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Flygrazing is the grazing of horses without the permission of the landowner. Horses, which often are unidentifiable by passport or microchip, are abandoned, put in fields to graze that are not securely fenced, or break free of their tether, causing distress to animals, danger to residents and road users and unnecessary costs to the council and other landowners.

In general there are five different scenarios of flygrazing that occur in South Gloucestershire; the table below sets them out and identifies the lead agency in each scenario;

Scenario Lead agency
Flygrazing on Council owned land SGC
Flygrazing on private land Landowner
Horse on highway needing recovery Police/South Gloucestershire Council if on council land
Horse with welfare issues Police/RSPCA/South Gloucestershire Council if on council land
Horse tethered or corralled Police/South Gloucestershire Council if on council land

South Gloucestershire Council now has a zero tolerance approach for situations where a horse is flygrazed on council owned land. If you notice a flygrazed horse on council land please contact or call 01454 86 8582 during Monday – Thursday 8.45am – 5pm, Friday 8.45am – 4.30pm except public holidays.

If there is an issue of public safety e.g. the horse is by the roadside or on the highway then please call police on 101 or 999 in an emergency. If there is a welfare issue that is obvious then please contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.  If you are a landowner and have horses being flygrazed on your land then we would encourage you to seek independent legal advice.

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