International equine charity World Horse Welfare is asking the public to help keep the pressure on lawmakers to end the live export of horses to slaughter from Britain.
Various pieces of legislation have been successfully passed into law to make the live exports to slaughter more challenging, but none have made it illegal. With less than a parliamentary year to go before the next General Election, the charity is asking for people to contact their MPs to call on the UK Government to deliver on its manifesto and act now to officially end this cruel trade.
Any horse can end up being exported to slaughter, from outgrown children’s ponies through to ex-sports horses, many of whom have been sold with the best of intentions, in the belief that they could never end their lives in a slaughterhouse.
“The demise of the Kept Animals Bill earlier this year was hugely disappointing,” World Horse Welfare Chief Executive Roly Owers said.
“But we still have a significant opportunity to keep the pressure on the UK Government (to make good on their manifesto commitment) to tackle this trade – much of which happens ‘below the radar’ – so that the voices of these suffering animals are not silenced.”
World Horse Welfare was encouraged when, in 2021, the current UK Government made a manifesto commitment to finally ban live exports of animals for slaughter and fattening. However, the promised legislation has yet to make it into law and the Kept Animals Bill, which would have introduced a ban, was abandoned earlier this year, despite cross-party support. With time running out, World Horse Welfare is asking for help from the public to speak up for equines and ensure a new live exports Bill is put before Parliament and passed into law before the next General Election.
Anyone in the UK can help by calling on their MP.
Ever since World Horse Welfare’s founder, Ada Cole, stood on the docks and witnessed the cruel and brutal treatment of work-weary horses being exported from British shores to slaughter abroad almost 100 years ago, the charity has been campaigning to stop the trade.
While no horse, pony or donkey has officially been declared as being exported for slaughter in recent years, sadly, there is a trade in equines being smuggled out of the country – often in poor welfare conditions and on fraudulent passports to ensure that all could go to slaughter.
Some of these vulnerable animals will end their lives in a slaughterhouse, despite being signed out of the food chain on their official passports. These horses may move directly to slaughter, indirectly via another trader or must endure the indignity of standing for hours at a European market before being sold for meat.
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