A man appeared in Castlebar district court in recent weeks and was fined €1,500 for abandoning 13 horses in a Mayo field, as reported in the Mayo news.
Padraig Walsh, Creevagh, The Neale, was prosecuted under the Animal Health and Welfare Act after he moved to Cork and abandoned his horses in a field in Mayo. The 63-year-old was renting the land in question at the time and one horse died as a result of being left to fend for itself without food or water. The courts heard that Mr. Walsh also left a carcass unburied, causing a risk to the other horses.
The accused, who works as a labourer by trade, had only recently gotten into keeping horses, something described as a “terrible idea” by defending solicitor Cathy McDarby. The courts heard that Mr. Walsh only abandoned the horses when his son became ill. Mr. Walsh was charged with a failure to supply sufficient food or water to his animals and therefore causing unnecessary suffering.
Mr. Walsh told the courts that the horses had been sold for €1,000 and provided details of the man who purchased them to the veterinary inspector. His defence, Cathy McCarthy, noted to the courts that the widower is currently on Jobseekers Allowance with little to no job prospects.
Judge Mary Devins, taking this into account, then handed down the fine of €1,500.