Information for landowners regarding the illegal grazing of horses on their land

The Control of Horses Act 2015 (CHA) came into force in England on 26th May 2015. The following information is provided for landowners who may wish to use the provision of the Act to deal with horses put onto their land without permission.

The Control of Horses Act amends section 7 of the Animals Act 1971. Section 7B allows an occupier or freeholder of any land to detain a horse if it is ‘fly grazing’ on their land without authority. If no owner claims the horse within 4 days (96 hours), the landowner becomes the legal owner of the horse, and may dispose it by giving it away or selling the animal.

These new powers could be used in relation to Appleby Fair for example, by:

  • Farmers and landowners
  • Schools with horses ‘fly grazing’ on their land
  • Commoners Associations (that manage areas of common land) where owners ‘fly graze’ horses without grazing rights.

For further guidance and advice on horses that are illegally fly grazing read the grazing horses and the law leaflet, below.


A Warning Notice that can be used by landowners to deter horses being put in their fields is available, below.


A Notice for use by landowners who wish to detain a horse is available, below.