I want to end horse tethering in Harlow
I have been in frequent contact with residents about the safety and welfare of the tethered horses around our town. Whenever incidents are reported to me, I have contacted the RSPCA and either Harlow Council or Essex County Council, depending on whose land the horse is tethered on. The landowner is responsible for taking the necessary action should any of the horses’ welfare be compromised. The RSPCA also has the power to investigate and take action when needed.
I completely sympathise with Harlow residents’ frustrations caused by the lack of response to this situation. When I recently contacted Essex County Council about a specific horse welfare issue, they directed me to the RSPCA, and when I contacted the RSPCA, their response was that there were no welfare concerns significant enough to intervene and they directed me back to the local authority.
I have contacted the Government’s Animal Welfare Minister on several occasions, detailing concerns about the conditions these horses are kept in and my frustration that no serious action has been taken.
Further, I have held multi-agency meetings and kept up my pressure on both the local authorities and on the RSPCA. However, it is evident that this issue has not been fully addressed. Therefore, I have written to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. This letter can be seen below, and I would be extremely grateful if you would take the time to read it. I am calling for profound changes to both; the code of practice and the relevant legislation to ensure that no longer can authorities pass the buck and leave horses in this condition.
BBC Essex Interview