Welsh authorities look to tackle illegal horse grazing

Fly grazing
Fly grazing

The Welsh Government is reviewing laws around illegal horse grazing.

“Fly grazing”, as it is known in Britain, has become a growing problem in recent years, and was discussed by agencies at an equine summit last September.

Wales’ deputy agriculture minister, Alun Davies, said the government would put in place short-term measures to reduce the problem while considering more long-term solutions.

Davies noted that most horses found “fly grazing” were of Welsh gypsy cob breeding, the market for which had fallen in recent years.

“With the economic downturn, those overseas markets have largely dried up. The UK equine market is also depressed and the once buoyant trade for these types of animals has decreased dramatically thereby creating a surplus of unwanted horses and ponies.”

He has ordered a review of the existing legal framework for tackling fly grazing, noting differences among local body bylaws.

“I will be reviewing the options to ensure that there is a straightforward, robust and consistent legal framework across Wales.

“I am also aware that the National Assembly’s Cross Party Group on Horses has reviewed the issue and made a series of recommendations to address fly grazing.”

He hoped a long-term solution would be in place next year.

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