Inspectors from the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) were on duty at the Ballinasloe Horse Fair on all of the main animal trading days this year. And, over the course of the event, they took possession of a total of 37 animals.
“While the quality of the equines at the fair was generally very good, with so many people and animals present there is always going to be welfare issues that arise” said the ISPCA’s Chief Inspector Conor Dowling, “Our officers were kept very busy dealing with matters that they either witnessed themselves or that were reported by members of the public”.
Although the market has improved for higher quality equines, there is still a surplus of low value animals which are more at risk. Six donkeys and two colt foals which were taken into the care of the ISPCA are thought to have been simply discarded as they could not be sold. The foals are now at the Society’s National Animal Centre while the donkeys were delivered by the ISPCA to the Ballinasloe Pound from where one has already been rehomed. The remaining donkeys will be taken into the care of the Donkey Sanctuary.
New regulations regarding the docking of puppies’ tails contributed to a total of 28 dogs being taken into care, putting extreme pressure on the charity’s limited kennelling facilities.
Chief Inspector Dowling added “Despite the record number of animals removed, we feel that considerable progress has been made at Ballinasloe Fair. The general condition and welfare of the animals at the event was better than ever before”.
The ISPCA will be meeting with the Fair organisers and other stakeholders in the coming weeks to discuss issues that arose and what further advancements can be made for future Fairs.
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