Found Horses

Tethering is not specifically illegal in itself however, we don't recommend tethering as a viable way to keep a horse.

Under the Animal Welfare Act, owners have a legal duty of care to meet the five welfare needs of their horses at all times. If the tethering results in the horse's basic needs not being met then this could be a breach of the animal welfare act.

If a horse needs to be tethered in order to have access to grazing, it must only be for short periods of time. For the remainder of the day, the horse should have access to shelter, and a space to run free and interact freely with other horses.

Any animal found on a public highway should be reported to the police. If you feel there’s an immediate danger to road users call 999, otherwise, call the non-emergency line on 101.

You can report cruelty or an animal in distress to the RSPCA.

Most horse abandonment and fly-grazing cases are a civil matter and would be up to the landowner to resolve. The council does not have any statutory obligations to provide an emergency response, and we have no specialist equipment, expertise or resources to deal with loose horses.

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For more information on what to do if you find an abandoned or fly grazing horse, please click on this Blue Cross website link.

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