Two ponies with badly overgrown hooves have been seized by the Irish SPCA.
ISPCA Inspector Lisa O ‘Donovan inspected the pair in the Dunmanway region of County Cork after a call to the welfare charity on Thursday.
O’Donovan said the two mares, both with very long hooves, were in a field.
The hooves of the grey mare were so long they were curling up towards her legs. Whilst still mobile, she was clearly in great discomfort when moving.
“This is a horrendous form of cruelty,” O’Donovan said.
“There are months and months of growth on these hooves and these poor ponies have endured a lot of suffering. There is no excusing the condition of these animals.”
Both ponies were seized under the Animal Health and Welfare Act and taken to the ISPCA Equine Rescue Centre in Mallow, County Cork.
Both were given immediate treatment to make them more comfortable.
“This will be a very slow process,” O’Donovan said, “and the hooves will need continuous farrier work over a period of time.
“It is not possibly to trim them back in one session as this could cause serious damage to the ponies’ tendons.
“However, we are very relieved to be able to help these two young ladies along, and are hopeful that they will make a full recovery in time.”
Neither of the ponies were microchipped, so an owner has yet to be identified. Inquiries are continuing.