New law to give farmers power against fly-grazing

CLA East Regional Director Ben Underwood ANL-150320-121527001
CLA East Regional Director Ben Underwood ANL-150320-121527001
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The creation of a new law that will give Lincolnshire farmers and landowners greater powers to deal with horses left illegally on their land has been welcomed by the CLA.

The safe passage of the Control of Horses Bill through Parliament on Wednesday means it is set to receive Royal Assent within the next fortnight and become law before the General Election in May.

The CLA, which represents thousands of landowners, farmers and rural businesses across the eastern region, said it will help to deter, and swiftly resolve, cases of horses left illegally on private land – a practice known as fly-grazing.

It will also mean the rights of landowners in England, as well as the welfare of these 
animals, will now be adequ-ately protected.

Fly-grazed horses threaten the livelihood of farmers, damage land, divert local 
authority resources, and risk the safety of motorists when they escape on to roads. Landowners currently have to wait 14 days before they can act, but the Bill cuts this to just four.

CLA east regional director Ben Underwood said: “The CLA has campaigned for a long time on this issue and, after working closely with several other rural organisations and animal welfare charities, we’re delighted the Control of Horses Bill will become law.

“The result of these efforts is that farmers and landowners in Lincolnshire will at last be able to deal with fly-grazed horses in a timely, humane and cost-effective manner without damage to land or at risk of liability for horses left illegally on their land.

“In its original form, the Bill would have put private landowners at a disadvantage by not allowing them the same controls as Local Authorities. We are pleased the Government has responded to concerns by extending powers to them 
also.”