Locals distressed at finding carcass of dead horse on ground near Dungannon school

Walkers discovered what appears to be a half buried horse while crossing ground near Drumglass High School
Walkers discovered what appears to be a half buried horse while crossing ground near Drumglass High School

A Dungannon man has hit out at the ‘irresponsible’ horse owner who left what appears to be a foal, half buried, on land awaiting development right beside a local school.

The man, who doesn’t want to be named, said he and others have come upon the carcass while out walking their dogs around three weeks ago - and to this day the animal remains are still there.

Aside from concern for the discarded animal, he said the odour of the rotting corpse could be detected from a nearby main road, and raised concerns that school children at Drumglass High may have discovered the bones.

“I would do a lot of walking through that place with dogs, and came on it,” he explained.

“Buried is the wrong word... it was half buried and the next thing foxes had started to dispose of it you know. All that remains now is a couple of legs and a rib cage.

“I just thought it would need to be highlighted - the irresponsibility of whoever owned it in the first place.

“You’re talking about 120 yards from the main road, from a school and from the housing estate in beside it there.

“For a couple of days the stench of it was unreal,” he added. “It has been there for three weeks, maybe more.”

As for who is responsible for the animal carcass, he put the blame firmly with the owner who left it lying there.

Asked if he had ever come across anything like this before on the same ground, he said: “You would have seen fox carcasses and stuff away on down through the back of it, but this is the first time there has been a animal disposed there.

“I couldn’t believe it. I thought, if your dog dies or your cat dies, you would bury it. This wasn’t buried, this was just covered over with a bit of soil and a ‘lock’ of stones.

“It didn’t look to be too big, but what age it would be I wouldn’t have a notion.

His concerns, he said, were: “First of all respect for the animal... the main thing would have been irresponsible people or whoever owns it, knew it was dead - decided then to bury it instead of taking proper action and dispose of it.

“I think there might have been questions before when they [horses] were there. Somebody told me - I didn’t see it myself - there was a sign put up for the owner to contact animal welfare and a notice left on the gate for them.

“Whether they did or not, I don’t know.”

A spokesperson for Mid Ulster Council, which oversees the area’s Environmental Health, but has no jurisdiction on private land said, if anyone has any concerns in relation to discarded animal carcasses or animal welfare, to contact them on 03000 132 132.

Animal welfare is protected by the Welfare of Animals Act 2011, which is enforced by police, DARD and also local councils.