Birmingham & Black Country

Tipton protesters march 'to save' horse-tethering

A group of residents in Tipton will be marching to Sandwell council house on Friday in protest against a crackdown on stray and illegally-tethered horses.

They are campaigning to preserve the tradition of legal tethering of the horses in public green spaces.

Stray and illegally-tethered animals are currently removed by bailiffs and owners have to pay to get them back.

Fears over public safety prompted the council to introduce removals, earlier this year.

Protesters are set to stage a "horse-drive" where they will march to the council using horses and carts.

Mark Farrington, who said one of his horses taken away by bailiffs because it was left tethered on public land, said the problem is caused by horses that are allowed to roam loose.

'Time moves on'

"[Tethering] is just a thing we've done for years," he said.

"My Dad used to do it before I was born, [the horses] have always been on tethers.

"Everybody knows us round here. If any of our horses get loose, they come straight to the yard and we'll catch them straight away.

"Our horses don't cause problems on the chains, it's the loose ones in people's front gardens, which we don't agree with."

When the crackdown was announced, a council spokesman said it is estimated there are up to 60 horses grazing or left untethered in Tipton and up to 10 are roaming free.

Mark Weston, of The British Horse Society, said the council is right to take this action.

"Time moves on and welfare standards move on," he said.

"The idea of having horses roaming unsupervised around an urban area can jeopardise the welfare of the horses and the safety of other users of that area."

Bailiffs now issue enforcement notices to owners, which gives people 24 hours to remove their animals or face having them impounded.

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