Public urged not to feed horses and donkeys without owner’s permission

Galway Daily news Ballinasloe Horse Fair cancelled again this year

People have been urged not to feed horses and donkeys without the owner’s permission as it could lead to severe illness or death.

The Department of Agriculture said that many people are enjoying walks along boreens and village roads this summer and will likely get the opportunity to see horses and donkeys up close.

But the Department has urged people not to feed these animals without the owner’s permission.

In a statement they said that while it may be well-intentioned, feeding bread, food scraps, fruit or vegetables to horses or donkeys may cause illness or choking.

“What may seem like a treat could be potentially fatal for the animals,” the Department said.

“Additionally, the horses and donkeys may be put at risk of developing laminitis (a painful swelling of the feet) or suffering colic (a condition which can be serious and even fatal).

“The public are asked to be mindful that feeding grass cuttings or garden waste to equines can also be dangerous.

“Chemicals applied to lawns may be harmful if eaten, while plants mixed with grass cuttings may be poisonous to horses and donkeys if ingested.”