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The Control of Horses (Wales) Act 2014

This act was introduced in JWales to make provisions for and inconnection with the taking of action in relation to horses which are in Public Places without lawful permission or on any other land without consent.

The intorduction of the act was in response to the increasing problems of flygrazing  and other issues of horses being on land  which no permission had been given.  Unfortunately this Act is Non-Satutory which means that although Local Authorities have been given all the powers they do not have to use them. No other Organisation can use the powers contained within the Act.

We have been told that out of the 22 Local Auithorities only 11 have used such powers. However there is no provision financially to support this Act and there is no provision to institute criminal proceedings.   Go to our Equine Law page to find out more.

So have the horses been help or is it all a lost cause.  H.A.C.K. has taken three such seized cases over the last few months.

England and Wales are on the verge of an approaching crisis in Equine welfare,  it is thought that 6000+ horses and ponies are at risk. With all horse and pony sanctuaries and horse welfare charities full and fit to burst they are struggling to help these animals,  sadly this may result in the fact that the local authorities will have to be faced with a very difficult decision of  euthanasia, and whilst nobody wants to see animals put to sleep this may be the only option if the situation does not improve.

Why has this Happened


There are many reasons why the country has found itself in this sad situation. from irresponsible owners to abandonment, over breeding, fly grazing and the economic downturn.  (And of course those who just do not care) Many owners find that they can no-longer afford to keep their horses and then cannot find a buyer, this must be devastating to some and they find themselves in a very unenviable situation. 


Whist many continue to breed and yet there is not a market for such, how many of those little colts do you see at the horse auctions every Autumn, all going for slaughter at a knock down price of 2 for £10, it doesn't even cover the diesel costs of getting them there, let alone the fee for passport and microchip, so why breed them.


Fly grazing has become a tremendous problem, with herds of mares and stallions depositerd on other peoples land and the law is rediculous that the land owner  now becomes responsible for them? These horse are usually left to their own devices, and are not wormed, fed or watered and many are known to roam the streets.


We have even seen dead horses deposited and left on the side of the highway leaving the local authorities to dispose of the carcase.


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What Can We Do To Help This Situation

Of course the common sense approach would be to stop breeding them but then this isn't the whole answer either because good horses will always be required and a good horse will always have a job to do, but   that said , even good horses fall by the wayside. So what do we do?


If under the worse case senario, suppose all these unwanted horses are euthanised, all 6000 horses culled, would that be an end to the problem? 


 Well actually NO, because in a couple of years time there would be more unwanted, abandoned horses and ponies and more little colts going through the auctions and this is where  a good breeding plan comes into its own. 


For our native breeds it is not just the colts that need to be removed but also half of the mares /fillies too as one stallion could cover the whole herd again and of course it would also stop horses being inter-bred causing weakness in the line. These little colts and fillies could possible go on to make good childrens ponies as we have proved in the past.


For the potential of  breeding a good horse, one needs a good stallion - a stallion that is licensed and certified free from disease and graded for good conformation and type of breed and of course the same for the mare. To breed a bad horse costs as much as a good horse. Should licensing  of studs and breeding establishments be implemented, Stallions where at one time licensed but this requirement had been removed


So should breeding controls and practises be put in place? We should all  surley think now that something has to be done and breed horses and ponies in a responsible way.




When H.A.C.K. received a telephone call informing us about a foal’s carcass that was found near Hope Quarry an area that had been turned into a lake, we decided to send Jane along  to investigate. What she found saddened her greatly for there submerged in the water was the body of a new born foal with ts umbilical cord still attached, obviously it had been drowned.  It was a little colt foal.


We have all read and heard about a great many cases like this.....Why breed them. There are far too many...Responsible breeding, there is no other way.

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Lenny found this latest news a
little hair raising.....doesn’t seem long since he was heading that way
himself, but lucky for Lenny he had HACK to save him and now he is in good

The System of traceability!!!

Figures now reveal that over 8,500 horses/ponies went through British abattoirs last year  and many were destined for the dinner plate, but no figures as yet have been put forward about the export of live horses, those that travel abroad to slaughter houses. It is well know that these countries prefer their meat fresh. So it would be interesting to know approx figures of equines that are destined for the meat trade.

Unfortunately there is a massive surplus of horses in Britain, there is a multitude of reasons why we are in this sad situation and sanctuaries all over the country are full
and it is becoming a huge dilemma.  Where  are they all going to go?  There are several welfare issue cases in our area alone and some of the people involved have more than just one horse, they have quite a few, so this will not be easy task for those charities involved.

It is the law now to have a passport for your horse, and all foals born now have to be micro chipped as well but it is not for the horse and/or protection of, a passport isn’t even a document of ownership, which is ridiculous, it is to safe guard human consumption of horsemeat, but it doesn’t seem to be working and figures estimate now that 7000 passports were forgeries, this is such a serious problem. Where will your horse end up even if you have ticked the little box “not for slaughter”

Defra class the horse as a companion animal and not agricultural, so why issue it with a passport, if classed as agricultural any breeders of horsemeat, would be the same as beef farmers and health and welfare issues would be of a high standard because of the paper trail, but then to produce a horse for meat would cost considerably more and nobody would be able to afford to buy it even if they wanted to.

Who was it who said on the TV recently “a whole load of scabby horses went to the slaughter houses”....well...think again!!!

The end of 2013 and winter 2014 has show a sharp increase in abandonment and  the increased  problems of fly-grazing, the equine crisis continues to dominate the work of the equine welfare sector

New Legislation - Control of Horses (Wales) Act 2014 -(England) 2015
The Welsh Ass. Government have passed horse legislation on the increasing problematic issue of "fly grazing" This legislation will give Local Authorities the power to remove abandoned horses from landowners and/or public places, owners if k...nown will then be given the oppertunity to recover their horses at a suitable fee, alternatively this legislation enpowers the local authorities to dispose of the horse through sale, donation or destruction after 7 days notification and a no payment claim.

 It is hoped that destruction is always the last restort, but when you consider that the horse market is oversaturated and that many of Wales' horse sanctuaries are full, it will be very hard to unload a large number of horses onto that market, especially when many are in such poor health.

Having produced such a legislation will in all likelihood cause a large number of horses to be destroyed in the short term.

 Here at H.A.C.K. we are constantly overwhelmed with requests to help large numbers of horses..There is a lot going on behind scences that we cannot share with you for one reason or another but you can be sure that we are working very hard towards better welfare for the Horse. It is a very sad situation

Here is a video from The British Horse Society - interviewing Prof. Knottenbelt about Responsible Breeding