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British lawmakers urged to act over equine passports, fly grazing

Fly-grazing horses in Gravesend, England. Photo: World Horse Welfare

Fly-grazing horses in Gravesend, England. Photo: World Horse Welfare

The British RSPCA wants lawmakers to overhaul the struggling horse passport system and ban dodgy grazing practices in a bid to curb what it says is a growing equine crisis.

The charity says the number of horse abandonments in England and Wales is soaring and rescue home are increasingly scarce.

The RSPCA and other major horse charities are calling on the government in Westminster to take urgent action.

Complaints investigated by RSPCA inspectors have risen 16-fold since 2012 and another charity that helps horses, Redwings, saw a 75 per cent increase in the number of calls about abandoned horses in the first quarter of 2013.

In 2012, the RSPCA took in 760 horses – the highest number ever. It said it was over-capacity.

“The Government needs to respond to the horse crisis and deal with the numbers of horses being imported, the numbers being abandoned and the lack of control in the passport system,” it said.

The charity called on Westminster lawmakers to introduce legislation targeting fly grazing – abandoning horses on private land without permission – to make it easier for enforcement agencies and landowners to take action against horses that are abandoned.

It called for an overhaul of the “failing” horse passport system that is intended to link each horse with its owner. The RSPCA said 70 per cent of horses it received have no identified owner.

Horsetalk.co.nz

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