Ireland: Horse-and-cart race spotted on M3

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Shocking footage appearing to show a horse being savagely whipped by a cart racer on a motorway has been condemned by welfare campaigners. In the clip, widely shared on social media, three riders are showing racing along Ireland’s M3 motorway between Dublin and Meath in Ireland.

The footage, shot from a car following closely behind the trio of carts, has prompted widespread condemnation, with witnesses being urged to contact the Gardai, or Irish police.

The racers have also been accused by Simon Harris, Ireland’s Minister of Justice, of endangering the lives of motorists using the busy road.

Animal welfare group Animal Law Ireland shared the video on on Twitter, commenting: “3 horse harness race (sulky race) on the M3 this morning on the @meathcoco @Fingalcoco border.

“1 horse being whipped aggressively. If you saw this race, contact Gardaí.”

Minister for Justice Simon Harris responded to the footage online calling it “horrific abuse” of animals.

He tweeted: “I have seen online video of an appalling incident of 3 horse harness race/sulky race on the M3 this morning.

“Horrific abuse of animals and a major danger to motorists.

“If anyone has any information on this, please report it to Gardai to ensure this can be fully pursued.”

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Animal Law Ireland replied to Minister Harris’ tweet, writing: “Thank you for calling out this video.

“These races are happening on the M3 on a regular basis. There are no cameras on the stretch of road used.

“Races used to be common on the N7, but Gardaí carried out regular patrols to deter.

“These races happen in many locations in [Ireland].”

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Responding to Animal Law Ireland’s post, Breda Duggan said: “This is truly disturbing animal cruelty. It’s absolutely sickening to watch the horse being beaten so severely.

“Did you ring the Gardai while you were at it?

“Does anyone have CCTV or dashcam footage showing the humans faces so they can be tracked down & jailed. Truly abhorrent.”

Glenn Polley added: “Absolutely disgusted watching this. Those poor horses. Animal welfare laws are a joke in this country.

“No excuse – prosecution to the FULLEST extent needed to make an example and a robust overhaul of sentencing and prosecution is needed for these offences.”

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