The “horrific” video of a donkey being dragged by a car is proof that more needs to be done to educate people about animal cruelty, the DSPCA has said.
Following circulation of the video online, Gardaí seized the donkey and a further six animals and handed them over to an animal sanctuary.
“It’s horrific,” Head of Education and Media at the DSPCA Gillian Bird told Breakfast Briefing With Shane Beatty.
“You’re looking at a poor animal who is clearly in distress. It’s clearly being dragged behind the car.
“It’s not being dragged fast but it still definitely does not want to go.
“The video is quite short but it does show the animal being dragged for quite some distance, being forced to walk.
“It’s absolutely horrendous that somebody would do this.”
Gardaí are investigating the individuals in question under the Animal Welfare Act and the DSPCA provides the force with training in how the legislation can be enforced.
“The fines are there,” Ms Bird said.
“They can be anything from six months in prison up to five years in prison and or a fine of up to €250,000.
“So, the penalties are there and if someone ends up with a conviction they can be banned from keeping animals for a lifetime.
“So, the legislation is there, the penalties are there. It’s really just the difficulties of actually getting someone in front of the judge.”
Ms Bird added that social media is a “fantastic” way of raising awareness but that most people still know little about what constitutes animal cruelty.
“There is still a lack of education around the country as to what the public can do and what is right and wrong and what’s acceptable and what isn’t,” she said.
“It’s difficult to educate adults, so what we do is we try and educate the children.
“And we’re hoping the children will then educate the adults.
“Obviously, by educating [them] you are educating future generations.”