For many years, World Horse Welfare has been documenting the appalling welfare impacts on the tens of thousands of horses, ponies, donkeys and mules who endure long-distance journeys across Europe each year for slaughter. Often exhausted, diseased, injured and travelling for days over thousands of miles: these horses are deprived of food, water, and rest.
Whilst the UK may have voted to leave the EU, the Government can still use its influence to help stop these appalling journeys, endured by more than 50,000 horses each year. Our campaign will continue in continental Europe until we reach our goal but there is currently an important opportunity for the UK Government to take a stand, and this is where we need your help.
We need you to take action; – please write a short email to Farming Minister George Eustice and Rural Affairs and Biosecurity Minister Lord Gardiner to ask them to support a review of the Transport Regulation, and introduce a short, finite journey limit which can end the torment caused by these relentless journeys.
We suggest using the general points below to write an email – in your own words – explaining why you think the UK Government should join in the call for change. The bullet points below provide you with some background information, but please present your thoughts in your own way as Defra may not take note of emails are identical or appear to be a mass communication.*
As we are members of pan-European advocacy organisation Eurogroup for Animals, by taking action, you will also be showing support for a Europe-wide campaign to stop these long journeys for all animals en route to slaughter.
• Every year, across the EU tens of thousands of horses, endure journeys to slaughter that can last days on end, with limited food, water, and rest when there are slaughterhouses that could take the horses much closer to their point of origin.
• The current law does not prevent horses suffering – limiting the length of these journeys would lower disease risks and reduce exhaustion, dehydration, and injury.
• The European Commission’s own scientific advisors (the European Food Safety Authority) have recommended a 12-hour maximum journey limit for horses based on scientific evidence which we, in part, provided.
• The UK must join other member states in supporting a revision of EU Transport Regulation (1/2005). We need you to join the campaign to limit these long journeys and help tens of thousands of horses who continue to suffer as a result of these unnecessary journeys.
*Please resist the use of abusive language as your e-mail will be blocked and your voice, on behalf of the horses we strive to help, – will not be heard. Please ensure you include a relevant title in the subject header of the e-mail.