Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Bid to stop illegal horse grazing in Southampton

Measures to curb illegal horse grazing are being introduced in Southampton following incidents of people being trampled on, bitten or kicked by them.

The council received 10 complaints in 18 months, including a six-year-old girl nearly being trampled.

A management plan will be run jointly with neighbouring Eastleigh council to stop animals being moved across borders to avoid sanctions.

It will mean horses in parks and open spaces could be impounded and rehomed.

Other incidents reported to the council included an elderly person being knocked over and another person being bitten by a horse.

Councillor Peter Baillie, cabinet member for housing, said: "While having high regard for animal well-being, the safety for our residents remains a priority."

Eastleigh recently won the RSPCA's 2011 Innovator in Animal Welfare Award for its existing approach in tackling illegally tethered horses.

Southampton City Council said a shared policy with Eastleigh would reduce costs.

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