World Horse Welfare is disappointed that European agriculture ministers will not review transport regulations for horses travelling across Europe to slaughter.

Yesterday (19 June) the European Council voted in support of the European Commission’s strategy on the protection and welfare of animals for the next three years, and encouraged the commission to do more for animal welfare.

This included citing the important link between animal health and welfare, and the need to promote high welfare food products within Europe.

However the council did not request an immediate review of the transport regulation relating to horses.

“We applaud the council for showing a commitment to better animal welfare, but we are deeply disappointed that they chose not to seek a review of the laws governing transportation to slaughter under which around 65,000 horses needlessly suffer each year,” said World Horse Welfare chief executive Roly Owers

“We call on the commission to immediately introduce a short, maximum journey limit for horses in line with scientific opinion,” he added.

World Horse Welfare has been campaigning for changes to Transport Regulation EC 1/2005, and particularly the introduction of a maximum journey limit of nine to 12 hours for all horses transported to slaughter or further fattening.

For more information, go to www.worldhorsewelfare.org/takeaction