Cork politicians have raised concerns about the treatment of horses and ponies in the city in recent months.
Independent councillor Ken O’Flynn was speaking following the death of a pony on Blarney Road, whose body has since been removed by the appropriate authorities.
Cllr Flynn said that it is “frightfully upsetting” to see people mistreat these animals and that it has become a regular occurrence in recent months.
It’s very upsetting to see this, what has gone wrong with society when this is allowed to happen with no consequence.
"The treatment of horses and ponies by some in our city is totally unacceptable regardless of culture or any other excuses, this is just simply animal cruelty at its worst and must not be tolerated,” he said.
He said that he would have in the past received a call about a horse being tied to a pole or being mistreated every three months on average, but that it “seems to be a weekly occurrence now at this stage”.
“I really don’t know what’s going on. It’s frightfully upsetting,” he said.
Sinn Féin TD Thomas Gould, who raised the issue of horse welfare and horses being kept on land right around the periphery of the city and in the city at a northside community safety forum meeting on Tuesday, said he has been in contact with Cork City Council, An Garda Síochána, the Department of Agriculture and My Lovely Horse on the issue.
He described the photograph of the dead pony as “disgraceful”.
It’s shocking that an animal was found on a road like that.
“All ponies and horses should be microchipped and registered so the question today is was that pony microchipped and properly registered?
“And if not, then it would go to the heart of the whole problem that there’s a lack of enforcement,” he said.
He said that this is an ongoing issue and that the gardaí, the Department of Agriculture and the Council should look at carrying out an operation whereby horses not being treated properly are seized, a similar operation to that which was carried out in recent years where “over one hundred horses were collected across the city that weren’t being looked after”.
Cork City Council has been contacted for comment.