The County Council has impounded 107 stray horses in South Tipperary this year.
Matt Shortt, the Council’s Director of Services for water and the environment, told a meeting of the Clonmel/Cahir Borough District that that was the number up to the end of September, and this was an expensive business.
“We receive some refund from the Department of the Environment but the cost is putting pressure on the County Council’s budget”, he said.
Meetings would be held with Travellers representative associations in the New Year to discuss the problem.
When asked by District Mayor Martin Lonergan about sulky racing, Mr. Shortt said the Council’s powers were very limited. If sulky racing was causing a traffic hazard then it was a matter for the Gardai. A bye-law to ban sulky racing could be enacted but it would need to be enforced.
Cllr. Siobhan Ambrose said she had been contacted by a person in Clonmel who had witnessed a cruel act against a horse. If somebody came across a stray horse did they have to wait for someone to arrive from the horse pound in Cork, she asked. She said an ordinary person couldn’t hold a horse until someone came from Cork. It wasn’t that easy to get someone locally to hold onto the horses in the meantime, said Mr. Shortt.