If, the real estate and debt disaster in Ireland have filled the front pages of the most important news papers around the world, another unexpected consequence of the economic recession is the abandonment of horses.
During Ireland’s boom years, indeed, thousands of people bought horses as a status symbol but since incomes have been reducing, a lot of horses are being abandoned on public land. Their upkeep, nowadays, costs around €30 and more per day, too much for people who are losing their jobs.
The Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA) and the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) estimate that around 20,000 horses are roaming abandoned in the countryside. Most of them have contracted diseases and in 2010 “49 horses had to be shot or put to sleep, more than ever before,” said Orla Aungier, manager of the DSPCA.
Two places in Dublin are becoming the symbols of this drastic situation. The first is Smithfield Horse Market situated in an old area of Dublin City and the other is the Dunsink Dump in North County Dublin.