The charity World Horse Welfare is continuing its push to end the long-haul transport of horses to slaughter in Europe, after an inhouse investigator revealed many serious ongoing welfare issues in the trade.
The British-based charity has gradually been making inroads into the long-haul slaughter trade over several years, and has now launched its “Miles of Pain” appeal to help continue the campaign.
It says it wants to keep the issue on the agenda of legislators.
The charity says its inhouse investigator found that horses continued to suffer pain, dehydration and disease during long-distance transportation across Europe to slaughter.
Horses, ponies, donkeys, mules and even foals are forced into the back of lorries, where they can travel for days on end without food or even water.
The animals are packed so tightly together and for such a long time in unsuitable environments that they incur injuries, spread disease and suffer from severe dehydration and exhaustion.
“There is no need for horses to undergo this stress in the last few days of their lives,” the charity says.
World Horse Welfare, formerly known as the International League for the Protection of Horses, achieved its first major milestone in 1937 when the ILPH-driven Exportation of Horses Act was introduced. This effectively stopped the export of live horses for slaughter from Great Britain.
This legislation is still in place today, but every year 65,000 stressed horses are still subjected to long-haul transport for slaughter, with mares sometimes packed next to stallions, causing chaos.
“These journeys are completely unnecessary when there are many licensed slaughter houses across Europe that could take these horses,” World Horse Welfare says.
“The charity and its supporters are making great progress with the on-going transport campaign, and so far, due to a range of influences, the number of horses transported has been reduced by a staggering 100,000.
It said its investigators had recorded the conditions that horses endured and had captured evidence on film and in photographs. Some images were too disturbing to share, it said.
It appealed for financial support for its campaign, saying it would help the charity keep pressure on the European Commission in Brussels to introduce a maximum journey limit of 9 to 12 hours, ending the torment caused by these relentless journeys.
“You can play your part in the making of history and help to change laws by supporting the Miles of Pain appeal so that World Horse Welfare can stop these intelligent animals from suffering any longer.”
People can donate at http://www.worldhorsewelfare.org/Appeal/Miles-of-Pain