Page 7 - Submission: Public Payment for Public Goods, Semi-wild Dartmoor Hill Pony herds
P. 7

European Research Council, to understand the  domestication  of the horse in

                           pre-historical times, using leading-edge genetic analysis techniques.  For more
                           information on the project, click here:  http://orlandoludovic.wixsite.com/pegasus-erc

                       v)  DEFRA committee, FAnGr, has been asked to comment on the best way to

                           protect these rare genetics (January 2018).

               4      h)   Conservation Grazing Where Cattle Are Not Available
                        i)  Increasingly,  where  cattle are not available;  or  public access requires gentle

                           livestock through which the public are comfortable to walk; or there is a need to

                           easily handle grazing animals, landowners use ponies for conservation grazing.

                           Examples of organisations using  ponies for conservation grazing are:   Natural
                           England, RSPB, National Trust.

                       ii)  The use and value of ponies for conservation grazing already implemented by

                           landowners is confirmation of the academic view expressed in the  report by
                           Fraser, Stanley and Hegarty in their paper:

                            https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/track?uri=urn%3Aaaid%3Ascds%3AUS%3Ababb9e58-754a-456e-aaa4-1fdf0dc69d1e
                       iii)   Financial support to ensure the future of semi-wild Dartmoor Hill Pony herds on

                           Dartmoor’s uplands provides a Plan B for essential upland conservation grazing

                           should, as feared, commons experience abandonment by traditional hill-farming

                           and the removal of cattle.
                       iv)   As confirmed in their genetics, semi-wild Dartmoor Hill Ponies do not require

                           feeding in winter like cattle or sheep.  They are handled only once a year for a

                           brief number of days.
                       v)   The value of semi-wild ponies to conservation  grazing already recognised by

                           major landowners and academics needs to be formally encapsulated  and

                           financially supported in UK Agricultural Policy.

                           CONCLUSION



                           To date, DEFRA has created a welfare issue for the semi-wild pony herds of
                           Dartmoor through the separate actions of its departments:


                               ◊  agri-environmental schemes have incentivised the shooting of semi-wild
                                  ponies to make way for cattle.  The semi-wild pony’s contribution to

                                  grazing for the benefits of biodiversity is not formally recognised by
                                  Natural England.  Their contribution to the benefits to upland biodiversity in the
                                  way they graze alongside cattle and sheep needs to be positively valued in
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