SIX leading horse charities are welcoming plans by the Welsh Government to introduce legislation to tackle fly grazing of horses and ponies in Wales and are urgently asking the UK Government to follow suit in England to help stem the horse crisis escalating across the country.

As 7,000 horses are at risk of needing rescue in England and Wales, Redwings, the RSPCA, World Horse Welfare, the British Horse Society, Blue Cross and HorseWorld have released a series of devastating case studies to illustrate how current laws permit horses to suffer needlessly including: Å Horses allowed to stray on railway lines in Bristol, possibly in an attempt by their owner to get rid of their injured animals.

Å A foal left to drown in a river in Essex.

Å A mare abandoned on an industrial estate near Newcastle.

Å A stretch of land in Kent with more than 100 horses running feral – one mare with a broken pelvis lay for days with her dead foal when left to give birth alone.

Å Six horses left to starve in Blackpool.

Despite the announcement from Wales, the UK government has no such plans in England at a time when thousands of horses are at risk of suffering and death and landowners and local authorities struggle to cope with the problem.

Alun Davies, Wales’ minister for natural resources and food, will announce plans including new legislative solutions in Wales to tackle the problem, caused by difficulties in identifying horse owners and irresponsible ownership, in the early autumn.

The announcement comes at a time when equine problems in the UK are at crisis point.

The situation was highlighted recently with the case of horse trader Tom Price who was found guilty of 57 animal welfare and cruelty charges and is thought to own 2,500 horses across Wales and England.

RSPCA head of public affairs David Bowles said: “We welcome the Welsh Government’s plans to tackle this long-standing problem and hope the legislation will be strong and effective if the current situation is to be reversed.”