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Found a stray horse

We have practical advice on what to do if you find a lost or stray horse.

Found a healthy stray horse

Due to our limited resources, our animal rescuers can’t help with found healthy stray horses.

Follow these steps if you find a healthy-looking stray horse.

  1. Check with local liveries, farms, riding schools and vets. English, Welsh and Scottish law requires that all horses must be passported and microchipped. 
  2. Contact your local authority or the police for further advice. If a horse has a freeze mark, you can contact Premier Equimark for advice.

In England if you think the horse has been abandoned on private land,  legally you must inform your local police force. 

In Wales it's the law to inform the local authority.

Found an injured stray horse

Horses found straying on a public road are the responsibility of the police. Please call 101 to report the location or 999 if you feel that there's a danger to road users.

How to report horse fly-grazing

Fly-grazing is a horse or horses illegally grazing on private or public land without the landowner's permission.

Find more advice on abandonment and fly-grazing on the Redwings Horse Sanctuary website.

In England

  1. Legally, both public and private landowners can detain any equine that is fly-grazing on their land.
  2. After owners have been notified and given the opportunity to collect their horse, landowners can take possession and sell the animal. The police and owner (if known) must be notified within 24 hours.
  3. During this time, the landowner is responsible for any injury caused to the horse while on their and. They are also legally responsible for meeting the horse's needs.
  4. If you need more help you can:
  5. Visit The British Horse Society for further advice and information
  6. Speak to a solicitor, if you have access to one.
  7. Visit the Citizens Advice Bureau

In Wales

Report any fly-grazing horses to your local authority who can then take action. They may seize and impound a horse found on a highway or in any public place illegally.

The British Horse Society also provides useful information specific to Wales.

Find out more