Farms possessing equines who have not already returned their equine census have until Monday 17 January 2022 to do so.

The one-month extension to the previous deadline of 17 December 2021 was reported by Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue as a result of technical difficulties with the online system for submitting equine census returns.

There have been some queries of late from farmers asking how the equine census portal can be accessed, with some people failing to find a link to the census once logged in normally to their portal.

The census portal is not available when a farmer logs in to their agfood account.

Instead, it is accessed from the webpage on which farmers log in to their agfood account, with the link for the census located to the right-hand-side of the normal login information.

You will need your username and password to access the portal – details from your PAC number are not required.

Registering an equine premises

Any holding which possesses equines must be registered as an equine holding. Breeding farms registering the births of foals with a stud book will already be registered as an equine premises, as this is required as part of the birth registration process.

Failure to register a premises is a breach of cross compliance and animal identification rules and therefore it is important to keep on the right side of the law in this regard.

An application form to register your premises can be downloaded from this link.

Registered premises must have a nominated keeper. Holdings that are already registered to keep cattle and/or sheep/goats will have their registration amended to include horses.

The application form is straightforward to fill in and on completion, should be submitted to your local Department of Agriculture regional office.