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Julian Sturdy - Strong Voice for York Outer

Julian Sturdy

Member of Parliament for York Outer

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Julian Calls for Fly Grazing To Become A Criminal Offence

November 28, 2013

Julian has called on the Government to take tougher action in order to tackle the problem of fly grazing, which is becoming increasingly common around the outskirts of York.

Discussing the issue in Parliament, the York Outer MP urged the Minister to legislate for tougher sanctions on those who break the law, arguing that fly-grazing should be a criminal offence, to ensure that action can be taken swiftly and offenders are brought to justice… When horses are starving on the roadside, justice dictates that a custodial sentence should be brought to bear for such horrible abuse.”

Julian used a debate in Parliament to highlight the problems one of his constituent has faced on his farm near the Travellers’ site in Osbaldwick.  Over the space of four days David Shaw, a local farmer, had his wire fences cut repeatedly and had to escort the 14 horses off his land a total of nine times, in the face of threats of abuse from the horses’ owners. Mr Sturdy praised the bravery of the farmer for his refusal to be intimidated and called for more action to be taken to hold the horse owners accountable for their actions.

Julian will be holding a roundtable meeting in the New Year with the police, the City of York Council, the RSPCA, the NFU, and Traveller representatives, in order to work together towards a local solution. He added “It must be remembered that fly-grazing not only blights the lives of the horses that are subjected to it, but impacts on farmers who grow crops that are destroyed and puts road users in jeopardy when animals stray on to the highway. … the message is clear: no one group can solve the problem alone. If we all work together, we can stop the abuse once and for all.”

Pictured: Julian with a tethered horses being flygrazed.

To watch the debate in full, press play below or to hear Julian’s speech, skip to 15.43.