Neglected ponies face destruction

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Neglected ponies found wandering in the Ballyarnett area may have to be put down, the USPCA has confirmed.

Two very badly neglected ponies and a foal have been taken into care after being found in the area last week.

David Wilson of the USPCA told the ‘Journal’ yesterday that there were “no guarantees” the animals would survive due to their poor condition.

“The ponies are in very bad condition - one of the animals has a very bad gash on its stomach area - but the foal is ok. It’s a possibility at the moment that the ponies may have to be put down,” he added.

PSNI Constable Patrick Buckley said police in Derry would be cracking down on those who neglect animals.

“It’s just not acceptable that those animals have been wandering around there with no food. Sadly, it looks on this occasion that we may have got there a little too late.”

He said the hunt was on for the owners of the badly treated animals. “I’m appealing to members of the public to come forward with any information about the owners or to report where they observe any animals running loose.”

Mr Wilson said the problem with neglected horses and ponies was becoming increasingly acute in the area. He said a key reason for situation was that number of cheap horses on sale throughout the country. “You can go to Smithfield Market in Dublin now and buy a horse for as little as 8 euro to ride around a housing estate like a bike until you become bored with it.”

He added that neglected horses allowed to wander free were also a serious road safety issue.

A spokesperson for Derry City Council said a number of stray animals had been found in the Ballyarnett areas in recent weeks. The spokesperson said the local authority would continue to work with the relevant authorities on the issue.