ISPCA “shocked and appalled” at high-speed sulky race on N7

By Mary Dennehy

GARDAI at Rathcoole are investigating a sulky race which took up four lanes of the N7 last weekend.

Video has emerged on social media of a race, which shows two horse and carts travelling at speed down the inbound lane of the N7 motorway near Brown’s Barn at Citywest.

Sulkyrace1

Image taken from video circulating

The video circulating was taken from a nearby overpass and also shows the two horse-and-carts flanked to the front and rear by a number of cars.

It is believed that the race took place last weekend in the early hours of the morning.

When contacted by The Echo, a Garda spokesperson said: “Gardai in Rathcoole are aware of the video being circulated on social media and enquiries are ongoing at this time.

“If any persons are aware or have information in relation to the incident, please contact your local Garda station in relation to same.”

In a statement issued today, the ISPCA (Irish Society for the Prevention and Cruelty of Animals) said it is “shocked and appalled” at the video being circulated.

According to the ISPCA, it has been calling on the Government for some time to deal with not only the public safety issue but also the “serious animal welfare concerns caused by sulky racing and training”.

“Driving horses, particularly young horses, on hard road surfaces can result in serious injuries and collisions with vehicles has resulted in the death of horses in the past”, the ISPCA statement said.

“The ISPCA believes that the Department of Agriculture should work with local authorities to identify safe, off-road areas for sulky users where the activity can be regulated appropriately.

“An Garda Siochana already have sufficient powers under the Road Traffic Act to deal with the reckless and dangerous driving seen in the video and local authorities have powers to seize any horse that is not microchipped.

“However, we recognise that it would have required significant resources to deal with the incident which featured in the video.”

Dr Andrew Kelly, ISPCA Chief Executive, said that it is time that sulkies were “taken off the road by a system of licensing and registration and the provision of a safe off-road alternative”.

Dr Kelly said: “A zero tolerance approach by An Garda Siochana and local authorities to take sulkies off public roads in required along with the provision of safe, off-road alternatives”.

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