A horse has been torched to death in broad daylight in a shocking Dublin incident on the side of a railway line.

Animal rights campaigners have been horrified by the attack on the horse in the suburb of Tallaght.

Police are now investigating Thursday’s incident when the horse was doused in gasoline and set on fire in broad daylight.

The Irish Independent reports that the horse was attacked in a green area close to the Luas' red railway line. The horse subsequently died from the horrific injuries.

The Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals described it as ‘one of the most horrific incidents ever witnessed.’

Five other horses in the area have now been moved to safer locations.

DSPCA chief Gillian Bird told the paper: “We are extremely concerned by the sinister development.

“The horrendous death that this horse endured is unimaginable. Whilst we encounter many horrific cruelty and neglect cases with regard to abandoned horses, we have never seen such levels of deliberate and depraved cruelty.

“This awful incident only reinforces the plight of abandoned horses that are roaming across the Dublin landscape.

“We are asking all the local authorities to take immediate steps to put a stop to this barbaric behavior with the removal of abandoned horses to safekeeping.”

Police believe the attack was carried out by a number of young people and have appealed for witnesses.

Bird added: “We got a report from the guards (police) and we went out with them this morning to investigate and we found the burnt carcass of a horse. It occurred last night.

“This incident is the tip of the iceberg in relation to the kinds of animal cruelty that have been happening. There’s a mix of neglect and deliberate cruelty at the moment.”

“We’re asking people to be diligent. If you have a pet, please look after it.”