York MP Raises Issue of Tethered Horses in Parliament
2:36pm 28th November 2013
York Outer MP Julian Sturdy has called on the Government to get tough on the issue of fly grazing, which it's claimed is becoming increasingly common around York's suburbs.
Discussing the issue in Parliament, the York Outer MP urged the Minister to bring in new laws for tougher punishments for those who break the law, arguing that “fly-grazing should be a criminal offence, to ensure that action can be taken swiftly and offenders are brought to justice... When horses are starving on the roadside, justice dictates that a custodial sentence should be brought to bear for such horrible abuse.”
Julian Sturdy used a debate in the House of Commons to highlight the problems one of his constituents has faced on his farm near the Travellers’ site in Osbaldwick. Over the space of four days it's claimed farmer David Shaw had his wire fences cut repeatedly and had to escort 14 horses off his land a total of nine times, in the face of threats of abuse from the horses’ owners. The York Outer MP praised the bravery of the farmer for his refusal to be intimidated and called for more action to be taken to hold the horse owners accountable for their actions.
The MP will be holding a roundtable meeting in the New Year with the police, the City of York Council, the RSPCA, the NFU, and Traveller representatives, in order to work together towards a local solution. He added “It must be remembered that fly-grazing not only blights the lives of the horses that are subjected to it, but impacts on farmers who grow crops that are destroyed and puts road users in jeopardy when animals stray on to the highway. ... the message is clear: no one group can solve the problem alone. If we all work together, we can stop the abuse once and for all.”
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