Statement on Smithfield Horse Fair incident

Pavee Point Travellers’ Centre has released a statement on events at Smithfield Horse Fair

Pavee Point wishes to express its shock at and condemnation of the events of violence which occurred at Smithfield Horse Fair in Dublin yesterday, Sunday March 6 2011.  As these would appear to be serious criminal acts currently under the investigation of An Garda Síochána, we are unable to comment further on the events in particular but would urge anyone with information to make this available to the Gardaí.

Pavee Point is deeply concerned to ensure that the welfare of animals and people at horse fares is of the highest possible standard.   The fair needs to be regulated in the interests of animal welfare. Enforcement of high standards is in everybody’s interests, and would be welcomed by the Traveller community.  Pavee Point, in association with the other Traveller organisations, has issued guidance on the Control of Horses Act and facilitated training for Travellers on care of horses.  In addition, there are a number of horse projects in the Dublin area doing valuable work on care of horses.  Clearly, this work needs to be resourced, in the interests of the welfare of the animals concerned.

Finally, it would be a disaster if one, admittedly serious, incident, should end a longstanding tradition for the Smithfield area.  The Smithfield Horse Fair is a fixture in the city’s life, and it would be a mistake to pass up the opportunity to effectively regulate and improve the fair in the interests of the animals, app para trading and the city.

Pavee Point believes that, as a matter of urgency, all the stakeholders and interested parties in the Smithfield Horse Fares should meet to consult on the future of the fare; this should include the City Council, local residents and traders, Traveller representatives, Gardaí, horse traders, the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and representatives of the Department of Agriculture.