AMs must now ensure equine welfare remains high up on the political agenda

Monday 27 January 2014

RSPCA Cymru is delighted that the Control of Horses (Wales) Bill has received Royal Assent today.

The new law will equip local authorities in Wales with additional powers to tackle fly-grazing and abandonment problems which can have severe consequences for animal welfare and community safety.

RSPCA Cymru firmly believes this is a positive step forward but does not provide all the answers to Wales’ equine crisis, the scale of which was highlighted in the Equine Welfare Indicators Report launched in November 2013.

Around 3,000 animals across the nation are still thought to be at risk with issues of traceability, identification, irresponsible ownership, tethering and the regulation of sanctuaries all needing continued action from Wales’ decision-makers.

In response to an RSPCA Cymru campaign last year, the Welsh public sent over 1,600 letters to their Assembly Members urging them to vote for the Bill but also play their role in ensuring equine issues remain on the political agenda in Wales.

RSPCA national director for Wales and lead on equine issues, Steve Carter said: “We have been very pleased to work closely with the Welsh Government and Assembly Members during this Bill’s legislative journey and are delighted that it has finally become law.

“Moving forward, it is hoped local authorities across Wales will be in a position to utilise their enhanced powers to tackle fly-grazing and abandonment, but with resources remaining an issue for many councils across Wales we would encourage the Welsh Government to consider this when assessing the success of the new legislation.

“As the battle to tackle Wales’ horse crisis continues, it is essential equine welfare remains high up the Welsh Government’s agenda”.