CLA South East has welcomed the decision by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee to join the Government in backing a Private Member’s Bill to introduce new fly-grazing controls
This will enable quicker removal of horses left to graze on private land without permission. The CLA, which represents landowners, farmers, and rural businesses, says the Control of Horses Bill sponsored by Julian Sturdy MP would cut the time before landowners can act from 14 days to four.
CLA Director South East Robin Edwards said: “We welcome the influential Committee’s decision to back this Bill and move it one big step closer to becoming law. This is an important breakthrough for the CLA’s ongoing work to tackle the growing problem of fly grazing.
“Fly-grazing of horses is a serious problem in the south east of England which creates a range of challenges in terms of the horse’s welfare, damage to land, and a safety risk for motorists when horses escape onto roads. It is vital that landowners have the power to act quickly and in the best interest of the welfare of these animals.”
The CLA has campaigned for the Government to grant similar powers in England to those already in place in Wales. CLA President Henry Robinson met with Defra Minister Lord de Mauley on the issue and gave oral evidence to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee inquiry into the causes and impacts of fly-grazing on 3 September.
The Control of Horses Bill will now be debated by MPs at Committee Stage in the coming weeks and the CLA will be working with Julian Sturdy MP on amendments to ensure the Bill achieves its objective.