Sulky byelaws in Kilkenny are not enforceable - Garda chief

Mary Cody

Reporter:

Mary Cody

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Byelaws introduced to clamp down on sulky racing are not enforceable according to Chief Garda Superintendent Dominic Hayes.
The comments were made during a Joint Policing Committee meeting at County Hall last Wednesday where animal welfare issues were on the agenda.
Superintendent Derek Hughes of Kilkenny Garda Station re-iterated the comments and stated that the byelaws were ‘almost impossible to enforce’.
However the gardaí stressed that they have a zero tolerance approach towards animal cruelty and will continue to bring prosecutions under animal cruelty road traffic and other relevant legislation.
“There have been too many incidents where horses have been injured or left to die. We can't stand by this and we have to work together,” said Chief Supt Hayes.
Concerns were also raised about the possible return of 37 horses which were seized during an operation in early 2016.
Chief Supt Hayes told the meeting that it was his understanding that the horses would be returned to the ownders.
Tim Butler, Director of Services remarked that if the horses were returned an exchange of a similar number of animals would have to take place.
A number of meetings and inspections have taken place in recent months between the gardaí, local authority and other relevant agencies and a small number of families who have a significiant number of horses in the city.