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Dublin: 15 °C Wednesday 26 June, 2019
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'Not acceptable': Probe launched after young men filmed dragging exhausted pony on public road

The ISPCA said it was working with gardaí to investigate the incident.

The Heywood Road in Clonmel, the area close to where the incident occurred.
The Heywood Road in Clonmel, the area close to where the incident occurred.
Image: Google Maps

GARDAÍ ARE INVESTIGATING the events depicted in a video posted on Facebook yesterday which shows a pony being dragged on a public road in Clonmel, Co Tipperary.

The footage, posted online yesterday by a motorist who was passing the scene on the Heywood Road, shows the animal apparently collapsing from exhaustion as it carries a lightweight cart carrying two youths.

”I hope the poor pony is dead now, this way it will never suffer again,” the driver who posted the footage wrote.

The motorist, speaking to TheJournal.ie, said that they did not wish to comment further on the incident as it was now under investigation.

The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) said it was working with gardaí to investigate the incident.

“It is not acceptable that any animal is pushed to the point of collapsing. Anyone who owns an animal has a legal obligation to provide for their welfare needs and a failure to do so can result in them being held to account,” an ISPCA spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said the organisation was also renewing its call for the regulation of all horse-drawn vehicles on public roads.

The Garda Press Office confirmed that local gardaí are currently investigating the incident involving a pony at Haywood Road, Clonmel.

A spokesperson added:

Witnesses are asked to contact Clonmel Garda Station on 052-6177640.

Clonmel Councillor Pat English said that if people can’t care for animals they should not be allowed to have them.

After watching the video on Facebook, English said he rang the County Council straight away.

“The pony was under serious pressure going up that hill, they should have gotten off the cart and helped the horse rather than driven it into the ground.”

This incident is not an isolated one in the Clonmel area. In December seven horses were found dead in Knocklofty and another young foal at Suir Island.

”There was a lot of horses found dead from malnutrition, they weren’t looking after them,” the councillor said.

English said that a multi-agency group had been meeting on a regular basis in the wake of the December discovery to discuss what to do about the care of horses and ponies in the county.

“The Department of Agriculture, the County Council, and the gardaí have been working on the issue,” he said.

They’ve taken in 83 horses since the incident in December – I’m sure they will get on this straight away.

The cart being pulled by the pony in the Facebook video is referred to as a sulky.

Planned legislation to ban sulky racing on public roads was introduced to the Oireachtas by independent Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath earlier this year.

“At present, the practice is generating massive amounts of public concern and is directly contributing to deaths in some cases and serious endangerment in others,” McGrath said.

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Adam Daly

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