Problem of stray horses on council agenda

YORK council bosses are to be asked to approve plans for dealing with stray horses which could include the power to seize the animals.

Three incidents of loose horses wandering into the path of cars have been reported in the city this year. City of York Council has said the number of complaints and incidents surrounding horses being tethered next to roads and footpaths had risen in recent months.

Its cabinet will next week discuss a set of proposals which include drawing up a “joint protocol” with the police, RSPCA, landowners and travellers to specify their responsibilities, looking at whether council or private land could be specifically allocated for grazing, developing a microchipping and rehoming service and banning horses from being tethered on council land unless an agreement is signed.

If approved, the authority could also have the “zero tolerance” option of seizing horses which are tethered or grazing illegally as a last resort, although officers have said this could be expensive and “counter-productive”. A report by Steve Waddington, assistant director for housing and community safety, said each seizure could cost at least £1,000 and it may not be possible to reclaim the money if the animal’s owner cannot be traced, as any subsequent sale of the horse might not cover costs.

“Where a horse is tethered in such a way that it is cruel to the horse or it creates a danger, this cannot be tolerated,” said the report.

“It is felt a more balanced approach, providing grazing land and looking to rehome horses, would be appropriate.

“However, there may be occasions where it is felt the location of a tethered horse constitutes a danger to the horse itself or others, including road users.”

Mr Waddington said horses could be seized if there was a health and safety risk, and while most horse-owners were “responsible”, others illegally tethered their animals to avoid grazing charges or food costs. It recommended that the “joint protocol” should be ready for analysis in February.

Osbaldwick councillor Mark Warters, who has called for action on stray horses, said: “All this is doing is kicking the can down the road without coming up with any effective enforcement. It is pussyfooting around an issue which is a clear danger and creates the risk of litigation being taken against the council in cases of accidents.”

Comments (12)

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9:29am Wed 28 Nov 12

BioLogic says...

Since when has law enforcement been a zero sum process. Of course it costs money.

The point is that if a zero tolerance approach is taken, those that illegally graze their horses will loose their animals which will cost them money. If the Council catches up with them it will cost them even more. Carry on like that for a couple of months and very quickly all of the horses will go.

Sure it might end up costing £30,000 or £40,000 but that's a lot less than the potential cost impact of the Council loosing a court case and paying hundreds of thousands in compensation!
Since when has law enforcement been a zero sum process. Of course it costs money. The point is that if a zero tolerance approach is taken, those that illegally graze their horses will loose their animals which will cost them money. If the Council catches up with them it will cost them even more. Carry on like that for a couple of months and very quickly all of the horses will go. Sure it might end up costing £30,000 or £40,000 but that's a lot less than the potential cost impact of the Council loosing a court case and paying hundreds of thousands in compensation! BioLogic
  • Score: 0

9:53am Wed 28 Nov 12

atorycouncil2014 says...

BioLogic wrote:
Since when has law enforcement been a zero sum process. Of course it costs money.

The point is that if a zero tolerance approach is taken, those that illegally graze their horses will loose their animals which will cost them money. If the Council catches up with them it will cost them even more. Carry on like that for a couple of months and very quickly all of the horses will go.

Sure it might end up costing £30,000 or £40,000 but that's a lot less than the potential cost impact of the Council loosing a court case and paying hundreds of thousands in compensation!
But that money could be better spent sending Calmity James and his friends to Cannes.

I think your missing the point here. Its about priorities
[quote][p][bold]BioLogic[/bold] wrote: Since when has law enforcement been a zero sum process. Of course it costs money. The point is that if a zero tolerance approach is taken, those that illegally graze their horses will loose their animals which will cost them money. If the Council catches up with them it will cost them even more. Carry on like that for a couple of months and very quickly all of the horses will go. Sure it might end up costing £30,000 or £40,000 but that's a lot less than the potential cost impact of the Council loosing a court case and paying hundreds of thousands in compensation![/p][/quote]But that money could be better spent sending Calmity James and his friends to Cannes. I think your missing the point here. Its about priorities atorycouncil2014
  • Score: 0

10:00am Wed 28 Nov 12

Theendoftheworld says...

