The Daily Mail reports that thousands of horses—perhaps as many as one hundred thousand—are being abandoned in Ireland as a result of the financial crisis there. Many are brought by their owners to common grazing grounds, such as Dunsink tip near Dublin, and left to fend for themselves. Some too weak to survive have had to be euthanized by animal welfare workers.
To prevent a collapse of the Irish currency, the government has imposed stiff austerity measures that are expected to result in a ten percent reduction in disposable income for the middle class and even deeper cuts for lower income families. This, after boom years when Ireland posted the highest annual GDP in the western world. During those years, workers of all classes were financially able to accumulate more goods. And more horses.
Certainly more horses. For a people where the horse has been an integral part of family life since ancient times, certainly more horses. Some lived in the house garden, some in fenced-off building sites, some on common land. And now, many owners can neither feed nor care for them.
More details are available at Daily Mail Reporter.
December 22, 2010