YORK’S horse bailiff will start tackling the problems of animals tethered illegally on roadside verges on February 3.

Steve Waddington, assistant director of housing and community safety, announced the date to councillors.

The bailiff will have the legal power to move horses off council land. City of York Council is hoping that he will also meet landowners and farmers to help them tackle the problem of horses using fields without permission.

Mr Waddington told the community safety overview and scrutiny committe the council will not provide money towards dealing with horses on private land, but will deal with horses tethered illegally on council land and roadside verges.

The bailiff will be part of a two-pronged policy by the council towards the illegal tethering of horses that has led to accidents from horses breaking free and straying on to roads.

The policy also includes the council working with the RSPCA where horses’ welfare is an issue. In recent months, the charity has prosecuted several horse owners over the way they have tethered or cared for horses on roadsides.