HORSE owners and keepers are being encouraged to complete the equine census forms which are currently being distributed by the Department of Agriculture among the 29,000 registered equine premises across the country.

Last Thursday (November 30th) has been selected as the date on which the census is based. Any person who kept any equines (which include horses, ponies, donkeys, mules and zebras) overnight on that date is required to submit a completed census return to the Department by Friday, December 15th.

Submission of a 2023 equine census forms part of the eligibility criteria for TAMS III, where a minimum of three equines must be declared on the equine census on the year preceding application.

“The census will provide valuable information to the Department, particularly in the area of disease prevention but also in addressing public health concerns and in dealing with lost, straying or stolen horses,” said Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue.

“Accurate information on the equine population will further facilitate more informed decision-making processes across the wider equine industry.”

While paper census returns will be accepted by his Department, Minister McConalogue strongly encouraged keepers to submit their 2023 census information online through the dedicated secure Equine Census portal in the AIM Services tile, located on the on home page.

“My Department has taken on board feedback received from keepers using the online system over the last two years and we have enhanced the system again in 2023 to further improve this year’s online experience,” the Minister added.

Where 2022 data is recorded on his Department’s system, this will be available to keepers to use as a base for their 2023 return. This feature will ease the administrative burden of re-entering equine data for animals that are still present on the holding.

The online portal also features a ‘frequently asked questions’ section and a video has been added to the portal to assist keepers with large numbers of equines in notifying their data through a batch upload facility.

Keepers will be required to record the total number of equines present on their holding on census night. For those equines that ordinarily reside on the premises, the Unique Equine Life Number (UELN), also known as the passport number, of each equine that has been identified with an identification document (passport) will also be required, as will the approximate date on which each animal moved to the premises.

Where equines are present on a temporary basis (e.g. for training /competition /breeding purposes), the individual UELNs of these equines will not be required and only the total number of such animals present on the night is to be provided.



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