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'Distressing' Cork man banned from keeping equines after neglected ponies found in 'severe pain'

"There was a complete failure and lack of action to address these issues which, in turn led to the prolonged and unnecessary suffering of both ponies"

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Bumble made a full recovery and was later rehomed

Bumble made a full recovery and was later rehomed

Bumble made a full recovery and was later rehomed

A Cork man has banned from keeping equines for five years after two neglected ponies were found on his property.

Patrick Walsh, with an address at No 1 Youghal Road, Killeagh, Co Cork, was also ordered to pay €3,000 to the animal charity after he pleaded guilty to two counts under section 12 of the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 (AHWA) at Youghal District Court, on October 15.

The case related to a visit made by ISPCA Inspector Alice Lacey to a location in Reanaboola, Clashmore, Co Waterford on Tuesday, June 2, 2020.

The inspector was responding to a report about two ponies in a field and when she arrived it was immediately obvious to her that one of the ponies, a chestnut male which was lying down, was in distress.

“He was overweight and his hooves were horrifically overgrown,” the ISPCA stated.

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One of the ponies, a chestnut male which was lying down, was in distress.

One of the ponies, a chestnut male which was lying down, was in distress.

One of the ponies, a chestnut male which was lying down, was in distress.

“He struggled to get to his feet and, when he eventually managed to stand up, he was very unsteady and unable to bear weight on his left front leg. The second pony, a grey dun female, also had very overgrown hooves and was very overweight.”

The charity added that both ponies were immediately removed to the ISPCA Equine Rescue Centre in Mallow for an urgent veterinary assessment.

“Upon examination the female pony, later called Bumble, was estimated to be about 18 years of age,” the ISPCA added.

“She was found by the vet to be morbidly obese and suffering with laminitis. All four hooves were overgrown and it was evident that hoof care had been severely neglected. The pony was also suffering from sweet itch, an inflammatory condition of the skin.

“The male chestnut pony was estimated to be eight-years-old. He was extremely lame and obese. On closer inspection, an open wound which was infested with maggots was found inside the cavity of the hoof.”

According to the ISPCA, X-rays of the front two limbs confirmed that there was a severe rotation of the pedal bone in the hoof indicating that the pony had been suffering from laminitis over a prolonged period of time. He was euthanised to prevent further suffering on veterinary advice.

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However, following urgent farrier care and a strict diet in ISPCA care, Bumble made a full recovery and was later rehomed.

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Upon examination the female pony, later called Bumble, was estimated to be about 18 years of age. She was found by the vet to be morbidly obese and suffering with laminitis.

Upon examination the female pony, later called Bumble, was estimated to be about 18 years of age. She was found by the vet to be morbidly obese and suffering with laminitis.

Upon examination the female pony, later called Bumble, was estimated to be about 18 years of age. She was found by the vet to be morbidly obese and suffering with laminitis.

ISPCA Inspector Alice Lacey said both two ponies had suffered needlessly.

“It was really distressing to see the level of neglect they would have endured over a prolonged period of time,” she said.

“They would have been in severe pain with every step they took, which could have totally been prevented, with proper animal husbandry and care. Owners have a legal and moral obligation to provide for the animals in their care.

“In this case, there was a complete failure and lack of action to address these issues which, in turn led to the prolonged and unnecessary suffering of both ponies. Turning a blind eye to such issues will simply not be tolerated.”

Judge Brian O’Shea was quoted as saying the most aggravating factor in the case was the significant neglect of these two animals.

“It's outrageous in fact,” he said. “The accused bought these animals, knew very little and simply neglected them. I am making a disqualification for five years from owning any equines, and a cost of €3,000 to be paid to the ISPCA’s Equine Rescue in Mallow."

He adjourned that matter until June 3, 2022 indicating that, if the accused failed to pay the costs by that time, he would convict, fine €1,000 and impose a two month custodial sentence.

Ms Lacey added that regular hoof trimming by a qualified farrier is recommended every six to eight weeks which would also identify any hoof problems and correct any issues along with good dietary management.

“If owners are unable to look after their animals responsibly, then they shouldn’t have them, it’s that simple,” she said.

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