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Council to seize stray horses in Merthyr area

Credit: Merthyr Council

Over recent months the Council has received increasing complaints of horses straying onto the public highway, residential areas, schools, and footpaths.

Straying horses present a risk to the public, especially in and around school and playground settings and places where the welfare of the animal at risk.

The council said:

“Whilst we appreciate, on occasion, gates may be left open by land users, leading to horses straying, our priority is to protect residents.”

Therefore, moving forward, the Council will seize any straying horses using the powers under the Control of Horses (Wales) Act 2014. Once seized the owners will have a period to claim back the animal and will need to provide proof of ownership, such a horse passport, and pay all relevant fees incurred by the Council in seizing the horses.

Councillor Declan Sammon, Ward Councillor for Dowlais and Pant, said: “The Dowlais and Pant Community have been subject numerous incidents of straying horses and I have worked closely with Council officers in resolving these issues.

“It is incumbent on horse owners to take responsibility for their animals and ensure they are kept in secure environments. Failure to do so will lead to seizure and sizeable costs for their return.”

Councillor Michelle Symonds, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Housing and Public Protection, said: “Our absolute priority is to keep our residents safe, so we are urging all horse owners to revisit and assess the land where their horses are kept and ensure that the site is adequately secured.”

Members of the public wishing to report incidents of straying should contact the Council on 01685 725000 or by emailing [email protected]