Two horses have been shot dead in an horrific attack which has shocked animal welfare officers.
The ISPCA is appealing for information after a grim discovery was made in Glenanaar, Ardpatrick, Killmallock, on the Cork / Limerick county border.
Inspector Lisa O’Donovan was called to the scene where she found a dead horse lying on the side of the road and another mare running loose in a frantic state.
A third mare was discovered in a nearby field, unable to stand and bleeding profusely from a wound on her side. The pregnant animal had also aborted the foal that she was carrying.
“This is an horrendous situation,” said Insp O’Donovan.
“It was horrific to find the pregnant mare in such distress and fighting for life.”
A Veterinary Surgeon was immediately summoned but the injured horse died. The uninjured but traumatised horse was secured and escorted away from the scene.
An examination revealed that both dead animals had been shot, both suffering a single puncture wound to their right flank.
“We can now confirm that she was six months pregnant,” Insp O’Donovan added.
“It is unimaginable to consider what she had gone through in this remote setting. Thankfully the mare that we removed is safe in our care and getting the best possible attention.”
Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney has condemned the attack.
"I'm disgusted, we'll do everything possible to take tough action. Anybody with info. please come forward," he tweeted.
The ISPCA has called on anyone with information to contact staff on 1890 515 515 or Killmallock Garda Station.
the charity's chief inspector Conor Dowling added: “At this point in time we do not know how the horses came to be in this position. None are identifiable as they were not microchipped.
“Whatever the circumstances, these animals endured the most terrible suffering. We appeal to anyone with any information regarding this incident to contact the ISPCA.”