FACT CHECK: No, Horses Are Not To Be Allowed On Highways In The UK

Anna Mock | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims horses and cyclists are now allowed on highways in the United Kingdom. 

Verdict: False

There is no evidence for this claim. It appears to have been an April Fool’s joke originating from 2017.

Fact Check: 

Over 500 horses have been found dead in the city of Wagga Wagga in New South Wales, Australia, according to The Guardian. Although the investigation is ongoing, investigators found some corpses were “no more than skeletal remains” while others appeared to have died more recently, the outlet reported.

A Facebook post purports to show a photo of a horse with a rider on a British highway. The horse appears to be in a dedicated lane that shows a symbol of a person riding a horse.

“Thoughts on horses and cyclists to be allowed on motorway hard shoulders?” the caption reads.

The claim is baseless, however. Horses are prohibited on U.K. highways, according to British horse insurance company Equesure. There are no credible news reports about the alleged change. (RELATED: Video Does Not Show ‘Mass Immigration’ In The UK)

The claim is not recent, but was originally shared to Facebook in 2017, along with the same image, by the account BBC Countryfile Magazine. The claim was posted on April 1, with some comments reading, “This has to be an April Fool !” and “I wonder how many fell for that one.”

The photo included has been digitally altered. The same image without the man on the horse was posted to stock image website Alamy in 2008.

Check Your Fact reached out to a spokesperson for Our Media, which publishes BBC Countryfile Magazine, for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received. 

Anna Mock

Fact Check Reporter