Category: Archive

Not “dung ho” over Diapers

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

In a statement, the department said the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) was refusing entry to the park to jaunting car operators that did not have a required horse “dung catcher” and license.
“This decision was taken as none of the jaunting cars hold a valid permit which requires the use of dung catchers to operate within the park which means that jarveys are operating illegally,” the statement read.
Earlier this year, jarveys were shown a video of the device in action but they have consistently rejected what they termed “nappies” as “unsafe and unsuitable”.
In March, spokesman Pat O’Sullivan said the devices would be dangerous for horses because of “the uphill, downhill nature of the terrain of Killarney.”
But the department said that since the start of June, the NPWS had “repeatedly reminded” jarveys they must use dung catchers “but they have shown an unwillingness to co-operate with the new requirements.”
Up to 66 jaunting cars work under license from NPWS over some 15 kilometers of internal roads within the park, with the routes being cleaned by NPWS at the taxpayer’s expense.
“An unfortunate consequence of such a high volume of horses frequenting the park is that the roadways are consistently fouled with horse dung and this has for a long time been a concern from the point of view of environmental, health and safety, aesthetic and tourism grounds,” according to the government statement.
The department said the NPWS had been engaged in a consultation process with the jarveys since 2007 to address the issue and had conducted trials with both a mechanical sweeper and with dung catchers.
But the dung catcher option was preferred “notably on effectiveness, cost efficiency and noise grounds” and has been the subject of tests by a leading UK-based equine expert as well as a leading veterinary consultant and is already in widespread use internationally.
The dung catcher is attached to the car and not to the horse but the department said jarveys had never made their specific problems clear and that made it difficult to pinpoint what their actual reservations were, and to overcome any problems.
The NPWS stressed that Killarney National Park remains open to everybody else and urged jarveys to consult with it in order to reach an agreement.

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