Welsh minister hints at legislation to tackle stray horses
A WELSH Government minister has called for new legislation to tackle fly grazing after a visit to Gower.
The problem of roaming horses has been growing in the Swansea Bay and Carmarthesnhire areas for over a year.
In January, a dismayed Swansea woman, who did not want to be named, described seeing tethered horses struggling to survive in Blaenymaes.
Then, February, saw dog walkers warned to keep pets on leads, after dead horses were found at Pembrey Country Park.
In March, police described multiple horse fatalities in Gower at a meeting in Penclawdd. Residents heard that up to 200 horses grazed on the nearby marshes, with many wandering on or near the B4295 during high tides and stormy weather.
Now Alun Davies, the Minister for Natural Resources and Food, has visited the area to see the problem for himself.
The Minister visited a Scurlage farm to view a herd of 200 horses which had been rounded up the RSPCA, council and police over the last couple of months.
He said: “It was most upsetting to see the shocking state that these 200 abandoned horses are in, despite every effort by the local authority and charities to take care of them.
"The plight of these horses only underlines the need for all Wales legislation to tackle the problem of fly grazing.
“Earlier this week I introduced draft legislation that would provide all Welsh local authorities with identical powers to seize, impound, return to the owner, and, as a last resort, euthanize horses by humane means when they are on land without lawful consent. I look forward to this becoming law so local authorities across Wales will have identical and strengthened powers to tackle this awful problem.”
The visit was arranged by Gower-raised Assembly Member for South Wales West Byron Davies.
Mr Davies said: "The visit went very well. In fairness to the Minister when I called him he responded quite quickly and we went down there so he could see the problem for himself.
“I’m delighted that we may finally be able to do something for those poor creatures as the Welsh Government is putting some legislation together and we are discussing it this week.
“I’m very supportive of it. It has been an issue for such a long time.”