Wellingborough Council to consider taking dumped horses to market

Horses dumped on public land in Wellingborough could be sold at market under new plans to be considered by the town's council.

The plans were drafted following a rise in the number of horses left in council owned fields.

The council said "the majority, if not all" of the horses belong to Gypsy or traveller families.

The scheme is estimated to cost £12,000. It will be discussed by the community committee on 28 May.

Under the plan, the owners would be served with a notice period giving them a week to remove the animal.

If it is not moved it will be detained and will not be returned to the owner unless the expenses incurred by the council are reimbursed.

'Welfare incidents'

Should the animal not be claimed within 15 days it will be found a new home or sold at a market or public auction.

In the past the council has allowed travellers to leave their horses on the land, but a report written by council officers said this policy was now causing problems.

Council officer Chris Pittman said: "Unfortunately recent welfare incidents have changed the dynamic of the situation such that officers believe that it is no longer appropriate to continue to tolerate unauthorised grazing by horses on council controlled land.

"It is proposed that it became council policy not to permit the placing of horses or ponies in any open environment on any land under the control of the council."

It is estimated each horse cost about £1,350 to remove and a further £1,800 to impound it.

Mr Pittman added: "Experience elsewhere suggests that once horse owners are aware of the policy and have evidence of its implementation, the number of incidents requiring removal drops sharply."

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