'Theft of electric fences could have caused serious accidents'

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Stock photo.

Sinead Kelleher

Farmers say serious accidents could have been caused following the theft of a number of electric fences last week in the Tarbert area of Co Kerry that left livestock and horses free to roam onto public roads.

At least two electric fences, along with the batteries powering them, were stolen from properties at Kilnaughtin, Tarbert, in a bizzare crime thought to have been the work of an opportunist(s) travelling through the area last week.

One of the electric fences taken enclosed a field that was home to two horses; with the other fence enclosing a herd of cattle.

Both crimes left the animals unsecured and free to wander onto the public road. Luckily, the animals stayed put in their pastures.

But it could have been much worse if the horses or cattle had got out, affected locals - who have reported the matter to gardaí - say.

"We don't know who these people are taking our electric fences, but they would want to cop onto themselves," one concerned local told The Kerryman this week after the matter came to light in the locale.

They were forced to get new fencing and a power unit to secure at least one of the properties.

And while they say the monetary cost of the battery unit and the fencing is one thing, the cost of what could have happened would have been inestimably higher.

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"The horses in particular could have got out onto the road and caused a very serious accident. Thank God they didn't leave the field, but it could have been much worse if someone had been injured or killed.

"And who would have been liable then? Only the landowners affected by these people, whoever they are."


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