The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has extended the deadline for submitting equine census returns.
Minister Charlie McConalogue announced that Monday, January 17th, 2022 is the new closing date.
The move comes following “some technical difficulties” with the online system for submitting equine census returns.
The minister thanked horse keepers for the “high” level of engagement with the census so far.
The census aims to create an initial link between each equine in the state on census day and the premises where it is at that time.
The DAFM will create a profile of all equines present on a holding on that date on its AIM system, which houses the central equine database.
The DAFM expects the formal linking of equines to their keepers will increase compliance with equine legislation.
This law places responsibility on the recorded keeper for ensuring the health and welfare of all animals in his/her care.
The minister highlighted the potential benefits of such a link in terms of managing an equine disease outbreak.
The census will provide important information:
- In the event of an equine disease outbreak;
- Addressing public health concerns;
- Dealing with lost, straying or stolen horses.
Equine census deadline
In a statement on Friday, December 17th, 2021, the minister said:
“I regret that issues with our online system for submitting census returns has presented an obstacle to some equine keepers in attempting to make returns.”
“My department is working hard to resolve these issues, which will be fixed as a matter of urgency.”
“I would ask equine keepers for their patience while this fix is underway. In the meantime, anyone who was planning to submit a paper return should do so without delay,” the minister concluded.
In a statement, the DAFM said:
“Anyone keeping any equines on a premises that is not registered with the department for that purpose commits an offence.”
In this regard, all premises where equines are kept must register with DAFM for that purpose.
Furthermore, all equine keepers are responsible for ensuring that any equines in their care have a valid passport.