Animal welfare organisation launches a campaign to stop the trade in live horses in Europe

An initiative calling for an end to the export of live horses for meat from Poland to other parts of Europe has been launched by anti-hunting animal welfare charity, Viva.

The campaign is calling on people in the UK to sign petitions and write to the Polish government to end the trade.

A number of British celebrities have already pledged their support, including Sir Paul McCartney, Joanna Lumley and Twiggy. TV presenter Wendy Turner was also present at the recent official launch in London.

Paul McCartney’s daughter Mary, a leading portrait photographer, said: “Horses undergo extreme pain on these journeys from Poland – many collapse, are trampled on and often die before they even reach the abattoir. Please help Viva to end this obscenity.”

A report by the group says that nearly 100,000 horses and donkeys were subjected to “horrendous” journeys as long as 2,500 kilometres – often without food, water or rest, which resulted in the death of 70%.

The group also has harrowing video footage showing horses so traumatised that they can’t walk and being trampled on by their companions.

Viva campaigner, Kat Macmillan, said: “The suffering the horses endure is indescribable. Both Polish and EU laws could be used to stop this trade dead in its tracks. The whole business operates illegally, without permits and with no veterinary control.”

Viva, which also campaigns against hunting, has established permanent office in Warsaw, where it will be organising a mass consumer campaign against horse experts to cut off the trade at its source.

It says it already has “enormous support from celebrities, the media, as well as Polish people who respect horses deeply, do not eat horse meat and are keen to see a ban on live exports.”

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