A still from the video (image: My Lovely Horse Rescue/Twitter)

Gardai continue to investigate shocking animal cruelty incident in Edenderry

Tullamore Gardai are continuing to investigate a shocking incident of animal cruelty in Edenderry in which a donkey was tied to a moving car by a rope and pulled along a grass verge adjacent to the Carrick link road in the town.

Details of the distressing incident, which has caused widespread shock locally and among animals rights activists across the country, emerged when the My Lovely Horse Rescue posted a video online showing a donkey attached to a moving car by a rope which appears to be around its head or neck.

In the video posted online, an individual can be heard appealing to the driver multiple times to stop the vehicle. Numerous reports were made to local gardai in the wake of the shocking video, and it has now been confirmed by local Gardai that the donkey at the centre of the video, along with six other animals, have been taken into care.

A statement from the Garda national press office confirmed that An Garda Síochána "is aware of footage in circulation involving an animal in Edenderry, Co. Offaly" which is currently being investigated under the Animal Health and Welfare Act.

"The animal has been checked over by Gardaí and is being recovered with their assistance. An Garda Síochána takes all matters of animal welfare and the criminality linked to it very seriously. We ask that any incident is reported to a local Garda Station where a complaint will be logged and fully investigated.

A subsequent update from gardaí confirmed the seizure of a number of other animals "with the help of Hungry Horse Outside and Donkey Sanctuary."

In total, seven animals were seized as part of an operation in Co Offaly.

Gardai are continuing to appeal for witnesses to this animal cruelty incident to make themselves known by contacting Tullamore Garda Station on 057 9327600, and have asked those with concerns about the safety of a person or an animal to contact the emergency numbers 999 or 112.

Among the many groups and organisations to condemn the shocking incident in Edenderry was the ISPCA, which described it as "shocking and deeply distressing" and called on the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine to introduce "tougher penalties and increased funding" for enforcement of animal welfare laws to enable the active prosecution of such incidents.

"The ISPCA inspectorate will liaise with our Garda colleagues and we will investigate this as a matter of urgency and encourage anyone with further information to contact the Gardai or ourselves" they said.

The ISPCA reiterated that their role is to "prevent and prosecute animal cruelty and protect animals who deserve to be treated with love and kindness" and added that this should be "one of the most basic elements of our society and it is something we must actively promote while ensuring we are well placed to take action when anyone is cruel to an animal.”

The video posted online by My Lovely Horse Rescue can be viewed below: