Councillor John Mathews believes that horse owners should be required to obtain a licence for their animals in the same way as dog owners are, and has asked council officers to explore the feasibility of such a move.
He told members at the latest meeting of the environment committee: “Given the additional responsibility placed on local government in the Welfare of Animals Act 2011, it seems reasonable in light of the extra cost implication that horse owners should be required to licence their animals.
“We do not hear about horses being neglected until it is too late. Dogs and other agricultural animals are all tagged and monitored, but horses are the exception. The other issue is the safety aspect, as horses can get out of fields and cause health and safety problems.”
Cllr Mathews added that consideration should be given to horses in professional training establishments that are subject to overhead costs.
Director of environmental services Philip Thompson said he would look into the issue and bring a report back to the committee.