key element of my commitment to review and enhance the equine identification and traceability system with a view to better supporting equine welfare, as set out in Ireland’s Welfare Strategy 2021 – 2025, published by my Department following consultation with stakeholders.”

The census will also facilitate compliance with new EU Animal Health Law (Regulation (EU) 2016/429), which came into force in April 2021 and which requires that the habitual residence of every equine kept in the State is recorded on the central equine database. This is generally the premises at which an equine resides for a period of more than 30 days.

The census is designed to create an initial link between each equine kept in the State on census day and the premises where it is kept at that time. A profile of all equines present on a holding on that date will be created on the Department’s Animal Identification and Movement (AIM) system, which houses the central equine database. It is expected that the formal linking of equines to their keepers will increase compliance with equine legislation which places responsibility on the recorded keeper for ensuring the health and welfare of all animals in his/her care.

Minister Mc Conalogue thanked equine keepers for their positive engagement with the census. “By linking an equine to the premises on which it is kept, the census is of significant benefit in terms of managing any equine disease outbreak or dealing with lost, straying or stolen horses. It is clear equine owners recognise this benefit given how positively they have engaged with this new initiative and the number of returns that have already been made. I would like to thank the large number of equine keepers who have submitted their returns to date and encourage those that have yet to make a return to do so.”

More information on the 2021 Equine Census including guidance notes and frequently asked questions can be found HERE  

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