Written Answers. - Stray Animals.

Ned O'Keeffe

Question:

244 Mr. N. O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development the proposals he has to deal with stray animals associated with illegal encampments, particularly horses and goats, in view of the foot and mouth disease crisis. [7960/01]

The Control of Horses Act, 1996, empowers local authorities to seize and detain wandering horses. Detention of a seized horse may involve its transportation by road to a suitable pound. While I recently introduced the Foot and Mouth (Restriction on Movement of Horses) Order, 2001 (S.I. No. 68 of 2001) to prohibit the transport of horses by road save under permit, I consider it important that the Act continue to operate during the current crisis in view of the risks associated with wandering horses.

Stray goats, as well as other species of animal, may be impounded by the Garda Síochána or a local authority under the Animals Act, 1985, which is administered by Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform. Officials of my Department will make contact with the relevant agencies to ensure that the disease risk presented by such animals is addressed during the current crisis.