Ingatestone, Essex – Sue Burton, Founder of Remus Memorial Horse Sanctuary, welcomes the news that the Control of Horses Bill has been passed by Parliament and will become law in the next two months, following royal assent next week, but says “there is still much more to be done”.

The Control of Horses Bill will make changes to the Animals Act 1971 and will:

– Enable local authorities, owners and occupiers of land to deal with horses left on their land more quickly (after 4 working days as opposed to the current 14 days) and,

– Provide more options for dealing with unclaimed horses including private sale, gifting them to a charity or humane euthanasia.

Sue Burton met with Lord de Mauley, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, at Westminster to discuss the equine welfare crisis in July 2014, who stated at that time, that the Government would look favourably on this Bill. However, Sue cautions that although a massive step forward, there is still a long way to go to improve the horse welfare situation in this country.

“It’s important that everyone remembers this is not the ‘be all and end all’”, says Sue. “When they were first introduced, both horse passports and the Animal Welfare Bill were promoted as instruments that would ‘bring an end’ to horses’ suffering.” Sue explains further, “If anything the problem has worsened in recent years.” Defra and the larger welfare Organisations said passports would stop the welfare problems, then they said that the Animal Welfare Bill would stop problems and allow them to stop animals suffering before they died but, despite this, the problem has worsened and horses are dying daily. No one is tackling the Traveller Horse issue and many Traveller horses do not have passports. Sue wonders what will happen to those horses due to their numbers and whether it will encourage Travellers to ‘dump’ even more unwanted horses, knowing that someone else can now pick them up. Time will tell.

“Either way this Bill is another tool that will help in the fight against the horse welfare problem, so we welcome it, and thank Julian Sturdy for all his hard work.”

For further information, visit or contact Sue Burton on tel: 01277 356191.

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