Horse owners in Hartlepool have been reminded of their responsibilities after a spate of illegal grazing.
Horses have been seized from land in the town, including off Brenda Road, in recent weeks.
People need to be aware of the responsibility if they are thinking of acquiring a horse or a ponyHartlepool Council spokesperson
Under the Control of Horses Act 2015, landowners – including councils – have a wider range of options for dealing with unwanted horses on their land.
Hartlepool Borough Council has now warned people that horses will be impounded if they are left on land not belonging to them.
A council spokesman said: “The council continues to work closely with a number of organisations, including Cleveland Police and the RSPCA, to tackle the problem of illegally grazing horses.
“We have been pro-active for a number of months now putting up signs at known illegal-grazing hot-spots owned by the council warning that horses will be impounded, and owners should be in absolutely no doubt that this is the only warning they will get before our equine bailiffs take possession of their horses.
“This work is being carried out on public safety and animal welfare grounds, and the importance of our clampdown was highlighted by the case of Tango earlier this year, an under-nourished and dehydrated palomino pony recovered from an industrial site off Brenda Road, where there was very little grass and no water.
“People need to be aware of the responsibility if they are thinking of acquiring a horse or a pony.
“People need to make sure that they have the land for them to be exercised and looked after properly and they need to make sure that they can afford their upkeep.”