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By-law means Dublin horses will wear 'nappies'

Dublin carriage operators will soon have to provide 'nappies' for their horses as part of new by-laws for the city.

They will have to attach special dung-catchers to their horses in a bid to clean up the mess left in and around areas such as St Stephen's Green and the Guinness Store House.

Draft regulations drawn up by Dublin City Council contain no reference to the so-called horse nappies, which are at the centre of a dispute in Killarney.

However, the carriage operators will be required to renew their licences every year if the laws are passed.

The draft document states the licences will only be renewed if a fee has been paid and the council is satisfied the applicant will comply with the provisions of the bye-laws.

Local authority bosses must also be satisfied operators have "full insurance cover to operate the hackney carriage during the period of the licence".

In addition, the council is seeking to require that horses used to draw hackney carriages "shall have a temperament and be in physical condition and of an age suitable to such work".

The horses will need to be "cared for and treated in a manner which does not cause them unnecessary suffering".

Drivers must be aged not less than 16 years, they cannot be under the influence of alcohol or any other substance and "shall behave in a courteous manner".

The council's executive manager Tim O'Sullivan stated it is proposed that the local authority "take over the licensing of horse-drawn carriages from the gardai".

Mr O'Sullivan said the draft rules "are based on bye-laws in operation in Killarney as amended to suit conditions in Dublin city".

The document will be placed before the council's transport strategic policy committee (SPC) on Thursday.

Following a public consultation process, "it would be proposed to report back to this committee prior to presenting the draft bye-laws to the city council for adoption," Mr O'Sullivan stated.

In Killarney, jarveys are refusing to fit the sanitary devices. Officials at Killarney National Park say the animals must be fitted with the bags when transporting tourists.

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