By Debbie |James

Fly-grazing has fallen sharply in Wales since new legislation was introduced.

Under the Control of Horses (Wales) Act, local authorities have been given new powers to seize, impound and euthanise horses and ponies found on land without consent, and recover costs from owners.

A report by equine consultant Equiventus shows the new laws have reduced the number of horses reported and removed due to fly-grazing, straying or abandonment.

By 2016, average monthly seizures had fallen to 18, from 30 a month in 2014.

These figures are supported by South Wales Police, which recorded an 83 per cent reduction in fly-grazing between 2012 and 2016.

Almost 2,000 fly-grazing incidents were reported to the force in 2012, but this figure fell to 300 in 2016.

In the city and county of Swansea – one of the worst-affected counties – the number of incidents dropped from 240 in 2014 to 100 in 2016.

Wales’ rural affairs secretary Lesley Griffiths believed the Act had played an important role in reducing fly-grazing.

She welcomed the report but cautioned: “We should not let our guard down.

“I am determined to continue to do what’s needed to combat the blight on communities caused by the fly-grazing, straying and abandonment of horses and ponies.”