Tipperary County Council is to seek to have legislation drafted to ban the use of sulky cars for u-16's and is to send a resolution to the Minister for the Environment calling for same.
At the June meeting of the council held in the Lakeside Hotel in Ballina, Cllr Micheal Anglim put forward a Notice of Motion seeking the banning of sulky driving for all u-18's.
However, following much discussion and debate, he agreed to reduce the age limit to u-16's and Cllr Michael Fitzgerald seconded his proposal saying that there is an accident waiting to happen. “You must wear a helmet and a hi-viz jacket on a motorcycle but there is no such legislation for sulky cars,” Cllr Fitzgerald said.
Cllr David Doran said that he felt the local authority is not doing enough at the present time and added that a horse warden should be employed to deal with this whole area. He added that he had no difficulty with people using sulky cars, but he did have a big problem with sulky racing. Cllr John Hogan said that sulky racing has been going on for 2000 years and he offered the view that if racing is to be banned from the public roads, facilities must be put in place to allow it to take place elsewhere.
In a related Notice of Motion, Cllr Siobhan Ambrose had sought an update on the progress being made by the inter agency group established in the wake of mistreatment of horses. And, she also asked for a letter to be sent to the Minister for the Environment seeking to have legislation drafted to deal with the problems.
Cllr Ambrose was informed that the inter agency group comprising representative from An Garda Siochana, the Department of Agriculture, ISPCA and the County Council working in conjunction with the Tipperary Travellers Horse Owners Association had held a number of meetings over the last two months. The Association was reminded of horse owners obligations in relation to animal registration and tagging and agreed to inform the groups from the various halting sites of this development and to set up further meetings at the various sites with representaives from the department and the council to continue registrations and administering advice on horse welfare.
The veterinary team and the Department of Agriculture are continuing to investigate reported incidents of animal mistreatment, the council members heard, and to date 58 horses have been picked up and sent to the pound and 80 queries dealt with.
Cllr Catherine Carey supported Cllr Ambrose's call and offered the view that the laws are already in place, but need to be implemented.