Fly-grazing strategy to be discussed by police and World Horse Welfare officers at CLA event

Fly-grazing will be one of the issues tackled at an event held by the CLA at World Horse Welfare, Sn

Fly-grazing will be one of the issues tackled at an event held by the CLA at World Horse Welfare, Snetterton - Credit: World Horse Welfare

Efforts to stop illegal fly-grazing – and its potential damage to land, crops and horse welfare – will be discussed by police and rural professionals at an event next week.

The issue will be on the agenda at an equine seminar held by the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) at the World Horse Welfare (WHW) centre in Snetterton, on Wednesday.

Over a year since the Control of Horses Act came into force, there are still estimated to be more than 3,000 horses currently fly-grazed across England and Wales.

CLA East regional director Ben Underwood said while this is a reduction compared to 2014, fly-grazing continues to cause significant horse welfare problems and blights local communities.

'Fly-grazed horses can damage land, crops and fencing, restrict space for livestock, and cost money to provide for their welfare and safety,' he said. 'Thanks to the Control of Horses Act farmers and landowners can act for swift resolution by, for example, re-homing the horses to charities or privately.

'This event will give an overview of the law for landowners and how, along with local authorities and police forces, local communities can work together to enforce the Act and eradicate the problem.'

Roly Owers, World Horse Welfare's chief executive, said: 'As a coalition of welfare and rural organisations we campaigned for almost three years for tougher legislation to tackle fly-grazing which blights local communities and puts thousands of horses' lives at risk every year so it is encouraging to see positive results reported in the fourteen months since the Control of Horses Act came into force.

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'We do believe, however, that there is still more work to be done. Awareness of the Act, and the willingness of more local authorities and other landowners to use it are key to its success in tackling fly-grazing, which is just one driver of the UK's current horse crisis.'

Speakers on this and other issues at the event include WHW field officers, bailiffs, solicitors, and wildlife crime officers from Norfolk police.

The event, which runs from 10am-2pm, will also mark the launch of the CLA's new handbook on horses and the law, and will include a guided tour of the WHW's rehabilitation facilities.

To reserve a place at the seminar call the CLA East regional office on 01638 590429 or email