The chair of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Jackie Cahill is calling for loose, unidentified horses to be controlled.

The Fianna Fáil TD said these animals are posing a danger to road users around the country.

He made the comments following a serious road accident today (Tuesday, November 21) near Littleton in north Tipperary involving a loose horse.

Cahill said that the incident resulted in the motorist being hospitalised after their car hit the horse.

“My thoughts are with the injured person and I hope they will make a full recovery,” he said.

Loose horses

However, Deputy Cahill said that this was “an accident waiting to happen” as there are “hundreds of horses roaming around the Bord na Móna bogs in Littleton”.

“Tipperary County Council have been alerted to this on many occasions but there are significant resource issues in relation to dealing with the amount of horses involved here.

“Questions must now be asked about whether this horse was microchipped.

“There is longstanding legislation in this country which creates an obligation for all horses to be microchipped, and the horses in Littleton are certainly no exception to this law,” he said.

Denis Brosnan bloodstock horse TAMS equine greyhound horse equine contaminant racing sector Report Horse

Cahill said he doubts that the vast majority of these horses can be identified.

“I am seeking clarity from An Garda Síochána on whether the horse involved in today’s accident was microchipped,” he said.

The Tipperary TD is also contacting Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue to ask what measures are being taken to ensure that loose horses around the country are controlled and identified.

“As chairperson of the Oireachtas agriculture committee, I will be inviting officials from the department of agriculture to appear before our committee to answer questions on how they intend to control compliance in this area and uphold the welfare of all horses in this country,” Cahill said.