News & Features

DSPCA calls on local authorities to tackle horse crisis in capital

Thursday January 30, 2014

The Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA) are calling on local authorities to act urgently to tackle the huge numbers of stray horses who are being dumped across the city after a number of serious incidents took place in recent days.

Commenting on Thursday morning, DSPCA CEO Brian Gillen said: “The horses that our inspectors are finding on what is becoming a daily occurrence are in dreadful conditions, compounded no doubt by the recent spell of poor weather. Our inspectors took in a horse who was on a public road close to the Cappaghmore Estate in Clondalkin early on Wednesday afternoon. The poor thing was in a horrific state – one of the worst cases of neglect that we have seen in recent times – and he was skin-and-bone and was suffering from acute rain-rot. Unfortunately, this is not a one-off case.

“Later that day our inspectors were then called to another horse in Tallaght who we believe has a broken leg and rain-rot who was in a dreadful condition in a resource centre car park where the poor animal had wandered in off the road, in the middle of a housing estate. While awaiting Garda assistance, our inspectors were spotted in the area and a large number of local youths gathered around the horse. When Gardai arrived with the Horse Contractor he had been removed. Our inspectors are searching the area trying to locate the wounded animal and we are requesting the support of the public for any information on this serious case.


“On Thursday (16th January) our vets had to euthanise a horse on the roadway close to the same vicinity in Clondalkin following what could have been a near catastrophic road accident on a busy stretch of road. The Gardaí called our inspectors that afternoon following the collision and this was in full view of the public. Luckily the driver of the car on this occasion was uninjured. This was the third similar incident that we have had in this area, but nothing has been done.

“Then on Saturday (18th January) our chief inspector undertook a survey of the Brittas area of south Dublin and he counted in the region of 300 horses who are generally in poor condition. This is an unprecedented number in modern times who, we believe, are either abandoned or on lands illegally.

“We simply do not have the resources to take in the high volumes of horses that are being dumped across south Dublin at present. SDCC need to act immediately before this situation escalates further.”

The DSPCA have brought this worrying situation to the attention of SDCC on several occasions over the last number of weeks but the council have yet to give the charity a response.

Meanwhile, in a separate incident on Wednesday morning, a one-year-old horse was found in Baldoyle in a collapsed state and emaciated with overgrown hooves. He too was sadly euthanised with assistance from officers from Raheny Garda station.

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