‘Council should use loose horses law’

Common Land off Woldgate next to the Travelers Camp. Horses & Ponies been taken away. NBFP PA1604-5j

Common Land off Woldgate next to the Travelers Camp. Horses & Ponies been taken away. NBFP PA1604-5j

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A horse welfare charity has criticised the East Riding of Yorkshire Council for dragging its feet when it comes to dealing with loose horses.

World Horse Welfare, who campaigned for a change in the law concerning grazing horses, says the East Riding Council needs to properly utilise new legislation that came into effect last year.

It comes after the Free Press revealed police were called at least 92 times to deal with loose horses at Albert Chaplin fields over the last three years.

A spokesman for the charity said: “It is imperative that local authorities make use of the act, as so many already are, to show the horse owners involved that it is not a practice which can be continued.

“Whilst owners are able to fly-graze their horses with no consequences, the problem will never go away and it is a culture which needs to be changed.

The Control of Horses Act 2015 was designed to make it easier for local authorities to remove and detain horses from public and private land.

Under the previous Animals Act 1971 an abandoned horse could only be disposed of after 14 days through sale at market or public auction.

The new law means fly-grazing horse owners will have four days to claim their animals - or they will be disposed of by private sale, gifting or re-homing.

Four horses and ponies were removed from Albert Chaplin Fields in January by the RSPCA and Humberside Police, but a number of the animals have remained in the fields and more incidents have allegedly taken place since .

A spokesman for the East Riding Council added: “The council is currently in the process of producing a local policy, which would serve as a framework for how the council would handle incidents of fly-grazing in the East Riding and how it would use any enforcement powers outlined in the act.”