A garda investigation is under way after a young foal was found stabbed to death at a horse sanctuary in Co Longford.

The alarm was raised after the discovery was made at the Hungry Horse Outside (HHO) Stables on the N4 on Wednesday night.

The foal, despite not belonging to the HHO, was being housed at one of its yards at the time.

The animal's remains have since been taken to Athlone for further examination and to determine if it was sedated before the incident.

Forensic tests have been carried out at the scene.

Hilary Robinson of the HHO described the episode as a "new low".

She appealed to anyone who may have witnessed anything untoward in and around the Minard House area on the N4 on Wednesday night and during the early hours of Thursday morning to contact gardaí.