The council are 'pussyfooting around' because of who these people are - travellers. If it was joe public who was involved, the issue would have been sorted ages ago.
The council are 'pussyfooting around' because of who these people are - travellers. If it was joe public who was involved, the issue would have been sorted ages ago. Theendoftheworld
  • Score: 0

11:08am Wed 28 Nov 12

Ignatius Lumpopo says...

What a headline! Just how big is the council's agenda? It must be enormous. I had a fly land on a piece of A4 once but to have stray horses wandering over something is amazing.
What a headline! Just how big is the council's agenda? It must be enormous. I had a fly land on a piece of A4 once but to have stray horses wandering over something is amazing. Ignatius Lumpopo
  • Score: 0

1:37pm Wed 28 Nov 12

Bo Jolly says...

Matroom, I'm no lawyer but the 'Show Racism the Red Card' campaign says:

UK case law has now recognised Gypsy’, ‘Romany/Romani’, ‘Irish Travellers’ and most recently ‘Scottish Travellers’ as ethnic minority groups which means they are protected against racism and discrimination under the Race Relations Act 1976. Also under recent UK and European Human Rights legislation, all discrimination is illegal.
Matroom, I'm no lawyer but the 'Show Racism the Red Card' campaign says: UK case law has now recognised Gypsy’, ‘Romany/Romani’, ‘Irish Travellers’ and most recently ‘Scottish Travellers’ as ethnic minority groups which means they are protected against racism and discrimination under the Race Relations Act 1976. Also under recent UK and European Human Rights legislation, all discrimination is illegal. Bo Jolly
  • Score: 0

2:40pm Wed 28 Nov 12

matroom says...

True, but i think the gypsies in question are all probably from this country ??? Either way, i dont care, still not a fan !!
True, but i think the gypsies in question are all probably from this country ??? Either way, i dont care, still not a fan !! matroom
  • Score: 0

4:28pm Wed 28 Nov 12

Sillybillies says...

No problem with a decent council and proper police force -
30 October 2012 Last updated at 20:05
Bradford's illegally tethered horses to be removed
Horses tethered illegally on public open space in Bradford are to be removed, a council said.
Bradford Council said it had appointed a new contractor to impound horses left illegally on public ground and road verges.
It said the animals were a danger and could cause serious injury.
Ian Bairstow, from the council, said: "Owners of horses that are legally tethered in fields have nothing to fear."
The council is also working with West Yorkshire Police and social landlords over the use of court injunctions to stop illegal tethering.
No problem with a decent council and proper police force - [quote]30 October 2012 Last updated at 20:05 Bradford's illegally tethered horses to be removed Horses tethered illegally on public open space in Bradford are to be removed, a council said. Bradford Council said it had appointed a new contractor to impound horses left illegally on public ground and road verges. It said the animals were a danger and could cause serious injury. Ian Bairstow, from the council, said: "Owners of horses that are legally tethered in fields have nothing to fear." The council is also working with West Yorkshire Police and social landlords over the use of court injunctions to stop illegal tethering.[/quote] Sillybillies
  • Score: 0

7:08pm Wed 28 Nov 12

bolero says...

It is recommended that the "joint protcol" should be ready for analysis by February. Come on you dosy Council, get your fingers out and for goodness sake do something sensible for a change; and quickly because someone is going to get killed. You know about the problem, you are in a position to act, so I hope you are also able to defend yourselves if and when it comes to a court of law. Individual Councillors could and should also face prosecution if it is proved that there is failure to take the necessary action.
It is recommended that the "joint protcol" should be ready for analysis by February. Come on you dosy Council, get your fingers out and for goodness sake do something sensible for a change; and quickly because someone is going to get killed. You know about the problem, you are in a position to act, so I hope you are also able to defend yourselves if and when it comes to a court of law. Individual Councillors could and should also face prosecution if it is proved that there is failure to take the necessary action. bolero
  • Score: 0

8:21pm Wed 28 Nov 12

Digeorge says...

