Starting Oct. 1, folks who want to ride horses on the beaches in Old Orchard Beach will have to outfit them with manure containment bags. Tammy Wells Photo

OLD ORCHARD BEACH — Starting Oct. 1, those who ride or walk horses on the beach will have to outfit the animals with manure containment bags. 

The Old Orchard Beach Town Council voted unanimously to adopt the measure at a recent meeting. 

Horses are allowed on the beaches  from Oct. 1 to March 31, with a permit. 

The manure containment bag requirement has been in effect in neighboring Scarborough since 2017. Old Orchard Beach Town Council declined to move forward with containment bags at that time, but requires riders to clean up their animals. 

The two communities share permitting for horses on the beaches — a $20 permit is good for a season in either municipality, Town Clerk Kim McLaughlin said. She estimated there are about  100 permits between the two communities, and the two towns share revenue from the permits. 

Since Scarborough adopted the manure containment bag requirement, the two municipalities have had different rules. McLaughlin told the Town Council that permit holders know exactly where they can ride without their animal sporting a manure containment bag, and where they can’t. 

The vote on Jan. 5 came following a public hearing in December. 

McLaughlin asked the council to have the new requirement go into effect in October, rather than immediately, and they agreed. 

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