World Horse Welfare has handed its petition to the European Commission calling for the end of the long-distance transportation of horses to slaughter.

More than 130,000 people in Britain and the Continent supported the Make A Noise petition, which was handed in to the EU in Brussels on 30 September.

Currently, 100,000 horses are transported long-distance across Europe to slaughter every year in inhumane conditions, causing exhaustion, dehydration, injury and stress.

The charity’s director of campaigns and communications Jo White said: “The demonstration of public support for this campaign has been overwhelming.

“It’s an issue that people are very passionate about, mainly because it’s a totally unnecessary cause of suffering on a huge scale.

“Every time we undertake a field trip to gather evidence and monitor the practice, we witness many incidents of pain and distress — which must and can be stopped.

“Hopefully, the petition will be the catalyst for change. The regulation urgently needs to be amended if welfare is to improve.

“A short, finite journey limit and improved space allowance, coupled with enforcement is the only way to stop current suffering. Ultimately we are asking for a carcase-only trade, which is entirely possible.”

The petition was handed over to the Commission during a reception at the European Parliament, sponsored by Liz Lynne MEP. The Commission also accepted the charity’s dossier of evidence last November and has demonstrated a keen interest in this issue.

Liz Lynne MEP said: “It is vital that EU Governments and the EU Commission act quickly to ensure that rules aimed at improving conditions are properly enforced, with punishments to match.”

People can still help World Horse Welfare Make A Noise, by sending a postcard directly to the President of the European Commission. These can be obtained by calling 01953 497226 or by visiting www.worldhorsewelfare.org.