THERE have been no prosecutions of horse owners for failure to microchip their equines since 2013. That’s according to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD (FF) in answer to a written Dail question from Limerick City TD Maurice Quinlivan (SF).

Deputy Quinlivan asked for the number of any such prosecutions since January 2013.

In response, Minister McConalogue said: “Enforcement of equine identification legislation is largely undertaken by authorised officers across the Regional Offices of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine who liaise with authorised officers in the Local Authorities and other organisations as required.

“S.I. 62 of 2016 (as amended) provides for the enforcement of requirements for the identification of equines. This provides authorised officers with enforcement powers, including the potential for prosecution of keepers who have unidentified equines in their care. It also provides for the issuing of compliance notices. The Department’s policy is to adopt a fair and proportional approach in dealing with breaches of equine identification legislation. In this regard, authorised officers engage with keepers to ensure that they understand their responsibilities and where potential breaches of the legislation are identified, they generally provide an opportunity for non-compliant keepers to rectify the position within a specified timeframe.

“There have been no prosecutions since January 2013 with regard to the failure of owners to microchip their horses,” concluded the Minister.