Ponies recover after farm rescue

Published Tuesday, 29 November 2011
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Sixteen ponies are on the road to recovery after being rescued from squalid conditions at a farm in Co Antrim.

A total of 63 horses, donkeys and ponies were found by police at the Lisnevenagh Road site last Tuesday, living amongst nine animal carcasses.

They were starving to death in dire conditions with no clean bedding, no water and nowhere for them to move around - four have since had to be put down.

However the surviving animals have now been taken to a number of sanctuaries across Northern Ireland where they are receiving care.

At the Crosskennan Lane Animal Sanctuary in Antrim, 16 ponies have been getting used to their new surroundings.

Founder of the charity Lyn Friel says the animals had been "stomach deep" in their own waste when they were discovered.

"There's not one thing wrong with these ponies, there's everything," she told UTV.

"They have mud fever, they have brain scald, they are emaciated and the worst of it is that most of them don't know anything about proper food.

"I don't know where they have been or where they have come from originally but they have no idea of proper eating.

"Some of their temperatures are sitting at 103. They are really sick animals."

A vet from the Redwings Sanctuary in England has been flown over to help.

Nicola Berryman will be assessing the ponies in the coming days and nursing them back to health.

She said: "This is one of the worst cases that Redwings has ever seen, it's pretty severe but hopefully they can come out of it.

"Their general condition is pretty poor; they do have numerous issues behind them. We haven't managed to assess all of them so at the moment we're just nursing them and trying to get them back to health.

"We will assess them on an individual basis and go from there with any medical conditions that arise."

Police said they are determined to catch those responsible for what they have described as "horrendous cruelty".

"Every officer who attended has been affected by what they saw," said Sgt Alison Liddle.

"This has made us determined to pursue the persons responsible and make sure they are found amenable for their despicable cruelty in a court of law."

Anyone with information has been asked to come forward.

© UTV News
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7 Comments
Gulliver in Newtownards wrote (1,024 days ago):
Sadly Billy, Northern Ireland is the capital of all European countries when it comes to turning out it's unwanted animals, greyhounds, worse still for it's puppy farms and as you've seen, the cruelty meted out to equines, just left to die. And this is not the only hideaway. When it comes to cruelty to humans there is sufficient legislation in place to deal with it; some would promote capital punishment for the most henous of crimes. Well. Here we have a henous crime. Animals barely alive standing waist deep in excrement and dead bodies. No water, no food, no room, no escape. Cruelty to over 60 animals. And you don't want the owner to go to prison? I will never understand certain thinking that in some ways animals are lesser beings and therefore not worthy of the law's protection and sanctuary. Ignorant, barbaric, sheer cruelty. This country's legislators needs to get their act in order. Stop wasting time and money over a pet dog that may or may not be dangerous in their view and get prosecuting clear cases of animal cruelty and get on with it now. I hope it is realised that Ireland's reputation when it comes to animal husbandry is absolutely rock bottom in Europe and beyond. What with greyhounds being sent to China to be skinned alive and 60 odd horses in just one case in NI being left to die, you won't be surprised that I am incandescant with anger that Ireland appears to show no compassion or care for animals that are bred to "serve a purpose". Shame on us. This is our fault. Come on Stormont, get it together....there's more farms like these yet to be found.
Billy in Belfast wrote (1,037 days ago):
Whilst it is not my intention to offend anybody, it is good to see animal lovers comment on this Horrendous Cruelty Case. But at the same time we cannot forget the Dogs, Cats and other Pets and Animals that are needlessly suffering because of this Recession. For all we know this person may of fell onto Economic Hardship where the Animals Suffered. It is Truly Horrendous that instead of giving these Beautiful Animals up this Person should now face a Custodial Sentence and Banned For Life from keeping Animals for making these Animals Suffer.
john in ahoghill wrote (1,037 days ago):
totaly sickening!!! these people should not be allowed to keep animals again,and i hope they are prosecuted
Patricia in Bangor wrote (1,037 days ago):
How on earth were so many animals kept in such atrocious conditions without being detected sooner? Surely a neighbour or vet or DARD should have been involved before now! Poor animals - I hope they make a full recovery and learn that there are people who are willing to give them warmth, food, water and TLC - that is all they ask in life. I hope the monsters who have neglected these poor creatures are caught and get what they deserve - it should by rights be kept in the same conditions as these poor animals were but I would settle for a custodial sentence, a very large fine AND banned for life from ever keeping any animal again.
john Watt in Antrim wrote (1,037 days ago):
My wife and I could barely watch the coverage on the UTV News tonight about these starving horses and ponies. How could anyone let animals starve to death. The people who allowed this to happen need to be severely dealt with. Poor children, old people not allowed to dwell in their home without being broken into and harmed and poor animals starved to death - HOW SAD
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