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Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs talks of the extent of fly-grazing in the UK

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has announced that there are currently 2,500 horses being fly-grazed in England at a recent House of Commons debate.

When asked by Mike Thorton about the current extent of fly-grazing in the UK, George Eustice said: 'No specific assessment has been made by Government on the extent of horse welfare problems in specific parts of the country.

'However, the most recent estimates by welfare organisations suggest that there may be 2,500 horses being fly-grazed in England.

'There is a range of existing legislation that can be used to deal with the issues, including the Animals Act 1971 and the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

'In addition, because fly-grazing is a form of antisocial behaviour, existing antisocial behaviour legislation and forthcoming measures in the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill may be used to tackle it.

'There are no plans to go down the same legislative route as the Wales Government. We consider the practical answer lies in tackling local issues through effective use of existing and forthcoming legislation together with sharing best practice and joined-up working by interested parties.'

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