Charity calls for tethering unattended animals to be outlawed after pony found with severe injuries put down

Charity calls for tethering unattended animals to be outlawed after pony found with severe injuries put down

Lady Jayne at the charity's farm after receiving treatment from the vet. Picture: MylovelyhorserescueCork

My Lovely Horse Rescue is calling for the act of tethering an unattended animal to be outlawed.

It comes following a recent incident which saw volunteers with My Lovely Horse Rescue (MLHR) assist a pony that was found tethered in a field in Cobh and in a distressed state.

A volunteer with the Cork organisation, Kelly Mellerick, said that they have had a lot of call-outs as a result of tethering.

“We’ve had terrible situations that we have been called out to, most recently was Lady Jayne which was a few weeks back."

The pony was tethered in a 20-acre field and was so badly bounded, that the rope had cut as far as the bone in her legs. By the time volunteers got to Lady Jayne, she had no grass left and was left in the muck with no access to food or water.

“As a result of her distress, she suffered severe internal injuries also,” added Ms Mellerick.

The horse was brought to the Rescue where she was given a comfortable place to sleep and was tended to by a vet and volunteers. Despite best efforts, Lady Jayne’s injuries were too severe and she had to be put to sleep. At the time, MLHR had said that they felt the horse would be alive if she had not been tethered.

Ms Mellerick said that tethering goes against the five freedoms of animal welfare which deal with freedom from hunger and thirst, freedom from discomfort, pain or injury, freedom to express normal behaviour and freedom from fear and distress.

“In our example of Lady Jane, she was denied every single one of those. Every single one of them.” 

If tethering was to be made an offence, horse owners would have to have their horse on land that is suitable and with the correct and appropriate fencing, she said. In addition, Ms Mellick said that the owners of the animals should be fined under the Animal Welfare Act.

“A fining to start and if it’s a repeat offender, they start to look at prosecution under the Welfare Act.

“Initially, begin with fining people and notify them that this is no longer acceptable, it is an archaic system and it’s not suitable,” she added.

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