It is taking as many as 10 weeks to receive a passport for ponies in Connemara, according to Fianna Fáil.
In a question to the Minister for Agriculture in the Dáil this week, Éamon Ó Cuív questioned the waiting time for the Connemara Pony Breeders’ Society and pointed out the effect it it having farmers. He asked:
"[Is the minister aware] that it is taking the Connemara Pony Breeders Society up to ten weeks to issue passports for Connemara ponies and that this is holding up the sale of ponies for farmers with a scarcity of grass and fodder?"
In response Michael Creed said that DNA testing is required for all horses and that many applications had been submitted to the society, possibly leading to the slow process.
"As part of its breeding programme, the Connemara Pony Breeders’ Society commissions DNA testing on all horses it registers. This process is conducted by a specialist laboratory independent of the Society and the speed at which the Society issues passports to owners is contingent on the completion of the parallel test process. Commission Regulation 2015/262 concerning equine identification prevents a passport being issued by the issuing body until this information is received. My Department has contacted the Connemara Pony Breeders Society regarding its passport issuing process and have been informed that a large volume of applications were received during the past three months," he said.
He also noted that the Connemara Pony Breeders’ Society recommends breeders to register equines straight after their birth, as that would help lower the turnaround time for passports.