Horses in Ireland

There are more horses per head of population in Ireland than in the rest of Europe (150,000) and more are being produced all the time. Unfortunately, the Irish economy is no longer producing the money to care for these horses. In good times, horses were bought as status symbols; kept for sentimental reasons; bred because you could. Now horses are being dumped or neglected. Irish rescue centres are already full, in the summer, when usually they expect not to be. Horses are more likely to be handed over in the winter, when forage disappears and horses are expensive to keep, but the centres are already full.

Is a cull the only answer? This excellent article is sad, particularly, for the way it makes clear how much of horse keeping (not only in Ireland, of course) is down to what humans think and want, which unfortunately does not necessarily have anything to do with what the horse wants.


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