Farmers across Wales are becoming increasingly concerned about horses being dumped on their land.
A report by the National Farmers Union of Wales says action needs to be taken to tackle the issue.
"The problem of fly-grazing - the problem of horses on common land - is an enormous problem" says the RSPCA's Gethin Russell-Jones.
"Our RSPCA inspectors are involved daily in recovering horses, dealing with complaints".
"There must be hundreds and hundreds of horses scattered across South Wales at the moment".
William Jenkins, who farms near Blackwood in south Wales, has horses on this land which do not belong to him.
– William Jenkins, farmer
The horses are grazing on the grass, and leaving my sheep to go hungry. I believe people are buying horses, then realising the cost of feeding them outweighs the amount they'll sell for, and people are just dumping them.
The report by NFU Cymru points to a number of possible reasons for the increase in the problem of abandoned horses and fly-grazing:-
- irresponsible breeding and a few unscrupulous dealers
- lack of grazing on highway verges
- effect of the recession on pet owners
- introduction of compulsory horse passports and micro chipping, which was intended to increase the traceability of horses, has added to the cost of keeping horses.
A report by the National Farmer's Union Cymru says that 'fly-grazing', where horses are left to graze on private land without permission, is a serious problem in Wales and that it's getting worse.