Fianna Fáil South Dublin County Councillor, Charlie O’Connor has said educating young horse owners is central to reducing the number of horses that are neglected and mistreated in some parts of the county.

O’Connor, who is also a General Election Candidate in Dublin South West, raised the matter with the Local Authority’s Chief Executive earlier this week.

He said, “Keeping horses on open, green public space is still proving to be an issue despite great work being done by a number of local equine centres such as Ballyown and charities such as My Lovely Horse Rescue.

“Over 70% of the number of horses that were seized by the Local Authority in 2018 had to be euthanised at a sizable cost to the taxpayer. Whatever about the more useful; ways to spend that money in the community, residents don’t like seeing defenceless animals being abandoned on their doorstep.

“Majority of the time it is left to welfare charity volunteers and those working with Dublin Fire Brigade to rescue yearlings, foals or horses being that have been left unattended in our area.

“Horse Aware Week has just wrapped up in Cherry Orchard this week and was a very useful initiative aimed to educate young people about responsible horse ownership and the needs of horses in an urban setting.

“We need to teach children from a very young age that being cruel towards any animal is unacceptable and that there is punishment for that kind of poor behaviour. What’s more, educating teenagers that might be interested in taking on a horse about the level of care and upkeep that’s required; it’s no easy task.

“Horses should not be needlessly let suffer neglect and should be kept in a safe environment even from the general public’s perspective in terms of safety,” he concluded.