Riders are increasingly concerned about drones, it has emerged, as the government prepares new control laws. The British Horse Society (BHS) said it is aware of riders’ concerns and a spokesman urged drone users to consider their possible impact on horses.
Riders have been lucky to avoid a serious accidents when drones have been released within yards of the horses.
The government is preparing a draft bill on drones, which would allow police to order users to ground the machines, and mean users would have to register.
Aviation minister Baroness Sugg said the government wants to make the most of the technology, but “we have to take steps to stop illegal use of the devices and address safety and privacy concerns”. She added: “These new laws strike a balance, to allow the vast majority of users to continue flying safely and responsibly, while paving the way for drone technology to revolutionise businesses and public services.”
BHS safety director Alan Hiscox has met the department for transport and will ensure riders’ views are heard.
“Our members are increasingly concerned about the use of drones where they ride,” said a BHS spokesman. “Flying drones near horses can have fatal consequences. Users should avoid flying over horses – in fields or ridden”.
A spokesman for the CLA which represents rural land, property and business owners, welcomed new measures. He added: “But an increase in the use of recreational drones with cameras is a worry to farmers and landowners over privacy, potential for damage to property and the safety of people and livestock. “We will continue to push for change to the Civil Aviation Act, so users would need landowners’ permission to fly over their land.”