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Written Statement - Review of the Control of Horses (Wales) Act 2014

Lesley Griffiths, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs

In line with the commitment made at Finance Committee on 17 October 2013 to review the Act  three years after it came into force, I have commissioned a review of the Control of Horses (Wales) Act.

The Act was introduced in response to calls for urgent action by Local Authorities, equine charities and the Police, in order to tackle the problem of fly grazing, straying and abandonment of horses and ponies across Wales. The Act is one of a number of tools available to Local Authorities wishing to address the problem of fly grazing through the provision of effective legal powers. The legislation provides all Local Authorities with the same legal powers to seize, impound, sell, dispose and destroy, where appropriate, horses by humane means after certain notifications and time limits are met, when horses are on land without lawful authority or occupier consent.

Equiventus Ltd, a company specialising in providing auditing and reporting services for equine related projects, has been commissioned to undertake the review. The review will seek to evaluate the value and effectiveness of the Act. It will help ensure the Act is fit for purpose and where Local Authorities have used, or are using, the legislation, they are complying with the requirements of the Act.  

The review will gather evidence from a wide-range of stakeholders and interested parties and seek to demonstrate how the Act has contributed to the management of fly grazing, straying and abandonment since its introduction.

Equiventus Ltd, has been asked to produce a final report, with conclusions and recommendations by the end of April 2017, following which it is my intention to publish the report and the Welsh Government’s formal response on the Welsh Government website.