This is your chance to make a difference.

Today (18 May) H&H charity of the year World Horse Welfare launches its latest campaign in the battle to end a trade that “amounts to such a significant legally-sanctioned abuse of horses in Europe”.

The charity is calling for maximum journey times for horses to be limited to 12 hours, including loading and unloading.

Should this be achieved, the knock-on effect could be to help end the practice of long-distance travel to slaughter for good, the goal World Horse Welfare wants to achieve by its 100th anniversary, in 10 years’ time.

Charity CEO Roly Owers said: “World Horse Welfare was founded 90 years ago to stop the horrific ordeal experienced by thousands of British horses at the end of their working lives as they were sent on long, arduous journeys to European slaughterhouses in appalling conditions. 

“Having secured laws protecting British horses from indiscriminate export for slaughter, our focus over the past 50 years has been on ending long-distance journeys to slaughter on the continent, which has been remarkably successful.  So it is very fitting that in our anniversary year we are invigorating our campaign with a strong call for support as we aim to put an end once and for all to this needless trade that amounts to such a significant legally-sanctioned abuse of horses in Europe.”

The charity wants supporters to sign this petition, and every voice counts.

“We should never forget how much our campaign has helped achieve since 1927,” Roly added. “Horses are no longer lifted by cranes on the docksides; they are no longer whipped miles to the abattoir or left in trains for days at a time at borders; and they are not packed onto lorries in groups to trample each other and fight.  Thanks to the outstanding support of the public, we have helped to secure so many improvements – significantly lowering incidences of injuries and fatalities, reducing the numbers transported by 70% over the past 15 years and crucially, we now have scientific evidence on our side that the law as it stands does not and cannot protect horse health and welfare.

 “We are within touching distance of achieving our ultimate goal which is why we have set ourselves the challenge of ending these completely unnecessary journeys, which still cause so much suffering, by our 100th anniversary.

“This is achievable but will require the help of everyone across the UK and Europe.  So I urge each and every one of you reading this to please sign our petition, and encourage your friends and family to do so as well. We know that petitions work and have helped bring about such change so every signature counts.”

Don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine (18 May 2017) for more on the trade and how you can help.