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Grazing Land: Walls and Fences

Volume 461: debated on Monday 4 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what consideration has been given to bringing forward proposals to extend the provisions of the Commons Act 2006 to deal with the issue of straying sheep. (138407)

We do not intend to extend the Commons Act 2006 to deal with straying sheep. On many commons, customary law already requires adjacent landowners to fence against the boundary of the common. This issue was considered during the passage of the Commons Bill, where it was concluded that it would not be appropriate to use legislation to extend this practice to all commons, given that operational needs may differ between commons. The Commons Act provides that fences may be constructed on common land, for example to control the movement of livestock, provided the consent of the Secretary of State is secured.