Homeless horses being sold for €20 (IRE)

By JADED MARE

Look at Ireland. They think the answer to all the horses running around homeless and without jobs is to kill them in happy places like slaughterhouses. This from horse rescue people. They are talking about “culling” them which is another word for “killing” them although they would like somebody else to do it for them, like horse processors like in Canada and Mexico, but that’s too far way, so hey why not send them on boats or horse ferries or something to Italy or France or somewhere.

— From the Irish Times, print edition:

THERE ARE SO MANY HORSES AND PONIES unwanted needing homes they are being purchased for as little as €20 or swapped for PlayStations or phones, it was claimed in Ireland yesterday.

Orla Aungier of the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said the crisis caused by the economic downturn may lead to a cull of horses and ponies by animal welfare groups.

“We have not seen anything like this before and it is happening not just here in Dublin but, according to other organisations across the country, it is happening there too,” she said.

“We receive an average of 15 to 18 calls a week now and only yesterday we picked up a horse which had been hog tied so it could not move, out in Clondalkin,” she said. “Last week we picked up five horses and in the past four months we have dealt with over 30 horses when, typically, we would deal with only 40 a year,” she said.

Despite the fact the society deals normally with urban horses, she said, a recent trend was for unwanted horses from the country to be taken to Smithfield market in Dublin to be sold for next to nothing.

“We have reports of horses and ponies being sold for as little as €20 to €30 or swapped for PlayStations or phones by young people who will never, ever be able to look after them,” she said.

“There is no nutrition in the grass at this time of year and there is a scarcity of fodder and it costs at least €75 a week for livery for a horse,” she said.

Since the beginning of the year there have been reports from across the country about unwanted horses caused by over production during the Celtic Tiger days and a collapse in the market for animals.

Westmeath and Wexford SPAs have reported an increasing number of calls for help and the Irish Horse Welfare Trust has been inundated with calls for help.

A spokeswoman for the Wicklow-based Irish Horse Welfare Trust, Sharon Newsome, called on the Department of Agriculture to provide free or subsidised horse-disposal facilities to ease the crisis.

“Disposal of horses is a huge problem and we need a state-of-the-art horse abattoir where owners can send their horses, otherwise charities are left picking up the pieces,” she said. Orla Aungier said the charities are now considering a cull of animals because they did not have the facilities to deal with the scale of the crisis which has been continuing to grow.

This article appears in the print edition of the Irish Times

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