Rise in abandoned horses in Donegal

Image caption,
Reports of horse cruelty are on the rise in Ireland

There has been a big rise in the number of horses being abandoned in County Donegal.

More that 10 horses have been found over the last two weeks and the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) has blamed the recession for the increase.

The number of calls to the ISPCA national help line is almost three times higher than the figure for this time last year.

ISPCA Regional Inspector Kevin McGinley said more than 100 cases of cruelty and horses being abandoned have been detected in Donegal so far this year.

"We are experiencing an alarming amount of horses that are being abandoned by their owners in Donegal which we believe is being caused by the inability to feed them or provide adequate veterinary care and attention," he said.

The most recent abandoned horses have been found in the Manorcunningham, Ballybofey and Inishowen areas.

The organisation said that during the boom years "excessive numbers" of horses were being produced in Ireland.

However, a collapse in equine prices has resulted in large numbers of valueless horses for which owners are unwilling, or unable, to offer adequate care.

In 2008, the ISPCA National Animal Help line received 453 complaints regarding equine cruelty.

In 2009 this jumped to 1,140 and to date in 2010, they have received 1,000 calls regarding equine cruelty.

Anyone who sees an abandoned animal while in the Irish Republic should contact the ISPCA on 1890 515 515.

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