photo by ellhoisa (Flickr CC)

Back in 2010 I posted about how bad economic times in Ireland were resulting in a large amount of neglected and abandoned horses in the country.

Now Spain, in the throws of economic crisis, is experiencing a similar problem. In Spain, as in Ireland, when cash was plentiful many horse-mad citizens splashed out on having their very own equine companion (or trophy as the case may be). But now that times are tough it’s old Sugar Foot who gets the boot.

Curiously, sometimes it’s not old mares that are being, quite literally, put out to pasture, but expensive pure-red Andalucians. Spain’s animal sanctuaries are struggling to help out.

The boss of Spain’s only horse sanctuary is quoted in the Guardian:

Many horses are just left to starve. Others are in stables, but the owners stop paying the bills. I’ve seen eight who were attacked by dogs just this year. Others get run over by cars or hit by trains. Seven people have died locally in traffic accidents caused by horses in the past four months.

–Concordia Márquez, CYD Santa María horse sanctuary

The horses are some of the most defenseless victims of Spain’s economic crisis and are sometimes targets of rage and frustration. One cruel practice is making the horses ‘dance’ by shooting their legs. Abandoning a horse is also not a punishable crime in Spain.

See this video report from Deutsche Welle for more: