Horse-tether fears spark a call to action
CAMPAIGNERS are calling for action to tackle the problem of abandoned and fly-grazing horses in Swansea.
In recent weeks, the Evening Post has reported on the plight of horses living on green spaces in the city and county, some of whom appear to be in a poor condition.
The stories have prompted a huge number of letters, emails and phone calls to the paper from concerned members of the public.
Julie White, from the Maritime Quarter, is one of those leading the calls for a zero tolerance to the problem — and for the creation of a sanctuary for the animals.
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She said: "Wales has an unenviable reputation for the widespread fly-grazing of horses and ponies.
"For those who are left witnessing the aftermath of this, some of the images are the stuff of nightmares.
"And yet, with a little willingness for action rather than just talk, these horses could be moved to a place of safety.
"There is no shortage of land suitable for an emergency horse sanctuary to be created and certainly no shortage of volunteers who would be willing to help out with fencing and rescue work.
"A sanctuary would ensure shelter, nutrition and water supplies, freedom to roam and to group.
"The opportunity to put zero tolerance for fly-grazing into action in all Swansea wards exists and we must start now to lead by example for the rest of Wales."
While most horse owners are responsible, the actions of a small number have raised serious animal welfare concerns in areas including Penlan, Blaenymaes and Bonymaen.
Earlier this month the RSPCA Wales said Swansea was a particular blackspot for the problem.
However, the issue is not just confined to Swansea — last autumn large numbers of straying horses forced the closure of a coastal road in Llanelli, while just two weeks ago a horse was found dying in a field in Trostre.
One of the main problems facing the authorities in trying to tackle the problem is tracing the owners.
There is no specific offence of tethering a horse, providing the owner provides for its needs and does not tether it in a way so as to cause it suffering.