Equine charity World Horse Welfare is dismayed that there will not be any change to the laws regarding the long-distance transportation of horses to slaughter in Europe (see last month's report on the H&C website).
No change to existing laws
The European Commission recognised that “severe animal welfare problems persist” and that scientific evidence supports the charity’s call for change to transportation procedures. However, it proposes more effective enforcement of existing laws instead of the introduction of new legislation.
The charity welcomes improved enforcement, as well as “guides to good practice” for transporters on issues such as fitness to travel and water provision, it is deeply disappointed that its recommendation for a 9-12 hour maximum journey limit has not been adopted.
The charity has presented the Commission with compelling evidence that horses suffer on these journeys, which around 80,000 horses take to slaughter each year, and clear evidence of public support for change.
WHW campaigns advisor Jo White says: "We need to keep pushing until the Commission realise that their decision is wrong and that the introduction of a maximum journey limit is crucial to stop the single biggest abuse of horses in Europe. We urgently request that the Commission listens to scientists and takes the first steps by proposing such a limit.”