MPs are due to debate the issue of horse fly-grazing, where people leave their animals on farmland without payment or permission.

Anne McIntosh, MP for Thirsk, Malton and Filey and chairman of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, will take evidence on horse welfare, with a particular focus on fly-grazing, on Wednesday, September 3.

Miss McIntosh said: “The term ‘horse fly-grazing’ describes the practice of leaving horses to graze on public or private land without the permission of the owner or occupier of the land. It contributes to poor horse welfare and also creates social, economic and environmental harm in affected communities.

“Additional issues of public safety may arise if fly-grazed horses stray onto public highways or other hazardous sites. This evidence session will explore the nature of the problem, the factors driving it, and potential solutions.

“We will be hearing from a number of expert witnesses, including Defra Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Lord de Mauley, the Country Landowners Association, the National Farmers’ Union, representatives from the gypsy and traveller communities and animal health and welfare societies.”