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Dublin: 10°C Sunday 18 April 2021

ISPCA want government to 'enforce legislation' as equine calls increase

The charity’s equine units are now full beyond capacity due to a 33 per cent increase in calls which relate to horses in distress.

File photo
File photo
Image: White horse tied up on a pasture via Shutterstock

THE ISPCA’s EQUINE UNIT is no longer able to take in distressed horses due to its facilities being full beyond capacity.

The charity organisation has said that calls related to horses in distress have increased by 33 per cent over the last year, with 2,000 calls having been logged in 2013 alone which related to abused and neglected horses, ponies and foals.

Speaking on Morning Ireland, the chief inspector of the ISPCA, Conor Dowling, said that the current crisis had been building over the last 10 years.

While the number of horses in Ireland increased during the boom years, he said that a number of the animals are now “valueless in many cases and because of that they are not receiving the care that they should”.

With equine related issues now making up between 60-70 per cent of the calls in many of the ISPCA’s centres, Dowling said it was becoming more difficult to rehome the horses that they were currently holding in their specialist equine centres in Longford and Cork.

“People are struggling financially in many cases and people are reluctant to take on the costs of an expensive animal like a horse,” he said.


Dowling said that his organisation wanted the Department of Agriculture and local authorities to “vigorously enforce legislation that is open to them”, such as the Control of Horses Act of 1996 and equine identification procedures.

The chief inspector said that less than five per cent of the horses that the ISPCA encounters are micro-chipped, which can make it more difficult to locate/charge offenders.

Read: ISPCA’s search for perfect home for unusual animals >

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Paul Hyland

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