Outrage and impotence: animal rights group rails against the limits of the law

Yet another horrendous story of cruel neglect in the Algarve has seen animal rights campaigners take to social media in outrage.

This time it was the case of a horrendously poorly cared for mare covered in sores, unable to get up from the ground.

Discovered by “a walker” in Salir, in the borough of Loulé, the poor animal’s plight was quickly communicated to authorities, including Beja-based equine rescue group Their Voice.

But the reality facing animal champions was just too far gone.

The debilitated mare went into shock even after the administering of pain relief medication, and in the end euthanasia was the only option.

The worst of this story, says Their Voice in a heartbreaking post over social media – accompanied by photos that are simply too horrible to reproduce – is that the mare had a severely distressed foal which “remains with the owners” – the very people under whose watch his mother became so weak and ill that she had to be put to sleep.

As Their Voice explains: “We were not given the authorisation to take him. We are outraged – but by law there is nothing we can do”.

Thus the pressure to extend animal protection laws beyond the limits of ‘domestic animals’.

In the meantime, Their Voice poses the awful question regarding animal neglect and suffering in this country: “Does it ever end?”

Tabloid Correio da Manhã ended its report on the miserable event which took place on Saturday with the words: “Because she was a working animal, not a pet, there will be no criminal charges”.

The GNR however is understood to have fined the owner, possibly for the costs of the animal’s burial which went ahead on the land where she died.

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