Horse trading at council over Lammas Fair ban
Horse owners are attempting to get Moyle Council to reverse a controversial ban on dealing at the world famous Auld Lammas Fair in Ballycastle.
Vincent Traynor of the North Antrim Riding Club and master of the Braid Draghounds is part of a delegation going to to the council over the ban.
He said: “I believe the council has overstepped the mark.
“The council has taken this decision because people have made complaints following an incident where a horse was ridden at night, and also a few allegations of animal mistreatment.
“There were a few minuses, but what about the pluses of having horse trading at the fair?
“The fair has been going for hundreds of years and people have been selling horses,” he added. “There was one horse had a ‘bit’ pulled through its mouth and one of the animal charities made a big fuss about it, but there are a lot of good horses at the fair.
“I have had phone calls from all parts about this and the trading ban needs to be reversed,” said Mr Traynor.
When the council agreed the horse trading ban recently, Esther Mulholland, head of development services, said: “Animal sales have been happening at the fair since its inception some time in the 17th century but over that time the fair has evolved until what happens today bears little resemblance to what happened 400, or even 50, years ago. The last 20 years have seen the sale of livestock sheep and cows become non-existent.
“Traditional horse sales become an event for horse dealers who are turning up with lorries full of ponies, many of which show signs of serious neglect.
“Some of the animals often suffer ill-treatment over the two days despite the best efforts of council staff and many animal charities. This does not make for an attractive sight or something which our visitors are likely to enjoy.”