‘There were horse skulls lying in the field’

A dead horse lies in the field at Millbank Road. INNT 13-402-RM
A dead horse lies in the field at Millbank Road. INNT 13-402-RM

ANIMAL welfare volunteers who rescued five emaciated horses from a field at Millbank Road last week have described the scene they encountered as “horrifying.”

A spokesperson for Crosskennan Lane Animal Sanctuary revealed how they were called to the location just off the main Antrim Road between Sandyknowes and Templepatrick by the PSNI last Monday evening (March 19) following a report of alleged animal cruelty.

“When the volunteers arrived at the large boggy field, a vet was already on the scene. Unfortunately one pony had to be put to sleep immediately and another was found to be already dead. Five remaining ponies were in very poor condition.

“There were horse skulls lying in the field and most horrifying were the tiny bones and hooves of very young foals in the mud,” she told the Times.

Volunteers from the Antrim-based animal welfare charity managed to catch three of the horses that evening, but had to return the following day to complete the rescue of the two remaining animals.

The spokesperson said that the horses were in an “appalling condition” and stressed that anyone who has responsibility for an animal must provide it with a suitable living environment and diet, and protect it from unnecessary suffering.

She confirmed that all five rescued horses have been taken to an undisclosed location where they have undergone veterinary checks and have a clean standing area, food and water.

Following the rescue operation, police arrested a 43-year-old man in the Newtownabbey area on Tuesday (March 20) on suspicion of animal cruelty and other offences.

Read the full story in this week’s Times...