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The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) has welcomed the guilty plea of Simon O’Dwyer Srn. of Garrue, Mullinavat, Co Kilkenny in Kilkenny District Court, today the 4th January 2010.

ISPCA Chairperson Barbara Bent, who represented the ISPCA throughout this protracted case, welcomed the outcome: “This is one of the worst cases of equine neglect and cruelty the ISPCA has dealt with in recent years. It has involved numerous visits to the O’Dwyer farm over many months and the seizure of horses in appalling conditions.

Barbara Bent commented: “Large numbers of horses have suffered abuse and starvation on this farm for years, and have even been left without water on many occasions. Emaciated, injured and terrified horses were a common occurrence at the O’Dwyer’s, where a total disregard of suffering and an appalling lack of animal care existed.”

She added: “During this particular case, three dead horses were found stacked in the hayshed behind the bales and one small filly was left out in the snow to die of neglect. Another horse was seized with a most serious hoof condition, caused by long neglect of a puncture wound while a black stallion was found dead in the yard with severe scour.”

The ISPCA would especially like to commend the dedication and commitment of Garda Shane Elliffe, UCD’s World Horse Welfare Project for their veterinary expert who attended on farm on numerous occasions, along with the help of the Gardaí at Thomastown Garda Station and the Department of Agriculture in bringing this dreadful case to a positive conclusion.”

The increased cruelty and neglect of horses represents a worrying trend and we are calling on members of the public to be vigilant during the current cold spell and winter months to report any neglect or cruelty to animals to the ISPCA on our Helpline 1890515515 or to our local member societies.”

The ISPCA urgently needs donations to help in protecting animals at risk in Ireland and in prosecuting those individuals who are responsible for acts of cruelty.

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