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Mutilated Horse Carcasses Discovered

Late winter and early spring is the ISPCA’s busiest time of year for equine calls. Animals depending on the weight that they were carrying from last summer are at their thinnest and the charity’s Inspectorate is stretched to its limit.

The ISPCA routinely deals with all manner of equine cruelty but recently the organisation has seen a significant increase in a particular practice – the dumping of equine carcasses away from where they have died.

The discovery of the carcass of a young horse in the grounds of Emo Court was reported in the Laois Nationalist yesterday but this is not an isolated occurrence. Dead horses, ponies and donkeys have been found discarded throughout the country, often on public property.

Frequently, there are ropes left tied to the bodies from where they have been manhandled out of a trailer, or tied to a tree or gate-post while the horse-box is towed out from under them.

The reason that it is happening is simple, it is expensive to legitimately dispose of a carcass through the correct channels. Some people are prepared to abandon a dead animal in a public place in order to avoid such cost.

A particular grisly discovery was made yesterday when the mutilated carcass of a skewbald horse was found on bog land in north County Kildare. A large section of the animal’s neck had been removed. It is suspected that the macabre procedure was carried out after the animal’s death because a microchip had been implanted in the horse which would have allowed for the owner to be traced and held accountable. 

Chief Inspector Conor Dowling commented “This sort of behaviour raises multiple concerns and could represent breaches of various statutes. In addition to any suffering that the animals may have endured prior to death, there is a serious risk to the health of the public and other animals. It is usually not known what killed these animals or what diseases they may be carrying”.

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