An eight-hour petition that garnered more than a million signatures in support of reduced journey times for animals going to slaughter in Europe shows there is overwhelming public support for the move, World Horse Welfare says.
The charity was in Brussels on Thursday to support the handing over of Animals’ Angels’ petition.
World Horse Welfare says the 1,103,248 signatures show overwhelming public support, and reinforce its calls for the introduction of a maximum journey limit for horses going to slaughter or for fattening.
The charity says current European Union legislation makes it possible for animals, including horses, to be transported for days on end in cramped conditions with little food or water, leading to immense suffering.
The petition was handed to Commissioner John Dali in person to help persuade the European Commission that transport regulations need revision.
Campaigns Officer at World Horse Welfare Hannah Lynch said: “We back Animals’ Angels latest action and believe that any push for change is a positive move and hope that this will put more pressure on the Commission to re-think the current totally inadequate legislation.
“They must accept that there is huge public support for a short journey limit for animals transported for slaughter, including horses.
“For many years our charity has been pressing for a short maximum journey limit for horses, which is a recommendation based on scientific evidence and supported by scientists at the European Food Safety Authority. If the current legislation remains unchanged all animals, including horses, will continue to suffer needlessly.”
In March, short journey limits received backing from members of the European Parliament as they adopted a declaration calling for a maximum journey limit of eight hours for all animals transported to slaughter.
The declaration was carried with nearly 400 MEP signatures. However, focus has now shifted to the Council of Ministers, who are now debating whether to change current transport regulations.
World Horse Welfare is encouraging horse lovers to write to their Agriculture Minister to tell them change is needed.