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Carcasses may have to be burned

SUCH is the difficulty in accessing the location where 17 horses, cattle and calves were found dumped at Baltard Cliffs in Doonbeg last week, the animals may have to be burned.

Kilrush Gardai are still investigating the discovery of the dead animals, news of which was broken in last week’s Clare Champion.

“Enquiries are ongoing in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture, Clare County Council, The Irish Horse Welfare Trust and the ISPCA. Door to door enquiries have also been carried out,” Kilrush Gardai said on Wednesday, adding that they would welcome any further information from members of the public.

Meanwhile, Clare ISPCA Officer Frankie Coote described the location of the dead animals as “perilous” adding that it may prove impossible to remove them. He did not discount suggestions that they may have to be burned where they lie.

“It would be one of the options open to them I’d say. I personally feel that you couldn’t get a digger, a machine or a winch down there. But the environment section of the council are looking into it,” Mr Coote said of Clare County Council’s disposal options.

“It’s (burning option) more common than you think. In the Burren if a cow died, you cannot get it out with a tractor. You have no choice but to burn it. It’s not something that’s common but we have come across it before. If you were talking about a sheep you could cut it up and bring it out in four or five sections. But you can’t bring 17 big animals out in a case like this,” the ISPCA Officer explained.

“I passed my findings on to the Department of Agriculture who were shocked to hear that there was farm animals as well as horses dumped,” he added.

In a statement on the issue, which was the focus of national attention last week, Clare County Council said that they were “consulting with the Department of Agriculture regarding all options.”

However the statement added that the council was examining all removal options.

“The animals have not yet been removed. The council is trying to determine if it can get a track machine down to where they are located, which is not easily accessible. The HSE has advised the council that the animals are not going to cause a public nuisance in the meantime due to their remote location,” the council stated.

Agriculture minister Simon Coveney said that he was “extremely concerned” at hearing news of the multiple animal dumping in west Clare.

“Any person found to be involved in what would appear to be a criminal act will be prosecuted,” Minister Coveney said.

In an updated statement on Wednesday the ministers department said that “the matter is still the subject of an ongoing investigation involving the Gardai, the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine, and Clare County Council.”

About Peter O'Connell

West Clare native Peter O'Connell has worked for The Clare Champion for 12 years and covers everything from sport, especially GAA, news, features and has been even known to branch into the fashion scene on occasion.

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