Call for ministerial inquiry into sport horse cruelty
12 October 2004
The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is today calling on the Minister for Agriculture, Mary Coughlan, who has responsibility for animal welfare legislation, to launch an exhaustive investigation into all aspects of the sport horse industry.
We are particularly concerned with alleged cruel methods (as reported on the Pat Kenny Radio Show yesterday) to make horses’ lower leg areas more sensitive so that when jumping, they are forced to lift their legs higher to avoid the bars. Examples given to achieve this included sticking needles in the legs, applying an irritant such as turpentine, putting ball bearings in bandages and wrapping them around the horses’ legs plus lifting the bars as the horse is jumping.
If these cruel and abusive practices are indeed being carried out by some people in the show jumping community, they would most certainly be in breach of the Protection of Animals Act, and thus liable to prosecution.
The Irish Council Against Blood Sports finds these revelations very disturbing, and we can only speculate on who in this industry knew of such awful abuse and could have cried stop in the interests of compassion towards the animals. If it is the case that there were professionals, or people in authority, who knew of such abuses and could have blown the whistle before now, we say to such people – SHAME ON YOU!