While admittedly I have been a bit remiss keeping up with the Equine Reader (work commitments, social commitments and life’s typical travails grab my attention away from writing all too often these days), the great thing about maintaining a blog even occasionally is that people whom you’ve never met can share in your passion from afar. And can respond to and provide feedback about the very welfare issues that you are seeking to raise awareness of, when they have firsthand knowledge about the cause.
And so it was with my post regarding the Irish horses of Dunsink. When last I blogged, there were reports of herds of horses roaming almost ferally in a small plot outside Dublin, some apparently left there by owners ill-equipped to meet their needs once the axe of the recession fell. Within a few days of my posting, a PR rep from the Irish Horse Welfare Trust (IHWT) alerted me to an impending round-up of horses from the Dunsink area, that would facilitate their receiving veterinary care, identification of owners, and if necessary, adoption out to new forever homes.
In the past two days, I have received two more notifications, that through the efforts of the Fingal County Council and the IHWT, these round-ups did take place and were successful, with a total of 70 animals able to be documented, microchipped, and matched with either their original owners or adoptive care facilities. According to these sources, the original press reports on the Dunsink issue exaggerated the numbers of truly abandoned horses, but there was a need for better education of Dunsink horse owners regarding feeding and care of the animals they had turned out onto the area. Luckily there are now community courses in the works that will be offered to these owners to make sure they have the knowledge necessary to provide proper upkeep for their animals.
I appreciate those who read my little blog and provided these updates, because now I can report back on the encouraging outcome of what seemed like a potentially devastating situation. It’s rare that we get happy endings to these types of stories, and hopefully this is only the first step in positive change for the horses of Dunsink.
Markets like the one in Smithfield means anyone can easily buy equine for as cheap at €8, irrespective of a person's lack of resources and knowledge of equine care.
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