H&H readers are being urged to ask their MP to take part in a debate about fly grazing at Westminster next Tuesday (26 November).

Fly grazing — where horses are put on land without permission and left to fend for themselves — has become the “scourge of our rural areas”, according to World Horse Welfare chief executive, Roly Owers.

MPs are expected to use the debate to call for tougher laws to deal with fly grazing — like those being fast-tracked through the Welsh Government. To ask your MP to take part in the debate, visit http://bit.ly/Um6rKc

Current laws in England do not allow the authorities to seize fly grazing horses on the spot and it requires a lengthy process to resolve the situation. But in Wales, legislation should be in place by mid-January to give local authorities the power to seize abandoned animals on the spot. If they are not claimed within seven days, they can be euthanased.

“Westminster should introduce similar laws or the problem will simply continue to move across the border and many hundreds of horses will suffer,” said World Horse Welfare’s Roly Owers.

David Bowles of the RSPCA added: “If Westminster does not join Wales in bringing in tougher laws, they will sleepwalk into a worsening horse crisis in England.”

Charities estimate 7,000 horses are at risk this winter.

The debate has been secured by the Conservative MP for East Hampshire, Damian Hinds. Fly grazing has become a significant problem in the county, with charities having to rescue nearly 50 horses from a field near Alton in September.