World Horse Welfare is celebrating a giant step forward in the campaign to end the long-distance transportation of horses to slaughter after securing an important milestone for horses transported across Europe for slaughter.

Today the charity has learnt that 405 MEPS have signed Written Declaration 54/2009 asking for a review of existing regulations surrounding the live transport of 100,000 horses across Europe in horrific conditions every year.

Jo White of the charity said: “Having witnessed this abuse first-hand, I am absolutely thrilled that so many people have got behind the campaign, we couldn’t have done this without them.

“However this is just one step forward to end the single biggest abuse of horses in Europe, so we must not lose momentum. We need to ensure that pressure is maintained on decision makers to end these cruel and inhumane journeys.”

Now the request will be presented to the European Commission, which is responsible for drafting amended legislation impacting upon these horses.

The charity and its supporters want to see the introduction of a short, finite journey limit for horses travelling to slaughter.

Long-distance transportation of horses to slaughter across Europe causes stress, injury, extreme exhaustion and dehydration.

Horses are often transported for days on end without sufficient rest, food or water is in spite of the fact that hundreds of slaughter houses line the transport routes, meaning that a carcase only trade is possible.

World Horse Welfare chief executive Roly Owers, said: “I was overwhelmed by the number of people who have supported this issue. Without the tireless campaigning of our supporters, fellow European animal welfare charities and MEPs, the number of signatories may have been much lower.

“We are grateful to everyone who has taken the time to help and urge them to continue campaigning to end this unnecessary suffering – together we can make a difference.”

If you would like to make a difference, join the campaign: www.worldhorsewelfare.org/takeaction or call 01953 497262.