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  • Writer's picturePippa Hackett

Ireland’s first ever equine census welcomed by Minister Pippa Hackett.

Updated: Sep 13, 2021

“Animal Welfare is of concern to many Green Party members so it’s good to see that the first ever annual equine census will take place at the end of November this year,” she says.

Owners of horses, ponies, donkeys, mules, asses and zebras will be required to submit a completed census return.

“This was set out in Ireland’s Animal Welfare Strategy 2021-2025,” says Minister Hackett.

“We pressed hard to have such a strategy included in the Programme for Government and now it’s beginning to take effect.

“The equine census follows the ban on fur farming, so we are making progress.”

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.

The Five Freedoms which form the basis for good animal welfare:

1. Freedom from Hunger and Thirst - by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour.

2. Freedom from Discomfort - by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.

3. Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease - by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.

4. Freedom to Express Normal Behaviour - by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal's own kind.

5. Freedom from Fear and Distress - by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.


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