Horses being illegally grazed on land without the landowner’s permission — fly-grazing — is a major problem across the UK. Concerns surround the welfare of the horses being fly-grazed as it is not unusual for them to find their way on to roads, causing a potential danger to both themselves and other road users. With no way to contact their owners, issues surrounding their health and well-being are a constant headache for welfare charities and the police.
While there has been extensive debate about the problem, with ASBOs being used as one of the ways to punish those found guilty, charities have warned that a cull of fly-gazed horses may be inevitable. Wales brought in legislation in January giving local authorities the power to seize or impound horses abandoned on public or private land without permission. In England a private members bill — The Control of Horses Bill — has passed its second reading and will now continue to committee stage, where it will be examined in detail by a panel of MPs.