Stop the Scourge of Unlawful Grazing

Stop the scourge cover 250We are pleased that - after a long campaign - the Control of Horses Act was successfully passed in England and became law in May 2015.

The Control of Horses Act is working, but more needs to be done- see the press release.

In recent years loose, stray, abandoned and fly-grazing horses have become an acute and expensive problem for landowners, local authorities, enforcement agencies, welfare charities and taxpayers. The lack of care the horses receive, and the actions of their owners, threaten the livelihoods of farmers and landowners, create significant horse welfare problems, deprive the public use of public spaces and risk the lives of motorists.

A coalition comprising World Horse Welfare, the Countryside Alliance, the NFU, the CLA, RSPCA, Redwings, The British Horse Society, Blue Cross and HorseWorld believed that unlawful fly-grazing had increased significantly in recent years, and on a conservative estimate at least 3,000 horses were being fly-grazed in England alone in 2014.  

We also believed that stronger laws were needed to address the problem.We were delighted that the Control of Horses Bill successfully passed its third reading in the House of Lords on March 18th 2015.

Thank you to everyone that supported our campaign for this important piece of legislation!

The coalition has produced basic guidance for private landowners and the general public on using the Control of Horses Act. You can find it on the Defra website here:

Or download it here: Guidance on using the Control of Horses Act


Find out more:

Read the joint report: Stop the Scourge: Time to address unlawful fly-grazing in England

Find out more about the new Control of Horses Act

Fly-grazing 'Hot Spots' in England - Map