Hart District Council recently re-homed 13 ponies that had been abandoned on a council owned site.
The ponies had been illegally placed on council land to fly-graze, the practice of leaving ponies or horses on public or private land to graze without permission. Many of the ponies were in foal and not in the best condition, with matted hair, evidence of bot fly eggs on their bodies and uncared for hooves.
Fly-grazing is a growing problem in the UK and has become a troublesome and expensive issue for landowners, local authorities, enforcement agencies, welfare charities and tax payers.
Speaking about the incident, Cllr David Neighbour, Leader and Cabinet Member for Countryside at Hart District Council, said: “Fly-grazing is an illegal activity and we will not tolerate it on council land. We are working closely with charities such as the RSPCA and SAFE, whose mission it is to help landowners legally rescue and re-home abandoned and neglected horses.”
After serving notice for removal of the ponies by their unknown owners, Hart District Council officially took possession of the ponies after the notice period had elapsed. All the abandoned animals were then transferred to animal welfare charities. The ponies are now in their happy new homes, where they will find the love, care and attention they need.
For more information on abandoned and fly-grazing horses, please visit the Blue Cross website www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-advice/what-do-if-you-find-abandoned-or-fly-grazing-horse