A multi-agency operation, involving the Department of Agriculture, the gardai, and Cork City Council, took place in Cork earlier today to seize a large number of horses in the area known as Holly Hill as part of a major animal welfare initiative.

There have been ongoing welfare concerns in relation to the horse sector over the past 12 months arising from the over-production of horses and the presence of unidentified horses on both public and private lands.

More than 3,000 horses have been seized throughout the country so far this year and some 247 horses have been impounded in the Cork area, according to the Agriculture Department.

According to the department, there have been particular problems with horses in the Cork City areas of Gurranabraher/Holly Hill/Knocknaheeny/Nash’s Boreen, with incidents of dead horses found on sites and stray horses on public roads causing risk to public and so on.

There are significant numbers of horses grazing illegally on NAMA and local authority-owned land in the north Cork City area, it added.

AgriLand understands the horses impounded will not be released unless the owner can provide proof that they have a passport, have paid the appropriate fees and have access to lands registered under the equine regulations.

The department also reminded all horse owners of the importance of complying with legislation on horse welfare, identification and the registration of equine premises.

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