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Forum aims to improve lot of horses during transport

August 21, 2010

A veterinary-led European transport forum is planned to discuss how the welfare of horses can be improved through better enforcement of existing legislation.

BEVA president Madeleine Campbell

World Horse Welfare has been behind moves to improve long-distance transport conditions for horses for several years.

The forum is set down for Brussels on November 29.

It is being jointly organised by the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) and the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE), and is sponsored by the charity World Horse Welfare, which has run a high-profile campaign to end the plight of horses unnecessarily trucked long distances across Europe to slaughter.

BEVA president Madeleine Campbell is the British Veterinary Association (BVA) representative on the FVE working party for transport.

It is hoped the forum will be attended by over 150 participants, including representatives of European Union member states, chief veterinary officers, members of the European Commission and European Parliament, scientific experts, national veterinary organisations, animal transport associations and animal welfare associations.

The forum will review the enforcement of the existing European regulations that currently govern the transport of horses for slaughter and for other purposes.

Areas for practical improvement will be identified with the key focus on the enforcement of current legislation and the role of vets in ensuring that the welfare of horses in transit is protected.

The conference will try to define critical control points, effective control systems and good practices.

It will also look into trade flows, animal health risks, horse identification and the effects of closing horse slaughterhouses.

Dr Campbell said: "It is all very well to campaign for new regulations but at present even the existing regulations are not being enforced adequately.

"The crux of the matter is enforcement and there are none better placed to help with this than vets. If we can all work collectively we should have the strength to make a real impact. This is what the forum is about."



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