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Man punished for failing to prevent dogs from eating sow

Seamus Duffy given lifetime ban from keeping animals over 2015 incident

A Co Kildare man has been given a lifetime ban from keeping animals after he failed to prevent his sow from almost being eaten alive by two large dogs. File photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

A Co Kildare man has been given a lifetime ban from keeping animals after he failed to prevent his sow from almost being eaten alive by two large dogs.

The ISPCA said the incident, which took place in November 2015, was so bad that the sow had to be put down at the site, following advice from a vet.

Seamus Duffy, with an address at Clonkeen, Carbury, pleaded guilty at Naas District Court this week to charges of animal cruelty.

He told the court his behaviour was not deliberate and that he had ongoing medical issues.

The court was told Mr Duffy admitted ownership of the two dogs and the sow.

Mr Duffy had confirmed that the animals were allowed to roam freely on his property, which allowed the sow to be attacked by the dogs.

The incident had been investigated by the Garda, the ISPCA, the Department of Agriculture and the Kildare Dog Warden Service.

At a hearing on Wednesday, Judge Desmond Zaidan acknowledged Mr Duffy’s guilty plea, but said the circumstances of the case were very disturbing.

He said there was no safe pen provided for the sow, and Mr Duffy had failed to safeguard the welfare of his animals.

Noting Mr Duffy’s health issues, the judge said if the accused could not care for himself, then he could not care for his animals.

The judge issued Mr Duffy with a lifetime ban from keeping any animals and a fine of €2,500 plus veterinary costs, to be paid within 12 months.

Speaking after the judgment, ISPCA inspector Mary Claire Casement said her organisation was “pleased with the sentence imposed in this case”.

Callouts

The ISPCA said it responded to a increased number of callouts in 2016.

ISPCA chief inspector Conor Dowling said the society answered more than 16,000 calls last year - up about 1,000 on 2015.

The society seized or accepted about 620 dogs, 230 cats, 81 horses and donkeys and 60 other animals in 2016.

Mr Dowling said less than one per cent of callouts related to animals on farms.

The ISPCA’s National Animal Cruelty Helpline is available at 1890-515515

“Anyone owning an animal has a legal responsibility to provide for its welfare and the ISPCA hopes that this case will send out a clear message that animal neglect is not acceptable and will not be tolerated,” Ms Casement said.

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