Fianna Fáil General Election Candidate in Dublin South West, Charlie O’Connor has said education around responsible horse ownership is essential in reducing the number of horses that are neglected and abused in the area.

The Local Councillor received a response from South Dublin County Council this week in relation to his concerns with the neglect and abuse of horses in parts of the county.

Cllr O’Connor said, “There are numerous yearlings, foals and horses being left unattended in our area. Sadly, volunteers and Dublin Fire Brigade are all too often forced to respond and rescue horses that are being neglected by their owner.

“Those who want to keep a horse but live in Dublin South West don’t necessarily have enough of their own space for the animal and are therefore left to fend for themselves in green public space.

“Gardaí are under pressure to respond to incidents of crime across the city and are unfortunately not resourced enough to support voluntary organisations such as My Lovely Horse Rescue to seize a horse that is being neglected or badly treated.

“Small scale horse projects established by South Dublin County Council in conjunction with the Department do help with reducing the number of horses left to roam freely but there is still huge much work to be done to increase awareness about responsible ownership.

“Of the almost 230 horses seized last year by SDCC, just 5 were reclaimed and only 11 were suitable for re-homing. It’s deeply upsetting that over 200 horses that were kept in county were essentially abandoned and had to be euthanised by authorities. The general public don’t like this happening on their doorstep.

“These are defenceless animals that require a huge amount of upkeep. It is not acceptable that they are left in appalling conditions and it cannot be let continue,” he concluded.