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Dublin: 15°C Wednesday 10 August 2022

Record number of animals removed from Ballinasloe Horse Fair despite 'considerable progress'

The festival this month saw 37 animals taken into the care of the ISPCA, 28 of which were dogs.

THIS YEAR’S BALLINASLOE Horse Fair has seen a record number of animals removed from the site due to welfare issues.

The Fair, which took place over the first two weekends of this month, was attended by inspectors from the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA).


In total 37 animals had to be removed – the majority of which were low value animals. Among these six donkeys and two colt foals, thought to have been abandoned after not being sold, were taken into care.


The foals are now at the Society’s National Animal Centre, with the donkeys being kept at the their Ballinasloe Pound while they await rehousing.


During the Fair the group also took 28 dogs into care. The high number stemmed in part from new regulations regarding the docking of puppies’ tails.

Earlier this year a law was passed forbidding the docking of tails by non-professionals.

The ISPCA stated that in general the care afforded to equines at the fair was “very good”. 

Small animals  

Speaking to, Ballinasloe Fair Chairman Adrian Ahern, said:

The sale of small animals is not something we have control over – it took place on the showgrounds and we only have control of the green. There is a thing in the law that prohibits the sale of small animals on the green.

“If I had a horse I was selling I would want it to be in the best condition possible because otherwise I am not going to get as good a price for it… given the overall number of animals in the town for the festival, it is a small fraction of people who will step outside the law,” said Ahern.

ispca 2


Despite the number of animals taken into care, the ISPCA felt that progress had been made, and that conditions at the Fair were generally good.

Speaking about this, ISPCA Chief Inspector Conor Dowling, said:

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.

Read: Tail docking by non-vets to be banned 

Also: Guidelines banning cruelty to horses by traders introduced 

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