The Welsh Government’s consultation period on the problem of horse abandonment and fly grazing – the term for leaving horses to graze on private land without permission – has closed.
The government had sought public input on the problem. Submissions closed at the end of last month.
Measures proposed by the country’s RSPCA, RSPCA Cymru, include:
- The introduction of legislation targeting fly grazing as no existing laws adequately address the problem;
- The resurrection of the National Equine Database as the one central database for horse passports, and enuring owners update their details at change of ownership to better link horses to owners so enforcement agencies and landowners can take action where needed;
- Development of guidance and contingency plans for those affected by fly grazing, as well as statutory guidance and conditions for local authorities to aid enforcement backed up by adequate resources.
- Extension of the various local acts that deal with horses to cover the whole of Wales to aid more consistent enforcement.
- The encouragement of responsible breeding through guidance and the facts on the unprofitability of the lower end of the horse market.
RSPCA Cymru said it had now taken in so many horses that space was running out. It said it was already 600 per cent over capacity, with more cases needing its help daily.
A further 3500 horses in Wales were at risk of not being cared for properly.
Claire Lawson, head of external affairs with RSPCA Cymru said: “We are facing an animal welfare crisis in Wales.”
The issue of fly grazing and abandoned horses needed to be addressed urgently, she said.