Farmers in the UK have been given more powers to deal with a practice known as ‘flygrazing’ or the abandonment horses and ponies.

The National Farmers Union in the UK says the new legislation will help deter and swiftly resolve cases of ‘flygrazing’ – the practice of placing horses on private and public land without permission.

It will bring England into line with Wales, which introduced a similar law in early 2014 and may have led to the practice growing in England where charities estimate that the number of horses flygrazed to be more than 3,000, causing misery for horses, communities and taxpayers.

NFU Deputy President Minette Batters said after many years of lobbying for improved powers for its UK members, the NFU is delighted that the Bill has completed all Parliamentary stages and will become law before the General Election on May 7.

The NFU says the new legislation will enable farmers and landowners to remove unwanted horses from their land and in a much more straightforward way while action will be less expensive to take.

Farmers can suffer significant financial losses caused by flygrazing so they need the option of taking action quickly to reduce or prevent damage, it says

According to the NFU the law will also make a big difference to horse welfare, as charities have been struggling to help the thousands of horses being bred indiscriminately and kept without proper care.