Horse in Tipton
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Farmers warn of illegal grazing

The National Farmers Union, meeting for its annual conference in Birmingham, has warned that illegal grazing makes it difficult to track horses and said many could end up being smuggled abroad.

The NFU has called for stricter controls and the use of horse passports in a bid to prevent them being sold into the meat trade.

Sandwell Council told BBC Midlands Today's David Gregory-Kumar that illegal grazing had been a problem for many years, with up to 50 horses currently on its land in Tipton.

Councillor Derek Rowley said horses being illegally grazed were claimed by bailiffs and owners were given 14 days to claim them, for a stabling fee, before they were sold at auction.

He said horses were sold on and only ever put down on the advice of a vet.