Control of Horses

The Control of Horses Bye-Laws came into force on Wednesday March 6th 2013.

These Bye-Laws may be inspected free of charge at the offices of Leitrim County Council, Aras an Chontae, Carrick on Shannon, Co. Leitrim or here Control of Horse Bye-Laws 2013.pdf (size 1.1 MB)

Please note a copy may be purchased at our offices for €5.00.

The Control Of Horses Act 1996 and all it’s commencements and amendments, are the legislative instruments under which Horse Control in Ireland fall under.

HORSE PASSPORT: If you own or keep a horse or similar animal, it must be microchipped and must have an official identification document, known as a HorsePassport. Passports apply to all members of the horse family, including ponies, donkeys and crosses, officially known as equine animals but referred to here, for clarity, as horses. In addition, if you keep the horse in a control area designated under theControl of Horses Act 1996, you must have a horse licence for it as well as the microchip and passport.

 STRAY HORSES: As well as unlicensed horses in control areas, stray or unidentifiable horses or horses causing a nuisance or posing a danger may be seized, detained and/or destroyed. If you wish to report a stray horse please call the Animal Warden Office on 071 96 48300. The reclaim fee for any horse seized under this Act is €500 + €30 per day sustenance.


If you wish to ride your horse on a public road, you may do so provided that the horse has a licence and is fitted with a bridle. It should also be under the control of someone over 16 years of age.

The Road Safety Authority publishes useful information about horse safety on the road, including a booklet (pdf link) produced in collaboration with Horse Sport Ireland.

  • EU Sturctural Fund
  • European Union