139 abandoned horses counted by Galway based charity

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Figure 1: Volunteers briefing before conducting the census

Galway based charity Forgotten Horses Ireland CHY20409 counted 139 horses during its recent annual census of abandoned horses on a commonage of 2,400 acres in Galway County, an increase from 127 counted in 2012. The exact number of abandoned horses on this commonage may be higher due to the poor weather conditions on the day of the census. The population composition was much the same as in 2012 with foals making up approximately 17% of the population.

Overall, the conditions of the abandoned horses were satisfactory, reflecting the efforts of the volunteer team to feed and care for the animals throughout the long winter of 2012/2013. All welfare concerns have been reported to Galway County Council and the Department of Agriculture.

However, the body of a yearling that was dead for about a week was discovered. As the horse was not known to volunteers, the charity suspects that the animal was recently abandoned in poor condition.

Speaking about the results of the 2013 census, Rozmina Kachchhi, Chairperson of Forgotten Horses Ireland said ‘In the winter of 2011/2012, 22 horses were found dead, mainly due to malnutrition. By contrast, only three horses have died since the charity began working on the commonage in March 2012; two from gunshot wounds and one from unknown causes’.

‘This transformation in the numbers of abandoned horses perishing on this large commonage is due to the constant monitoring of the area by our volunteers,  the removal of horses in serious distress and feeding the animals at the most risk’, she stated. Noting that the winter of 2012/2013 was very long, she further added that ‘Forgotten Horses Ireland has rescued a total of 28 horses with serious health issues, all of whom would have perished if left on the commonage to fend for themselves’.

The census was conducted by the volunteers who braved the severe weather and poor visibility conditions.  Thanking the volunteers for their efforts, founder of the charity Eileen Naughton commented that ‘Forgotten Horses Ireland is run on a solely voluntary basis. I would like thank our volunteers for their dedication both today and since the charity began over a year ago’. ‘The continued positive improvements to the conditions of these abandoned horses are only possible through the efforts of our volunteers and this is reflected in the reduction of the number of deaths on this commonage’ she noted.

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Figure 2: Volunteers braved difficult conditions


The annual census provides the charity with key information to plan the removal as many animals as possible for rehoming and rehabilitation during the summer months in order to reduce the number of deaths in winter.

For further information or to make a donation, please visit www.forgottenhorses.com or the Forgotten Horses Ireland Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/forgottenhorsesireland



For additional information, please contact:

Forgotten Horses Ireland, forgottenhorses@yahoo.ie