I suppose once a traveller's horse will get taken by the RSPCA, they will just replace them with others and so it will go on! Forever and a day, zero tolerance or no zero tolerance as whatever policy they will bring they will find ways round it!
I suppose once a traveller's horse will get taken by the RSPCA, they will just replace them with others and so it will go on! Forever and a day, zero tolerance or no zero tolerance as whatever policy they will bring they will find ways round it! Digeorge
  • Score: 0

10:21pm Wed 28 Nov 12

Guy Fawkes says...

Gypsies arent a race, so no ones being racist ???


As someone else points out, the term 'gypsy' is believed by some to refer to a specific ethnicity. '****', however, is a contraction of 'of the turnpike', i.e. any itinerant of no fixed abode, regardless of their ethnicity. Not even Rotherham Council could make a viable case that the use of this word is inciting racial hatred.

But I do agree with the speculation above that both political correctness and its pragmatic implications (i.e. the likely cost if CoYC is taken to the Euro 'ewman rights court by the horses' owners, bankrolled by some Guardian readers' pressure group) is driving the desire to kick this particular can down the road.
[quote]Gypsies arent a race, so no ones being racist ???[/quote] As someone else points out, the term 'gypsy' is believed by some to refer to a specific ethnicity. '****', however, is a contraction of 'of the turnpike', i.e. any itinerant of no fixed abode, regardless of their ethnicity. Not even Rotherham Council could make a viable case that the use of this word is inciting racial hatred. But I do agree with the speculation above that both political correctness and its pragmatic implications (i.e. the likely cost if CoYC is taken to the Euro 'ewman rights court by the horses' owners, bankrolled by some Guardian readers' pressure group) is driving the desire to kick this particular can down the road. Guy Fawkes
  • Score: 0

12:07am Thu 29 Nov 12

sensationalism says...

In the first comment above "BioLogic" wrote "those that illegally graze their horses will loose their animals".

Amung those ov uss hoo carnt spel proply, like BioLogic and Eye (tho now I'll de-cyst) there is a tragically prevalent confusion between "lose" and "loose".

This is an interesting example, because both spellings (sort of) work.

The problem is that so-called travellers are loosing (pronounced loossing) their horses, ie leaving them improperly tethered, and, as a result, may risk losing them, ie being deprived of them.
In the first comment above "BioLogic" wrote "those that illegally graze their horses will loose their animals". Amung those ov uss hoo carnt spel proply, like BioLogic and Eye (tho now I'll de-cyst) there is a tragically prevalent confusion between "lose" and "loose". This is an interesting example, because both spellings (sort of) work. The problem is that so-called travellers are loosing (pronounced loossing) their horses, ie leaving them improperly tethered, and, as a result, may risk losing them, ie being deprived of them. sensationalism
  • Score: 0

3:21pm Fri 30 Nov 12

meme says...

Come on this is manna from heaven for the councillors and officers who want to look busy!
They can debate/consult/preva
ricate and waste lots of time and nothing will eventually happen but pretend they are trying to do something useful
Its typical council behaviour which wastes time and resources and keeps officers in non jobs when there are easy obvious answers TAKE THEM AWAY IF ILLEGALLY TIED UP AND SELL THEM
BUT in 6 months time it will be no different and the meaningless debate will continue and our time and resources will continue to be used in totally useless ways by totally useless officers
Not that i am cynical
The only good thing is that continually posting by people on these sites on al sort sof things makes them at least realise there is an issue that they can consult on!!!
Come on this is manna from heaven for the councillors and officers who want to look busy! They can debate/consult/preva ricate and waste lots of time and nothing will eventually happen but pretend they are trying to do something useful Its typical council behaviour which wastes time and resources and keeps officers in non jobs when there are easy obvious answers TAKE THEM AWAY IF ILLEGALLY TIED UP AND SELL THEM BUT in 6 months time it will be no different and the meaningless debate will continue and our time and resources will continue to be used in totally useless ways by totally useless officers Not that i am cynical The only good thing is that continually posting by people on these sites on al sort sof things makes them at least realise there is an issue that they can consult on!!! meme
  • Score: 0

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