Success! Julian’s horse welfare proposals become law
March 18, 2015
Julian is delighted that his private members bill to protect horses from neglect has now passed through both Houses of Parliament and is awaiting royal assent from HM The Queen.
The Control of Horses Bill will make three major changes to animal welfare laws. Most importantly, the proposals will dramatically shorten the time it takes to rescue abandoned horses from over two weeks to just four days. The Bill will also extend the protection of the law to horses on both public and private land, and will allow rescued horses to be gifted to animal welfare sanctuaries for the first time.
Reacting to the news that the Bill had passed through the House of Lords today, Julian said “It has been a fantastic experience to guide the Bill through Parliament and there have been some moments when I genuinely did not think that it would ever make it onto the statute books. Many of my constituents have been contacting me with their concerns about horse welfare and having raised the matter in Parliament over a number of years I am delighted that I have been able to make this simple but effective change to the law.
“Abandoning horses to a life of neglect has no place in civil society, and I am pleased that there will now be far better protection in place for horses across the country. I am very grateful for all the help I received from animal welfare charities, and from the thousands of people who lobbied their MPs to support the changes”.
It is generally very difficult for private members bills to make it into law, but with cross-party support and the help of animal welfare and countryside groups such as the RSPCA, World Horse Welfare, the National Farmers Union, and the CLA, horses will now be afforded greater legal protection. The law is expected to come into force in May and the news has been welcomed by local residents across the outskirts of York who often encounter abandoned horses tethered to the roadside.
The RSPCA Director of Public Affairs, David Bowles, also welcomed the news. He said “We’re delighted that Julian Sturdy MP’s Private Members Bill has successfully been passed and will become law before the election. This law will make a big difference to horse welfare as landowners can more quickly deal with fly-grazing animals, instead of them having to leave them on unsuitable land without grazing, shelter or additional food, which is all too often the case.”