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66 emaciated horses discovered at Antrim farm

Wicklow charity Irish Horse Welfare Trust (IHWT) joined forces with USPCA and other welfare organizations to remove, treat and re-home most part of the 66 emaciated horses discovered at a farm in Mallusk, Co. Antrim.

“This is a clear example of the level of neglect suffered by horses in Ireland and indeed the lack of adequate welfare legislation in the North,” explains Jane Bruce, IHWT Welfare Officer for Northern Ireland, and also working with the Donkey Sanctuary in Co. Armagh and Co. Down.

“The horses were in appalling conditions. They were discovered in pure filth and excrement, surviving on minimal forage with no management or care. Many of the horses showed signs of ringworm, others had runny noses and eyes, lungworm was tested as present while others were clearly lame.”

The horses consisted of mares and foals, as well as unhandled youngsters. Several carcasses were discovered in outlying barns while other animals, deemed to be in an extreme state of neglect, were euthanized by vets.

According to the IHWT, legislation governing animal welfare in Northern Ireland is sorely outdated and does not prevent adequate coverage to act fully to prevent this type of suffering from taking place. Currently the legislation only allows for action to be taken when animals are deemed as ‘suffering’ and not in the preventative stages. In the North, the IHWT is working alongside relevant bodies to encourage this legislation to be changed.

The Trust is also actively seeking homes for horses once they have cleared the veterinary care stage.

To find out more, contact IHWT at (0404) 45720 by email or visit

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