The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is appealing to members of the public not to feed horses and donkeys without the owner’s permission.
It said that while many people are enjoying walks along boreens and village roads this summer, and will likely get the opportunity to see horses and donkeys up close, it is important not to feed them.
"While it may be well-intentioned, the feeding of bread, food scraps, fruit or vegetables to horses or donkeys may cause severe illness, choking or death. What may seem like a treat could be potentially fatal for the animals. Additionally, the horses and donkeys may be put at risk of developing laminitis (a painful swelling of the feet) or suffering colic (a condition which can be serious and even fatal)."
It is also urging people not to open farm gates, or enter fields in which animals are kept, without the owner’s permission.