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Irish Horse Welfare Trust & Fingal Co. Council working together for Horse Welfare in DUNSINK

The Irish  Horse Welfare Trust (IHWT), Ireland’s leading equine welfare charity has partnered with Fingal County Council to address the horse welfare issues in the Dunsink area of Dublin.  Together they have drawn up and started to implement a “Project Management Plan for Equines in Dunsink”.   It is the first such plan to be drawn up to try to deal with  Dublin’s Urban Horse problem in the long term and will take approximately 12 months to complete.   Beginning with a temporary feeding /watering station along and monitoring the welfare of equines on site, the plan also includes working with local horse owners and running  educational programmes.

There are approximately 60 horses on the 160 acre site at Dunsink.  “The site is a very unsuitable environment for horses” according to Sharon Newsome, spokesperson for the IHWT.  “There is limited grazing and water supplies and there are a lot of dangers for horses on the site”.  Over the coming weeks IHWT and Fingal County Council along with local horse owners will be bringing all the Equines on Dunsink together to be checked by a veterinary surgeon and be passported and micro-chipped.  Horses that are not claimed will be taken into care by the IHWT to be re-homed. Horse Sport Ireland is sponsoring the passports and Micro-chipping of all of the equines. 

Educational horse care programmes for young people with an interest in horses in the area is to commence at the end of January.  The IHWT has run similar programmes in Moyross in Limerick for a number of years which have been hugely successful.  Fingal County Council is providing a facility to run the courses from and sponsorship to cover the costs of the programmes is now being sought.

The long term objective at Dunsink is to provide an area of land with some facilities for responsible horse owners to use and where education can continue.  The exact site is yet to be decided upon but according to Ruairi O Dulaing – spokesperson for Final County Council “The council is committed to solving the horse problems in the area whilst recognising the horse culture that exists in the area”.  

“Dunsink has received huge media attention over the Christmas period including internationally, and IHWT received a high volume of phone calls and emails from distressed individuals from within Ireland and internationally regarding Ireland’s Equine Welfare Crisis.  IHWT was compelled to get directly involved in Dublin and offer their experience and help to the authorities and agencies.

Sharon Newsome explains,   “There is huge confusion over the issue with regard to abandoned horses in Ireland. In many cases horses are not actually abandoned, but put onto lands and not properly maintained.  Horses are even turned out onto mountains or commonage and are very often left neglected”.

“Equine Welfare is the priority for IHWT and that is why as an industry recognised charity we know that we can make a difference and drive change from the ground, but we do recognise it won’t be easy and that there is no quick solution.  However with everyone working together change happens much more quickly and efficiently.”

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