Unwanted horses abandoned on development sites
COMPLAINTS about neglected horses dominated the work of North Wexford SPCA after the recession hit.
The society handled more horse-related cases over the past two years than any other.
'From the start of the economic recession, horses were our number-one priority above all other animal cases,' said chairman Colin Webb. 'Up to then, we would have had a horse complaint every few months. It was simply a case of people's budgets getting tighter. We had it to a lesser extent with dogs as well,' said Colin. 'People couldn't afford to feed them or pay for livery costs and so they were abandoned.'
The SPCA chairman confirmed that the problem has levelled out in North Wexford, although a new, less widespread post-boom trend has arisen – horseowners leaving their animals on sites once earmarked for property development.
' There would have been a lot of abandonment but I think we've seen the worst of it. This year, we've only had about three horses removed to the pound.'
'At the moment, the issue we have is horses being put on land without the consent or knowledge of the owner. This includes sites that were held over for building at locations such as Woodland Estate and Hunter's Field.'
'We've even had them left on County Council land near the bypass.'
Often when SPCA officers go looking for the owners of the horses, they can't be found.