Councillor calls for horse exclusion zones to be implemented in Cork 

Councillor calls for horse exclusion zones to be implemented in Cork 
Horses pictured loose on the North Ring Road and in several estates in Ballyvolane earlier this week. Photo Cllr Ken O'Flynn.

INDEPENDENT Cork city Councillor Ken O' Flynn has called for horse exclusion zones to be established in Cork City and County following a series of incidents of cruelty to animals. 

Such zones would also aim to combat the dangers associated with sulky racing, the councillor believes. 

"I am suggesting that both Cork City Council and Cork County Council need to liaise urgently with the Chief Superintendent of the Gardaí on this matter. 

"As I would see it, the plan should be to start off with a list of areas that have proven to be problematic for the Gardaí in terms of animal cruelty and sulky racing, and to introduce the exclusion zones in those areas first," he said. 

"If the laws are brought in properly they will be absolutely enforceable and effective. 

A two-year-old pony found in Fair Hill in October had to be put down because of the extent of the abuse it had endured. Photo: My Lovely Horse Rescue
A two-year-old pony found in Fair Hill in October had to be put down because of the extent of the abuse it had endured. Photo: My Lovely Horse Rescue

"This is all about action and people living in areas where this is a serious issue need the relevant local authority to step up now and this is I believe the best model to deal with this problem," Mr O'Flynn continued.

Earlier this week, Mr O'Flynn reported horses loose on the North Ring Road and in several estates in Ballyvolane. 

"I have encountered a lot of problems with horses around my own constituency, in particular in the Ballyvolane area. 

"The problem is that the entire animal welfare situation is absolutely appalling. 

"During the summer I witnessed a horse die because it had been neglected, not fed, not given water and tied up for days. 

"It’s an ongoing problem in the city. 

"I do believe that we’re going to have to have a blanket ban on horses in terms of where they can be," he told The Echo

Mr O'Flynn says loose horses on Cork's northside have wreaked havoc, damaging cars and destroying people's gardens. 

"We’re a nation of animal lovers, but we to ensure that they’re looked after properly. 

"A busy city, the North Ring Road, housing estates in the city etc is no place for an animal as large as a horse to be kept," he continued. 

The Echo has reported on a number of cases of horse neglect in recent months. 

In November, Kelly Mellerick, who runs My Lovely Horse Rescue, voiced her concerns about the elevated levels of animal cruelty in Cork. 

"Something has to be done. 

Horses pictured loose on the North Ring Road and in several estates in Ballyvolane earlier this week. Photo Cllr Ken O'Flynn.
Horses pictured loose on the North Ring Road and in several estates in Ballyvolane earlier this week. Photo Cllr Ken O'Flynn.

"The levels of neglect are a lot worse," she said.

Ms Mellerick said what is happening is horses and ponies are being indiscriminately bred and unwanted foals are being sold off to children with no concern for what happens to them.

Councillor Ken O'Flynn's calls to introduce horse exclusion zones in Cork is a model which looks set to be established in Kilkenny after elevated cases of horse neglect. 

Up to 20 horse-free streets could be introduced if new by-laws pass. 

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