Jack Lopresti has visited Horseworld, the equine charity based in Whitchurch, Bristol, where he met Managing Director Mark Owen to discuss the problem of fly grazing, which has been an issue in Jack's Filton and Bradley Stoke constituency for some time. Fly grazing is the process whereby horses are abandoned on ground that does not belong to the owner of the horses.
Horseworld has been active for 65 years, and their primary aim is the rescue of abandoned, neglected and mistreated horses. At present, there are around 140 horses, ponies and donkeys that are being cared for by the charity. They run a Discovery educational programme that is aimed at spreading the skills that their volunteers have to as many people as possible. They are funded by voluntary donations from members of the public.
Jack discussed with Mr Owen the problem of the fly grazing of horses across his Filton and Bradley Stoke constituency. The horses are abandoned once the owners are unable to find a home for them or suitable grazing in local neighbourhoods. Fly grazing has increased as it costs £3,500 annually to keep a horse. The Government strengthened the law in 2015 through the Control of Horses Act, which enabled owners who abandon their horses to be dealt with more quickly and effectively.
'I was appalled to hear about the way some people mistreat the horses that are under their care,' commented Jack. 'I will write to the Minister with responsibility for animal welfare and the owners of The Mall at Cribbs Causeway as there is a particular problem in that location. I have previously been in touch with the police and South Gloucestershire Council about this issue, and I know that they have been able to make some progress. I will continue to do all I can to bring this practice to an end.'