Pressure is mounting on Defra to combat fly-grazing, the practice of abandoning horses. New measures will become law in Wales next month and equine charities are urging Westminster to follow suit. Roly Owers of World Horse Welfare estimates that up to 7,000 horses a year are currently dumped in England and Wales, the result of over-breeding and the economic downturn.

At a Private Members’ debate last week, MP Damian Hinds pressed the Government to replicate Wales’s Control of Horses Bill, which gives local authorities the power to seize horses and rehome or euthanise them.

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However, Defra Minister George Eustice indicated that new legislation was unlikely. He said that new measures in the Anti-Social Behaviour Bill would help local authorities serve ASBOs for fly-grazing.

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