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Rogue owners face eviction in stray horses crackdown
Irresponsible horse owners, who allow their animals to roam dangerously, face eviction from their homes in a tough new crackdown by authorities.
Court injunctions and removal of horses could also hit rogue owners who leave them loose, or tethered to council, housing association or public land.
Police, Bradford Council and Incommunities are working together to strengthen measures to tackle the illegal tethering of horses in the district.
There have been a number of high profile incidents this year.
In May, five-year-old Harlie Thompson suffered a fractured skull when he was kicked by a horse which was illegally tethered near a children’s play area at Buttershaw Beck.
Earlier this month staff at a Bierley primary school expressed concern for the health and safety of pupils after horses were found roaming in the grounds.
Now the Council has appointed a new contractor to impound horses left on its land, and is working with police and Incommunities to use court injunctions to clamp down on illegal tethering.
Steve Hartley, the Council’s assistant director for neighbourhood services, said: “Those owners of horses who look after them and keep them tethered in the right place have nothing to worry about. But those who illegally tether horses and put people at risk need to be aware that we are taking some new measures.
“Anyone who owns horses should make sure they can look after them properly, and not leave them on Council or Incommunities land because that is a danger to local people, and potentially to the horses.”
Peter Newbould, Incommunities’ legal services director, said it could take out possession proceedings to remove people from their properties for breaching their tenancy agreement.
He said: “The knowledge that if you behave irresponsibly with your horse you may be the subject of a court order, or ultimately losing your home, we see as a huge deterrent.
“We are improving the level of response on all fronts – engagement, education, deterrent and enforcement.”
Chief Inspector Damien Miller, of Bradford South Police, said the welfare of the horses was also being looked at and police linked with the RSPCA.
He said: “In the main, owners are co-operative and supportive of what we are trying to do.
“We can only enforce the law on public highways, but we assist our partners at the Council and Incommunities where their land is affected.
“This is a big concern, and at the end of the day, it is anti-social behaviour and that is how it is being treated.”