Horses: Animal Welfare

(asked on 12th February 2020) - View Source

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans his Department has to grant local authorities the powers to prevent horse tethering.


Answered by
Victoria Prentis Portrait
Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
This question was answered on 26th February 2020

Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 (the 2006 Act), local authorities, together with the police and officers of the Animal & Plant Health Agency, already have powers to investigate cases of poor welfare or animal cruelty, including cases of inappropriate tethering.

Tethering can be a useful equine temporary management tool when it is used appropriately. To assist horse owners and keepers as well as inspectors there is a the statutory Code of Practice for the Welfare of Horses, Ponies, Donkeys and Their Hybrids (the Code) which provides information on how to meet the welfare needs of horses, as required under the 2006 Act. The Code contains specific information on how to tether a horse appropriately without being breach of the 2006 Act.

Local authorities are able to make decisions based on local needs and resource priorities and the local arrangements that work best for them. Therefore, I consider that this legislation and guidance provides the right safeguards and powers in respect of horse tethering. However, we will continue to engage with key stakeholders to see if more can be done to spread best practice among horse owners as well as increased partnership working in order to tackle the issue of inappropriate horse tethering.

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