New legislation targeting those who deliberately fly graze their horses in Wales will come as a great relief for a number of our members who have been affected, says CLA Director Ben Underwood.
Introduced by Alun Davies, Minister for Natural Resources and Food this week, the Control of Horses (Wales) Bill will provide all Welsh local authorities with identical powers to seize, impound, return to the owner, and, as a last resort, euthanize horses by humane means when they are on land without lawful consent.
CLA issued a Guidance Note called 'Dealing with Uninvited Horses' on fly grazing earlier this year to help landowners understand where they stand legally and what practical steps are necessary to prevent it.
"We have seen a growing number of reports of horses being deliberately left to graze on land without the permission of the landowner which puts them in a very difficult position, especially when left there for extended periods of time," explains Mr Underwood.
"Our Guidance Note suggests a list of preventive measures to help protect your land from fly grazing aimed to deter the unscrupulous horse owner and warns of what actions are necessary to make and what bodies need informing immediately so that checks for stolen horses can be made as soon as possible.
Mr Underwood continues: "From contacting your insurance company to requesting passports to getting valuations done, there is a range of issues that surround fly grazing that landowners ought to be familiar with.
"At last we have a clear direction on this issue which will help Local Authorities and landowners deal with the problem in a more effective and timely way."