A variety of legislation pertains to those with responsibility for equines (horses, ponies, and donkeys). These are outlined here.
Ireland’s first Nitrates Action Programme under the Nitrates Directive came into operation in 2006. Regulations were introduced to put this Action Programme into law. A second Action Programme was finalised in 2010. A third Action Programme was finalised in 2014, a fourth Action Programme in 2017 and now a fifth Action Programme has been agreed and given legal effect in 2022:
Read more here
If you apply for the Basic Payment Scheme, the Regulations are also part of cross-compliance. Not only will you be breaking the law if you do not follow them, you will also be putting your Basic Payment, Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC), GLAS, and other co-funded scheme payments at risk. That is why it is very important to understand the Regulations and know exactly how they apply to you, and what to do on your farm.
Further information on Nitrates Regulations and Cross Compliance is available here
If you keep the horse in a control area designated under the Control of Horses Act 1996, (http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/1996/act/37/enacted/en/html) you must have a horse license for it as well as the microchip and passport.
You are liable for any injury or damage caused by your horse to other people or to property.
It is a legal requirement under the Control on Places where Horses are kept Regulations (SI 113 of 2014) that all premises where equine are kept must be registered with the Department of Agriculture. Accordingly, you should ensure that your equine is being kept on a registered premise. If your holding is not already registered as an Equine Premises, you should apply immediately to DAFM for an Equine Premises Number.
Application form for Equine Premises Number is available here
If you own or keep a horse or other equine, it must be microchipped and must have an official identification document, known as a horse passport.
These requirements are under EU Regulation 504/2008 which, along with later amendments, has been transposed into Irish law. They apply to all members of the horse family, including ponies, donkeys and crosses, officially known as equine animals but referred to here, for clarity, as horses.
More information is available here
On foot of a Statutory Instrument signed into law by the Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine, it is now a legal requirement to report changes of horse ownership to the Passport Issuing Authority who issued the original passport for a horse. This applies for any horses whose ownership changes after July 1st, 2014.
More information is available here
Changes to EU Animal Health Law, April 2021
The European Union Animal Health Law (AHL) came into force on April 21st 2021. Read more
Every year deaths and injuries occur on farms which could have been prevented and it is vital to take time to evaluate or re-evaluate ‘Health and Safety’ in relation to your own circumstances whether you have a stud farm, training facility, riding school or simply have a couple of horses at home.
It is very important to be aware of the appropriate legislation relating to safety whether you are an employer or an employee, and what is expected of you. Use this knowledge to then create a safe and healthy environment whereby proper standards and procedures are put in place.
Further reading on this topic is available here