Plans to give local authorities the power to fine riders who do not pick up their horses’ poo on the roads could be pushed through parliament as soon as Brexit plans are finalised.
The amendment to the Horses Act would mean councils could hand out on-the-spot fines of £40 to any rider who did not remove droppings within an hour of their deposit. And while it is unlikely there will be enough council staff to police rural roads, CCTV or dashcam footage submitted by members of the public will be used to issue fines retrospectively.
Fines will double if not paid within two weeks, and persistent offenders could be banned from certain roads.
British Equestrian Society spokesman Fi Ceese told H&H the society is to do all it can to lobby parliament to prevent the change being brought in.
“Apart from anything else, there’s the safety issue of riders having to get off, shovel the droppings up and then re-mount,” she said. “Plus there are of course the environmental concerns – does the government not realise how big the poo bags would need to be? Clearing up after a 17hh Irish draught is no easy task.”
A number of enterprising companies have started advertising products that could help riders whose horses cannot wait until they get home. Advanced Proactive Recycling Initiatives Ltd has brought out biodegradable poo bags, which attach to the saddle and can be put straight on to the garden without debagging.
The car hire firm says clearing up horse mess on roads means extra costs to authorities
The annual manure output from 14 horses is needed to power 100% of the electricity needed for the top international
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Gardening equipment manufacturer Friends of Our Landscape is currently seeking a patent for a lightweight collapsible shovel with telescopic handle, which can be worn in a high-vis quiver over the rider’s shoulder.
The Local Councils Association told H&H it is to request funding from the government’s department of agriculture to install larger versions of dog poo bins on country roads so riders do not have to carry the droppings home.
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