Equines seek shelter among cattle in a field directly above the costal path to the Carrickarede rope bridge. The field, visible from the Whitepark Road has no dedicated shelter and is barren exposing livestock to the harsh winter elements. I took a couple of dedicated horse enthusiasts out to inspect conditions and get briefed by expert opinion.
Kerry Anne and Roisin noted the condition of the field itself, completely barren of grazing and over its entirety nowhere for animals to lay down and rest and no natural or built shelters at all. It’s not a good idea to keep horses alongside cattle for the mutual benefits of both sets of animals. While the animals had access to feeder it seemed apparent that they had gone hungry and that was beginning to evidence itself on one of the horses. The biggest issue was undoubtedly the conditions of the field and lack of shelter.
A number of constituents have been in contact and last week the environmental health department of Causeway Coast & Glens Council was notified of the conditions. That raises further problems as they are obliged to notify the keeper of the animals. They In turn have time to rectify the conditions. Unfortunately sometimes this only leads to the animals being moved on with no improvement in their welfare.
We will continue to assess the conditions while Council carries out their statutory requirements under animal welfare Legislation.