Control of Horses

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If you are concerned in relation to the well being of a horse, or wish to report a stray horse please contact Dublin City Council at (01) 2223371, Monday to Friday between 9am – 5pm. Control of Horses Service Dublin City council provides a control of horses service in order to address the problems arising from practice of irresponsible horse ownership in the City area. Problems associated with keeping such horses in the city include neglect and cruelty suffered by horses, damage to public property including parks, sports pitches and grass verges, danger posed to public safety and general nuisance posed by presence of horses in public places.

List of Recently Impounded Horses:

5 Day Notice

ID Number




Date of Seizure

Location of Seizure

164-2018 Male Piebald 164-2018 06/12/2018 Rossmore Road, Ballyfermot
165-2018 Female Piebald 165-2018 07/12/2018 Westwood Road, Finglas
166-2018 Male Piebald 166-2018 07/12/2018 Westwood Road, Finglas
167-2018 Male Skewbald 167-2018 11/12/2018 Cedarbrook, Park West


Under the Control of Horses Act 1996 a horse may be seized and impounded if it is:

a)  A Stray Horse, or

b)  Causing a nuisance, or

c)   Not under adequate control, or

d)   Posing a danger to persons or property, or

e)   Posing a threat to the health and welfare of persons or other animals, or

f)    Being kept in a control area, without a horse licence in respect of it entitling the horse to be kept in that area, or

g)   Not identifiable or capable of identification as may be required by Section 28, or

h)   In or being kept or ridden or driven in an area contrary to any bye laws made under section 47.

Control of Horses Bye laws
Dublin City Council’s Control of Horses Bye-Laws made under the Control of Horses Act 1996, were adopted at its meeting of 1st February 2010. The new Bye Laws took effect from 1st March 2010. The Bye-Laws provide for the control and licensing of horses in Dublin City Council’s administrative area and also provide for the seizure and disposal of horses in breach of the bye laws. To read the Control of Horses Bye Laws 2010 please click here

Seizure Of Horses :
Horses which have been seized for offences under the Control of Horses Act 1996 or Dublin City Council’s Control of Horses Bye laws 2010 are transported to the City Council’s officially designated pound. A detailed description of the horse is taken and it is also scanned for a microchip. The vet issues any treatment deemed necessary. If the horse does not have a microchip, one is inserted.

Horse Reclaim Conditions:
Individuals, who want to reclaim their horse, must produce a horse passport and all the relevant documentation that is required before their horse will be released. Under Dublin City Council’s Control of Horses Bye Laws 2010 ‘The City Council may recover from the owner or the keeper of the horse all fees payable in respect of the horse, including fees for keep, veterinary fees and transportation fees incurred by the Council.’ Fees are based on the per horse cost to the City Council of providing the service annually and are reviewed on a yearly basis.

The current cost of reclaiming a horse is €700 per horse plus an additional €20 per night per horse for horses held over and above the statutory 7 day period.


Horse Licences:
A horse licence issued by Dublin City Council is required to legally keep a horse in the Dublin City Council’s control area. Licences are issued to keep horses at specific locations which have been inspected and approved for this purpose by the City Council’s appointed veterinary inspector. The City Council will only issue a licence where there are adequate facilities to ensure the safe keeping of the horse and where the requirements of the Control of Horses Act and Control of Horses Bye Laws are satisfied . A licence application form can be obtained from:

Dublin City Council,
Civic Offices,
Block 4 Ground Floor,
Wood Quay,
D08 RF3F

The licence costs €31.74. Following submission of a licence application the Council’s veterinary officer will contact the horse owner to arrange an inspection.

EU legislation dictates that all horse owners must be in possession of a horse passport to identify themselves as the owner of the animal and to have a detailed description of your animal including the microchip number. Details of approved passport issuing bodies can be obtained from the Department of Agriculture Website.


For more information

Licensing Unit,
Community, Culture, Economic & Emergency Services Department.
Block 4, Ground Floor,
Civic Offices
Wood Quay
Dublin 8
D08 RF3F