The shocking discovery of a dead horse which was ill-treated before it died and then dumped in Emo forest has prompted Councillor Tom Mulhall to call for a toughening up of horse ownership laws.
The carcass, which was discovered by walkers in the Willowtonian Avenue area of Emo forest on Saturday morning, October 18, is the third such gruesome find to have been made in the forest this year alone. The animal was in a decomposing state, with the eyes missing from the skull and a stench emanating from the body. Cllr Mulhall was quickly on the scene after being telephoned with the grisly news, and observed what he believes was the aftermath of apparent animal cruelty.
“I looked at it and saw a leather around its head and rope around its neck, it seemed to have been ill-treated before it died,” he said. “It was a Saturday morning when there were hundreds of walkers about and the last thing they wanted to see was a dead animal.”
Cllr Mulhall believes the horse was left there since the day before, Friday, and was in a rank condition.
“The eyes were gone out of the head, and the weather was not cold so there was a smell coming from it,” he said, going on to say that there was no other option but to have the horse removed by Mr John Styles.
The Emo-based councillor revealed this was the third time this year that dead horses have been dumped in the forest, and there was also a situation last January where a horse carcass was found in a drain in the Grove Bog area.
Cllr Mulhall is now calling for a tightening up of the laws on horse ownership. Among his suggestions are for identity tags similar to the ones used for cattle to be mandatory for horses and only landowners should be allowed to keep the animals.
“There’s identification for cattle and sheep and there should be the same for horses. Also, people shouldn’t own horses unless they have the land to keep them,” he said.
He also highlighted the ongoing problem with illegal rubbish dumping in the area, revealing that rubbish was recently set on fire in the forest.