Fly grazing is the un-authorised grazing of horses on private or public land. Currently fly-grazing on private land is a civil matter.
As many as 3,000 horses are thought to be illegally fly-grazing across the country. (Gov.uk 26.05.15)
As the landowner you are responsible for the welfare of the animal whilst it is illegally grazed on your property.
Fly-grazed horses can damage land, crops and fencing, restrict space for livestock and cost money to provide for their welfare and safety.
If you find a horse on your land – whether you think it is an abandonment case or your land is being fly-grazed – it is important to keep a record of all your actions, any advice you seek from professionals, anything you do regarding the care of the horse, and any costs you incur.
By keeping clear records this will help to prove you have acted responsibly and made every effort to resolve the situation, and cover yourself against a future claim.
The Control of Horses Act 2015 provides an amendment to the Animals Act 1971 and allows for tighter controls on the illegal grazing of horses (fly-grazing) and abandonment.
Under the Control of Horses Act 2015:
This applies to England only.
For Wales contact the local authority which has detainment powers under the Control of Horses (Wales) Act 2014.
For Land in England Specialist Certificated Enforcement Agents (Bailiffs) with experience of horse and animal removal are able to assist you the landowner in adhering to the legislation.
England & Wales