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Control of Horses Bill

Volume 760: debated on Wednesday 18 March 2015

Third Reading


Moved by

My Lords, I thank all those noble Lords from all sides of the House who spoke on Second Reading and, in addition, those who offered support throughout the Bill’s passage here. This Bill, begun as a Private Member’s Bill in another place, was introduced by Mr Julian Sturdy, the honourable Member for York Outer, to whom a special credit and thanks must go. It is the culmination of a campaign by him over some years to bring the issue of fly-grazing of horses and its associated animal welfare and human problems to a wider notice. I hope that today we will be able to say that all his efforts and his persistence have paid off.

The Bill has had cross-party support in both Houses and the unequivocal support of a broad coalition of animal welfare and countryside organisations which worked together to produce two comprehensive reports on fly-grazing, and they have campaigned hard to raise public awareness of the many problems it causes.

I also pay tribute particularly to the Minister, the noble Lord, Lord De Mauley, for his commitment personally to this Bill and the support which he and his officials have given both to me and to Julian Sturdy. A horseman himself, during his time as Minister he has made a real difference in a number of areas of horse welfare, including this one, and I thank him for it.

With this small but important Bill on the statute book our ability to tackle animal neglect and suffering will be greatly improved. Horse welfare will benefit and so will public safety. I believe that it is right that I should commend this Bill to the House.

Bill passed.