7 Abandoned Thoroughbreds
At the beginning of November 2017, MLHR received information about 7 abandoned thoroughbred horses in County Kildare. Volunteers visited the scene and scanned the horses for microchips (Weatherby microchips were detected in all 7 horses) and their condition was assessed. All were very underweight and there was no feed present. All were lame in some way and one had a very tight fitting head collar pushing against their eye.
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) were contacted and sent a veterinary inspector (authorised officer under Animal Health and Welfare Act) to the site. While work was underway to trace an owner, volunteers arranged for hay to be dropped and monitored the horses. On November 28th 2017 we worked with DAFM to remove all 7 horses and transfer them to our farm. Later, 2 were transferred to Irish Horse Welfare Trust. The Department soon launched and investigation, but insufficient evidence was secured to go forward with a prosecution. DAFM has only 5 special investigators available to work on cruelty prosecutions (down from 16 in the past).
Despite all the evidence gathered, it was the lack of willingness by key witnesses to go on record that prevented this case going forward for prosecution.
Thank you to Jack Power and his team at the Irish Times for publishing the story of these horses. The article is available on line and in print in the Irish Times.
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