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Stray Horses can be seized by South Dublin County Council under the Control of Horses Act 1996.

View current seized horses

Some of the reasons for seizure are as follows:

  1. If horses are found wandering on public land.
  2. If horses are on private land without permission from the landowner.
  3. If horses cause danger to property or persons.
  4. If horses cause a nuisance.
  5. If horses are stabled in a front or rear garden.
  6. Unlicensed horses.

A horse includes donkey, mule and hinny.

Requirements for Horse Ownership:

Owners are required to possess a valid Horse Licence, which is available from South Dublin County Council at a cost of €30.00 per application. Ph: (01) 4149000.
Owners are required to possess a valid Horse Passport, which are available from the Irish Horse Board. Ph: (01) 5053584/045 854550

What happens when a horse has been seized?

Horses that have been seized are detained at the Council's Horse Pound. A detailed description of the horse is taken and it is scanned for a microchip. If the horse does not have one, a microchip is inserted. This is for identification purposes. The owner (if known) will be notified. Otherwise, a notice is displayed in a public place (County Hall, Tallaght, Dublin 24 and on the Council’s website on the current page) detailing the horse(s) seized and stating that if not claimed within 5 days the horses will be disposed of by the Council's Pound.

Release conditions for Impounded Horses:

Owners are required to produce a valid Horse Licence AND Horse Passport for each horse impounded including a letter from the landowner.
A release fee for each horse must be paid which is detailed as follows:

Transport of Horse to Pound: €900.00
Horse Licence Application Fee: €30.00
Insertion of Microchip: €80.00
Overnight charge per horse: €20.00

All charges are per horse and must be paid before the horse(s) are released.

To make a complaint or report stray horses:

Call into to South Dublin County Council's Head Office or contact the office by phoning (01) 4149000 between 09.00 and 17.00.

For after hours emergencies only, please contact your local Garda Station:
Tallaght (01) 6666000 | Ronanstown (01) 6667700

Clondalkin (01) 6667700 | Lucan (01) 6667300
Rathcoole (01) 6667900 | Rathfarnham (01) 6666500 | Terenure (01) 6666400

You may also e-mail info@sdublincoco.ie or use our Online Customer Care Contact Form.

Information on Legislation: Control of Horses Act, 1996

Keeping of Horses in a Declared Control Area

Where a horse is kept under a horse licence granted by the Council at a premises within the declared control area (that is, the functional area of the County of South Dublin, as outlined in Section 3 of the Bye-Laws) the following shall apply:-

a) The premises shall at all times be suitable as regards construction, size, number of occupants, lighting, ventilation, drainage and cleanliness and shall comply with the standards of construction as outlined in schedule B to the Bye-Laws;
b) An exercising area of adequate dimension shall be provide for the horse;
c) An adequate supply of potable water shall be constantly available.
d) An adequate amount of wholesome and suitable food shall be supplied regularly to the horse.
e) Where the horse is not at grass, food stored in a dry, secure and suitable place and suitable bedding material shall be provided.
f) Where the horse is kept at grass there shall be maintained at all times adequate pasture and shelter for the horse.
g) The horse shall be adequately exercised and rested and visited at regular intervals.
h) All reasonable precautions shall be taken to prevent and control the spread among horses of infectious or contagious disease.
i) Sufficient care shall be taken of the horse, including veterinary care.
j) Adequate precautions shall be taken for the protection of the horse in the event of fire
k) Only equipment and tackle suitable for the purposes shall be used in connection with the horse.
l) Adequate accommodation shall be provided for storage of forage, bedding, stable equipment and saddlery.
m) Manure of noisome or offensive material shall be removed and disposed of in an appropriate manner as soon as possible to avoid causing a nuisance to adjoining owners or occupiers.


Height: = 3.7m (12ft). If sloping, lowest point 3m (10ft)
Width x Length: = 3.7m x 3.7 m (12ft x 12ft) for horses of 16 hands; smaller horses, i.e. up to 14 hands, 3.7m x 3m (12ft x 10ft), larger horses i.e. over 16 hands, 3.7 x 4.3m (12ft x 14ft)
Roof: weatherproof, durable, non flammable, giving rise to no naked variation in temperature of stable.
Floor: impervious, slip proof, slope towards door of 1 in 60 to external drain.
Internal surfaces of walls: impervious and easily cleaned. Stable to be dry.
Doors: 1.2m (4ft) wide and 2.1m (7ft) height in two halves, strong and secure. Top of lower half safely protected against horse chewing it. No internal protrusions in stable by which horse could injure itself.
Adequate and safe lighting.
Adequate ventilation – minimum of 42m³ (1500 cub ft) per horse with 6 complete air changes every hours and no draughts.

Horse location premises to be registered - including studs, shows, sales and vets etc

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine has signed into law, a new order to require anyone who is the owner/person in charge of any premises in which horses or other equines (such as donkeys, ponies etc) are kept to register their premises with the Department. This Order completes the Department's commitment to have a full register of premises on which all farmed animals are kept. Currently premises where cattle, sheep, pigs or poultry are kept must be registered and the purpose of registration is simply to ensure that the Department has a full picture of where horses are located, so that it can alert owners quickly in the event of a contagious disease outbreak, quickly implement disease control measures and also give advice on appropriate precautionary, containment and control measures as soon as possible.

Registration is through the local Department's Regional Offices. Application forms on which to register may be obtained from the Department's regional offices or from the Department's Animal Health Division, tel. 01 6072466 or from the Department's website: