Every voice counts: hours left to back fight against long-distance transport to slaughter

Every signature counts as World Horse Welfare urges the public to back its latest battle in the fight to end long-distance transport of horses for slaughter – before time runs out.

The charity’s most recent petition to the European Commission, calling for a shorter maximum journey limit for horses en route to slaughterhouses, closes tomorrow (13 March).


Sign the petition here


As of today (12 March), nearly 49,300 people had signed the petition, and World Horse Welfare hopes this number will reach its target of 50,000 before it closes.

“While the timetable for the UK’s exit from the EU remains as uncertain as ever, once this happens the voices of UK citizens may not be heard so loudly in Europe so World Horse Welfare is urging supporters to add their names to the petition while they still can,” a spokesman for the charity said.

World Horse Welfare’s long-running campaign to end long-distance transport to slaughter has already achieved a number of successes including maximum journey times and better conditions for horses.

The number of equines transported is also dropping, from some 50,000 in 2012 to about 26,000, the most recent figures show.

“This is another hugely encouraging step in our long-running campaign to end this vile and needless trade once and for all,” said charity chief executive Roly Owers.

“We believe there are a number of factors that have contributed to this significant reduction but campaigning has undoubtedly been a major influencer and we would like to thank everyone who has lent their support to our campaign over the years.

“But we know that 26,000 horses enduring these exhausting long journeys to slaughter every year is still shocking and we are committed to seeing that number reduced to zero by 2027. I urge everyone to sign and share our petition as widely as possible so that together we can complete the job of ending the long-distance transport of horses to slaughter in Europe for ever.”

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World Horse Welfare has also commissioned consumer research in Italy to understand the motivations for Italians’ buying and eating horse meat – seeking to understand whether animal welfare issues could have an impact on buying habits and consumption.

The charity will also carry out further research into equine welfare and behaviour during the journeys to slaughter and at destination and investigate levels of non-compliance in the transport trade which is “vital in showing the European Commission that the law as it stands is not only detrimental to welfare but is also unenforceable and unenforced”.

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