Environment and animals

Tethered horses

We're able to deal with horses which are tethered on public land and action can be taken to remove horses using the Animals Act 1971; however, we don't have a legal duty to deal with horses on private land. It's a decision for the landowner as to whether action should be taken.

If you wish to report a horse which is tethered on public land, contact our customer centre.

If there's a problem with horses on the highway causing an immediate risk to motorists, call the Police on telephone: 999.

If you wish to report the welfare of a horse, report this to the RSPCA.

Horse passport

All horses, ponies, donkeys and related animals must have a horse passport as per The Horse Regulations 2009. The passport is a small booklet that identifies your animal by its height and species.

It also states whether your animal can be used for food at the end of its life. You can declare that your animal isn’t intended for human consumption by filling in the appropriate section of the passport - this can’t be changed later. If you don’t make the declaration on the passport, it’s assumed the animal is intended for human consumption at the end of its life.

A passport is needed for each animal and lasts the animal’s lifetime. It must be with the animal at all times, for instance, if you keep your animal in a livery stable, the passport must be kept at the stable.

When you need to show a horse passport

You need to show the passport:

  • on demand from a local authority enforcement officer, such as a Trading Standards inspector
  • when you sell or give the animal to someone else
  • when a vet examines or treats your animal

Note: All horse passports issued since 1 July 2009 must contain a microchip number.

Also see