Control of Horses

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Dublin City Council provides a Control of Horses Service in order to address the problems arising from the 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

ID Number




Date of Seizure

Location of Seizure

20DCC33 Male Piebald 20DCC33 17/09/2020 Heuston Train Station
20DCC34 Female Black 20DCC34 17/09/2020 Valley Park Drive, Finglas
20DCC35 Male Skewbald 20DCC35 17/09/2020 Valley Park Drive, Finglas
20DCC36 Male Skewbald 20DCC36 17/09/2020 Valley Park Drive, Finglas

If you are concerned about the wellbeing of a horse, or wish to report a stray horse, please contact Dublin City Council by calling 01 222 2165 or email We're open Monday to Friday between 09:00-17:00.

Control of Horses Act 1996

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

  1. A stray horse, or
  2. Causing a nuisance, or
  3. Not under adequate control, or
  4. Posing a danger to persons or property, or
  5. Posing a threat to the health and welfare of persons or other animals, or
  6. Being kept in a control area, without a horse licence in respect of it entitling the horse to be kept in that area, or
  7. Not identifiable or capable of identification as may be required by Section 28, or
  8. 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 7th April 2014. 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.

Please read the Control of Horses Bye-Laws 2014 for more information.

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 2014 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. A vet then issues any treatment deemed necessary. If the horse does not have a microchip, one is inserted.

Horse Reclaim Conditions

If you want to reclaim your horse you 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 2014, "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 cost per horse 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 five-day period.

Horse Licences

A horse licence issued by Dublin City Council is required to legally keep a horse in 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 safekeeping 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,
Dublin 8
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 the 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

Horse Licence Application form

Applying for a Horse Licence, A licence application form can be obtained from (please add in form here and add line to return completed form to already the existing address on website by post or email )