The CHAIRPERSON of the Limerick Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has condemned the treatment of foxes which were found disposed of in a “despicable manner” at the side of the road in County Limerick.
Geraldine Nardonne said she was “appalled” at the cruelty displayed in the disposal of the animals, which she described as “another sad episode in what is becoming an all too familiar pattern when it comes to the treatment of animals, whether domestic or wild”.
Gardai in Askeaton are carrying out an investigation into the discovery of up to 20 dead foxes on the bank of the Maigue river on the Bruff road outside Croom last week.
“We are enquiring into the circumstances of how these foxes came to be discarded under the bridge. Issues such as health and safety, and cruelty to animals are being investigated,” said a spokesperson for Askeaton garda station.
The dead foxes, some of which had the fur removed from their tails, were clearly visible from the roadside of the Maigue Bridge.
The dead animals appear to have been carelessly dumped from the road and at least one fox carcass could be seen tangled and hanging in the trees next to the bank of the river.
“This incident highlights once again the lengths some people are prepared to go to mistreat animals. Not only is it an explicit display of cruelty to the welfare and safe treatment of animals, but the cavalier dumping of these foxes on the side of the road, close to rivers and waterways presents a threat to public health, and is an affront to all those people in our community who genuinely care for animals,” said Ms Nardonne.
Tom Landers of the Croom council office was notified of the discovery by a person who was walking in the area on Wednesday, February 6. “I went out when the report came in. When I was told there was a fox hanging from the trees, I found it hard to believe - it was only when I saw it for myself,” said Mr Landers.
The discovery came days after two residents in County Laois found a fox tied to a gate by blue twine with a stick lodged in its mouth on February 2. Further inspection showed that the fox had been shot and its tail was skinned and removed.
According to antiques and materials expert, George Stacpoole of Adare, the fur from 20 foxes’ tails would not be of great monetary value.
“I wouldn’t think there is a huge market in that. I imagine there is probably somebody who would buy foxes tails - it used to be a 1920s sort of thing. Trade is funny - unless it has some aphrodisiac qualities - you never know,” he said.
Ms Nardonne has appealed to people who may have information about who is carrying out these acts of cruelty to contact the authorities - either the gardai or Limerick County Council “who can act on this information in an effort to charge people and bring them before the courts.
“We must try and do all we can to stop this type of animal cruelty which is happening far too regularly in our community”, she said. The LSPCA is in contact with both the gardai and the local environmental offices in Limerick city and county councils to offer assistance and shelter where needed in cases of cruelty. However, Ms Nardonne said a greater effort is needed from the public “to try and stamp out this terrible treatment of animals”.