Hens found dumped at roadside

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A Dromore man who rescued two apparently abandoned hens from the roadside beside Gill Hall, in Dromore, says those responsible deserve to be prosecuted.

Alarmed by what he claimed to be a trend for dumping carcases and live animals along the outskirts of the Gill Hall estate, he condemned the culprits as irresponsible and cruel.

The local resident, who did not want to be named, is himself caring for the two live birds at home, where he buried a third hen he found with its neck broken.

“I was on my way to work before 7.30am on Easter Tuesday when I noticed the hens at the side of the road,” he said.

“One had feathers plucked from its neck, which was broken,” he said.

As someone who keeps poultry himself, having searched the area and found no more live animals, he took home the two birds, fed and housed them, in the hope they would recover.

“The hens were brown and seem to be young,” he said. “One seems to have lost a lot of feathers on its wings and has problems with its eyelids.

“People who dump dead animals should be asking themselves ‘what if a child stumbles across them’?

“If an animal dies of natural causes it doesn’t take much to dig a hole in a garden or field to bury it in.”

The concerned local said he found nearby a tied-off feed bag with an unidentifiable carcase inside.

“There’s no way to know if it was alive or dead when it was dumped by the cruel person responsible,” he said.

“We’ve seen the same sort of thing happen in the past; I rescued a young sheepdog that was abandoned alive and another time a dead calf, with no ear tag, was dumped in a ditch.”

Of the hens he rescued, he added: “Whoever dumped these birds should be ashamed of themselves and should be prosecuted for animal cruelty.

“It doesn’t take much money to feed them and it only takes a bit of time to care for them.

“There are animal shelters too which take in hens to rehome them, and some farmers might have taken them; there is no need for people to dump them around the countryside.”