30/11/2011

Horses Saved From Horrific Farm Conditions

A shocking find on a farm just a few miles from Belfast has seen more than 60 animals rescued while nine were past hope and were found dead.

The horses and ponies were discovered a week ago in squalid conditions by a vet at the premises on the Lisnevenagh Road, Antrim where police found the animals living amongst the carcasses of nine dead animals.

Four animals were found to be in such poor condition that they had to be humanely put down.

South Antrim MLA Danny Kinahan has expressed his shock and dismay at the news. The Ulster Unionist representative said: "This is a truly shocking and disgraceful state of affairs.

"For horses and ponies to be left starving amidst the dead bodies of other animals is simply unforgivable. I am aware that the current economic climate has seen a major decrease in the market value of horses, but there is absolutely no excuse for any owner to neglect animals.

"A great deal of neglect happens on private land and I would therefore appeal to the likes of milkmen, postmen etc who have cause to visit farms or small-holdings to report any suspicions of neglect. Society needs to find a way of looking out for each other without becoming intrusive.

"In the absence of intervention from any statutory or government agency, Crosskennan Lane Animal sanctuary have stepped into the breach and done fantastic work with these horses and ponies.

"Nonetheless, they are a charity and we simply cannot leave matters to the voluntary sector. There is a real need for local Councils to be given sufficient resources," he said.

Crosskennan Lane Animal Sanctuary's Janice Watt said even though they had removed a lot of animals from the site, they had had to put some to sleep.

"Unfortunately we are expecting further fatalities due to the degree of starvation and neglect they have suffered.

"Another had to be put to sleep on Monday, she was simply too weak to stand, we could not get her to her feet," she told the BBC.

Ms Watt said there was an "equine crisis" currently happening in Northern Ireland that was also affecting the Republic of Ireland as well.

"What is happening is that the bottom has fallen out of the horse market, essentially the value of horses has dropped significantly," she said.

(BMcC)

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