Control of Horses


Under the Control of Horses Act 1996, and the Control of Horses Bye Laws 2014, authorized persons from Offaly County Council have the right to seize your horse and take it the Pound if they suspect that your horse is:

  • a stray
  • causing a nuisance
  • being mistreated
  • not under adequate control
  • posing a threat to other people or property
  • posing a threat to the health and welfare of other people and animals
  • not identifiable or capable of being identified
  • in need of veterinary attention and is unlikely to receive this care
  • in an area/kept in an area/being ridden/driven in an area where it is not allowed by the Council

A horse includes a donkey, mule and hinny.


Impounding Procedure:

Horses which have been seized are detained at a pound operated on behalf of Offaly County Council. At the time of seizure, a notice is displayed at the seizure location providing details of how the horse owner may reclaim the horse.

Once the horse is scanned for a microchip the owner (if known) is notified by the Council. If the owner cannot be identified, a notice is also displayed at Offaly County Council’s offices, Charleville Road, Tullamore detailing the horse(s) seized and stating that if not claimed within 5 days the horses will be disposed of as the Council sees fit.


Release conditions for impounded horses:

In order to re-claim a horse the owner of the horse/s must produce the following to Environment Section, Offaly County Council, Tullamore (phone 05793 57403) within 5 days of date of seizure:

1.      Evidence of identity of person claiming horse/s – e.g. Drivers License/Passport

2.      Proof of ownership of horse – Valid Horse Passport

3.      Payment of all fees in respect of the detention of the horse - €375 per horse seized + €30 for microchip where none in place on arrival at pound

4.      Proof of availability of sufficient lands to keep horses – land deed, lease agreement

5.      Evidence of registration of Equine Premises under Control on Places where Horses are Kept Regulations 2014(S.I. 113 of 2014)