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Dublin: 21°C Sunday 14 August 2022

Investigation underway after several horses found dead in Clonmel

A number of animals were also seized by authorities.

The scene where the horses were found.
The scene where the horses were found.
Image: Cllr Catherine Carey via Facebook

This article contains an image some readers may find distressing.

AN INVESTIGATION IS underway after a number of horses were found dead in Clonmel, Co Tipperary.

Seven horses were found in Knocklofty shortly before Christmas, and another young foal at Suir Island by a member of the public walking their dog.

In recent days another horse was found in the area in poor health, and the decision was made to have it put down.

The Department of Agriculture confirmed today in a statement that they were made aware of the concerns over the welfare of the animals at Knocklofty on 18 December, and a local vet was contacted to deliver feed.

“Department veterinary staff inspected the site on Tuesday 19 December and, in conjunction with the ISPCA, a foal and a mare were seized under the Animal Welfare Act 2013. The remaining animals were considered not to be at immediate risk,” the statement continued.

Under the Control of Horses Act 1996, Local Authorities and authorised officers under the Act may seize abandoned horses if the animals are located on any site without the land owner’s permission. Exercising those powers, the gardaí were able to seize those animals which were present on lands without the owner’s approval.

The cause of death of the horses found at the site is still being investigated. It is understood none were microchipped and that as many as 14 horses were found alive at the site.

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IMG_2977 The foal found dead at Suir Island. Source: Cllr Catherine Carey via Facebook

Sinn Féin’s Catherine Carey, Mayor of the Clonmel Borough District, along with Action for Animal Welfare Island, have been spearheading efforts to raise awareness of the incident and for the owner of the animals to be found.

She said there was no obvious source of food or water in the field, and that some of the remains at the site were extremely decomposed, in some cases only bones.

“I’m really pushing for whoever did this to face prosecution,” Carey told

She described how she broke down when she saw the remains and the condition of the remaining horses in the field:

We came across a foal standing beside its dead mother… I was crying.

‘Sheer neglect’: ISPCA investigating donkey found with ‘horrific head injuries’ >

About the author:

Nicky Ryan

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