Horse found dead in field in Hebron following big freeze

Dozens of horses were left outside during severe weather with no access to shelter, food or water

Mary Cody


Mary Cody


Horse found dead in field in Hebron following big freeze

The emaciated remains were found on Sunday evening

The remains of a dead horse were discovered in a field in the Hebron area of the city yesterday evening.

Several members of the public raised concerns during the recent freeze as animals were seen left out in the sub zero conditions.

Cllr Andrew McGuinness reported a number of locations where horses were left without shelter or food in the freezing conditions to the gardaí, the local authority and other relevant agencies. 

The dead horse was discovered yesterday evening by a passer-by who informed Councillor Andrew McGuinness this morning. Cllr McGuinness had been monitoring and reporting various cases of what he believed to be animal neglect during the cold snap.

"I was disgusted to discover this today but I was not surprised. I had been highlighting this cruelty and reporting horses that I believed were in danger since the heavy snow began. I had received huge numbers of complaints from people who were genuinely worried about the animals welfare.

"There were dozens of horses left out in the severe weather with no shelter, many with no cover at all, some were tied up and the only food and water I saw was that left out by local residents out of concern.

"I found horses in two fields on the Hebron Road, more at Dalys Hill, one in a field on the Kells Road, and many more complaints from areas I did not get to myself. I kept regular check on each area, reported them to Kilkenny County Council, the KSPCA and the Guards.

"As I monitored them some were removed and taken to safety following contact from the councils liaison officer who did a fantastic job in locating and getting in touch with the owners. Unfortunately not every horse owner took responsibility for their animals and many were left out in appalling conditions and we see the results of that today with one horse left dead in a field that I had reported in time for the owners to take action.

"Its heartbreaking to see this happen and I believe the owners have a lot to answer for. If somebody does not have the space or capability to care for an animal in a responsible way then they should not have an animal in the first place.

"This issue needs to be dealt with once and for all. I am aware that Kilkenny County Council is drafting an animal welfare charter and a plan that will see a multi agency approach with monthly spontaneous checks on horses and strict enforcement. This needs to be brought forward as a matter of urgency.

Kilkenny gardaí are investigating the incident.