MLHR Call for Urgent Review of DCC Control of Horse Drawn Carriage Bye-laws

Published: Friday, 04 May 2018 Tags: Carriage Horse / DCC Control of Horse Drawn Carriages / Dublin City Council /

MLHR has published a comprehensive list issues with the existing system and a host of recommendations to facilitate improving equine welfare and safety for passengers.

In light of events in Killarney in April 2018, where 2 tourists were tragically killed in an accident involving a pony and trap, and the prosecution in May 2018 for animal cruelty against a Dublin carriage horse, MLHR believe it is vital that all Dublin City Councillors are made fully aware of major inadequacies with the current DCC Control of Horse Draw Carriages Bye-laws, the licensing process, enforcement issues and potential safety and insurance risks therein.

Why is the Carriage Horse and Carriage Licensing System Inadequate?

MLHR has published a comprehensive list issues with the existing system and a host of recommendations that we will submit to the Council once the public consultation process is open to the public.

MLHR are Calling For:

  1. Proactive Enforcement of existing legislation
    • Control of Horse Drawn Carriage Bye-laws 2011
    • Control of Horses Act 1996
    • Animal Health & Welfare Act 2013
    • Proactive checks for horse licences and passports.
  2. The Council to arrange introduction of routine and ad hoc welfare checks on carriage horses.
  3. Complete overhaul of existing Control of Horse Drawn Carriage bye-laws 2011.

When is the Council Reviewing the Control of Horse Drawn Carriage Bye-laws?

According to Dublin City Council Chief Executive: 

"The Environment & Transportation Department has recently carried out a review of the operation of these bye-laws in the light of experience since their introduction. Revised bye-laws will be submitted for consideration by the Transportation Strategic Policy Committee at the June meeting.

As the making of bye-laws is a Reserved Function, the Council must advertise its intention to make bye-laws and invite submissions by public consultation at least two months prior to making them.

If time allows, the Council may agree to this at the July meeting, otherwise the earliest it may be considered will be at the September meeting. The Council shall consider any submissions made to it and not withdrawn and may then make the bye-law either in accordance with the draft or subject to such changes as the Council may, at its discretion, determine, or not make the bye-law.

The bye-laws, if passed by the Council, shall come into force on such date as shall be specified in the bye-law, which cannot be less than 30 days after its making. According to this timeline the earliest the revised bye-laws could come into force is late 2018 or early 2019."

via John Fennessy, Dublin City Council

MLHR believe the Bye-law review process needs to happen sooner rather than later.  Ideally, the process needs to start in July 2018.

What You Can Do:

Contact your local Dublin City Councillor ( and request the following:

  1. Carriage Horse Bye-laws to be on the agenda for the July Transport SPC meeting. 
  2. Ensure the public submissions process to suggest amendments to the bye-laws is actually opened up to the public and that the Council consider the submissions.
  3. The Council to introduce welfare spot checks on carriage horses - evenings and weekends.

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