ISSUES OF ANIMAL CRUELTY and the abandonment of horses in county Carlow is ' getting worse', according to a county council official.
Tim Butler, the Housing Officer with Carlow Town Council says the council picked up over 30 horses in 2012.
The problem came to light again this week after a pony starved to death in a field in the centre of Carlow town and was then left there to rot.
Jane Kelly, a volunteer with the local SPCA, started to receive numerous calls from residents reporting a pony in a horrendous condition in a field in Willow Park last week.
When she arrived the pony had been down for four days and was in the last stages of death. Jane rang the vet but 20 minutes before he arrived the animal died.
'That animal needlessly had a horrible death slap bang in the middle of Carlow town. Now the body has just been left there,' she said.
'Until the day I die I will never forget that animals eyes. They were almost human like, it is just horrendous that it was left in a field to die like that.' Jane says 2012 was a horrendous year for animal cruelty and Tim Butler agreed saying 'it has been a dreadful year. 'We picked up over 30 horses left wandering on the roads and the conditions they were in were dreadful, they were starved and hugely mistreated.
He noted that the area of The Laurels and Willow Park, where this latest pony was discovered, is one of the worst affected places.
'The problem is absolutely getting worse,' he said. 'A large number of horses are being left in green areas of private estates. They are a danger to traffic and children and could cause a serious crash. 'People buy houses and don't expect this. 'New regulations are in place now. All horses have to be licensed. If they are impounded and they are not licensed they won't be given back and the owner has to prove that they have sufficient land to keep horses.
'Enforcing this will be quite hard but we are adamant in Carlow that we are going to make a huge effort to regulate it.'