Julie Girling MEP launches action for responsible equine ownership
Eurogroup for Animals welcomes today’s announcement at European Pet night by Julie Girling MEP on her own initiative report on responsible equidae ownership.
The proposal will be presented to the Coordinators of the Agriculture Committee of the European Parliament and will include calls for:
- guidance on the responsible ownership and care of equidae, based around the five freedoms
- funding for education programmes on equine welfare
Following her presentation at European Pet Night Julie Girling MEP commented; “Unfortunately, equidae continue to suffer welfare problems across the entire EU. A number of areas of concern have become clear and need to be addressed rapidly. These include at the worst complete neglect but also the keeping of equidae in too small a space, confining them for long periods without access to turnout, and a lack of social interaction. Most of these problems can be addressed by educating their owners.”
“The treatment of working equidae is also a cause of concern in a number of Member States, as is a lack of access to professionals such as veterinary surgeons, farriers and saddlers. A number of equine organisations have expressed their concerns to me about training and handling methods, the use of equidae for meat and welfare problems in sport,” she added.
Many of the problems that exist for equidae in Europe could be solved by better knowledge and the sharing of best practice. There is no need to wait for legislation to be introduced which may not provide the answer to problems faced on the ground in reality anyway.
“The Commission is keen to work on non-legislative initiatives during its five year term. This presents a clear opportunity for me and my fellow Members of the European to call on the Commission to act and develop guidance to promote the responsible ownership and care of equines and to then actively market and disseminate this information to Europe’s citizens,” she concluded
Commenting on this announcement Reineke Hameleers, Director at Eurogroup for Animals said: “We are very pleased that Ms Girling has decided to champion this issue and to put pressure on the Commission to act and we look forward to working with her as she prepares her Report.”
“Equidae are used in many different ways across the Union but the welfare problems that they face are often remarkably similar. What is clear is that no Member State is entirely free of welfare issues, and no Member State should be complacent about the welfare of their equidae. We hope that the Report of Ms Girling will be taken seriously and show that education on responsible ownership can improve the welfare of the millions of equidae living in the EU in a very short time.
Most of these problems can be addressed by educating their owners.Julie Girling MEP