PROVIDING misleading, false or incomplete information when changing the ownership of equines on forms was the subject of a recent warning from the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD (FF).

Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae (Ind) tabled a parliamentary question that sought to establish the reason why a change was made some years ago to the procedures governing equine ownership.

In response, Minister McConalogue said: “Current legislation governing the transfer of ownership of equine animals is S.I. 201 of 2016. When my Department introduced initial legislation in this regard in July 2014, both parties to the transaction were required on the equine change of ownership declaration. However, this process was found to be cumbersome and ineffective in practice and was amended with effect from 1st January 2015.

“While only the person acquiring ownership of an equine animal is currently required to sign a declaration confirming the change of ownership data, both parties to the transaction have responsibilities in ensuring that the provisions of S.I. 201 of 2016 are complied with. In this regard, the person who transfers ownership of an equine to another person must present the passport issued in respect of the animal to the new owner at the time of transfer. Both parties must also maintain a record of the transaction for a period of five years and these records must be made available for inspection by an authorised officer, on request.

“S.I. 201 of 2016 clearly provides that a person shall not furnish information that is false, misleading or incomplete when making a declaration for the purpose of changing the ownership of an equine animal.

“As with other requirements in this legislation, this is a penal provision to which section 36(4)(b) of the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 applies. While there are no immediate plans to change the current legislation on identification of equines, my Department’s policy is to regularly review existing legislation with a view to improvement and evolution,” concluded the Minister.