Landowners welcome new law to deal with fly-grazed horses

Landowners have welcomed a new law passed today (18 March) which gives them greater powers to deal with horses left illegally on their land.

The CLA, which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses said the Control of Horses Bill will help to deter and swiftly resolve cases of horses left illegally on private land. The Bill will clamp down on the practice known as fly-grazing to ensure the law in England adequately protects both landowners and the welfare of these animals.

CLA Deputy President Ross Murray said: “We are delighted that farmers and landowners will at last be able to deal with fly-grazed horses in a timely, humane and cost-effective manner without damage to land or at risk of liability for horses left illegally on their land.

“In its original form, the Bill would have put our members at a disadvantage by not allowing them the same controls as local authorities so we are pleased the Government has now responded to our concerns by extending powers in the Bill to private landowners.”

The CLA has worked closely with several other rural organisations and animal welfare charities for some time to ensure the Control of Horses Bill made it through Parliament. ‘Stop the scourge – time to address unlawful fly-grazing in England’, a landmark report launched to highlight the increasing problem of fly-grazing was published last September.

The CLA President subsequently met with Defra’s Lord de Mauley on the issue and gave oral evidence to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee inquiry into the causes and impacts of fly-grazing on landowners, animal welfare charities, local authorities and the horses themselves.

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