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Following the introduction of housing measures in November 2021, you must keep your poultry and captive birds indoors to protect them from Avian Influenza (bird flu). View the Avian Influenza (bird flu) guidance for more information.

Stray and tethered horses

This page contains information about procedures relating to stray horses.

If you are in danger, or need emergency assistance, please contact the police on 999 or 101.

  • Stray horse: a horse is classed as a stray when it is roaming freely on open spaces, roads, footpaths or other areas without being tethered or under someone's control.
  • Tethered horse: a tethered horse is one which is tied up on an open space, highway, verge or other area.

We do not allow horses to be grazed on areas of public open space because of the potential danger they pose to other people using the land. Please tell us about any cases of stray or tethered horses.

What to do if the horse looks sick or injured

Please contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999 to report a sick or injured horse or if you're concerned about its welfare.

What happens when you have reported a stray horse on council land

A neighbourhood warden will visit the location and we will:

  • attempt to move the stray horse into a secure field or an area away from the public - if there are no suitable locations to secure the horse we may remove it
  • try to identify the owner of the horse by scanning it for a microchip or looking for identifying marks
  • post notices on the land near to where the horse was found straying and speak to local residents to try and find out who the owner is

It will be held in a secure location for the minimum of 96 hours, after which it will either be sold at auction, re-homed or humanely destroyed.

What happens when you have reported a horse loose or tethered on private land

If a horse is loose or tethered on private land, it is the landowner's responsibility to ensure it does not cause a danger to the public. The  Advice for private landowners - illegally grazed horses (PDF) [46KB]  document provides more information.

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