Invitation to European Parliament Conference on Equine Welfare 21st October 2015 – 14:00-17:00 – European Parliament After
After the publication in June this year of the ground-breaking report Removing the Blinkers: The health and welfare of European equidae in 2015, which investigates the state of play for the EU equidae population, MEP Julie Girling is proud to host the first ever European Parliament conference on the welfare of EU horses, donkeys and mules together with the European Horse Network and Eurogroup for Animals.
The report Removing the blinkers, produced by World Horse Welfare and Eurogroup for Animals with involvement from a vast array of stakeholders from industry, sport, academia and government, constitutes the first attempt ever to map the EU equine population, while also setting out both legislation and practices affecting the equine industry. This report was kickstarted in May 2014 where the European Commission organised the first equid expert meeting convening national experts from 21 member states and a multitude of sector representatives. The report unveils a growing, economically significant sector with equids fulfilling a wide range of roles, from elite athletes generating millions of euros to family pets to draught animals supporting subsistence farmers. Covering this impressive range of roles during their lifetimes, equids often fall between cracks of laws designed to protect farm animals and companion animals.
With an estimated 7 million animals, the equine industry is not the most animal intensive industry in Europe. It is, however, one of the most effective in terms of creating value and jobs. Yearly the equine sector generates approximately 100 billion euros for the EU economy as well as a high number of rural jobs in regions that may lack other types of economic activity. Europe has always been the cradle for the equine tradition and if both Europe and its equids are to fully live up to this heritage and its potential then a much more systematic approach is needed to protect both welfare and economic interests.
Against this backdrop, The European Parliament conference is intended to reflect on the report’s recommendations and let key speakers from the European Commission, the European Parliament as well as the equine sector respond to the report and suggested next steps on key issues such as (i) Identification and registration; (ii) Welfare in transport; (iii) Welfare at slaughter; (iv) Responsible ownership and (v) Rural development.
- 21st October 2015 – 14:00 – 17:00
European Parliament – Room PHS 1A002
- 14:00 – 14:10
Opening by MEP Julie Girling
- 14:10 – 14:30
Presentation of the report: Removing the Blinkers – The Health and Welfare of EU Equidae in 2015 by Roly Owers, World Horse Welfare
- 14:30 – 14:50
The EU as a responsible framework for equidae by Andrea Gavinelli, DG Health and Food Safety
- 14:50 – 15.10
- 15:10 – 15.30
Rural Development and Equidae Population by Christophe Cazanave-Pin, DG AGRI (TBC)
Equine sector reflections – speaker from European Equestrian Federation (TBC)
- 15:30 – 16:50
- 16:50 – 17:00
Closure by MEP Philippe De Backer
Please register by Monday 12th October by email to Lina Christensen at Eurogroup for Animals: firstname.lastname@example.org The email must contain information on full name, nationality and pass port number of participants.