Welfare organisations are putting mounting pressure on the government to stand up to the threat posed by proposed EU animal transport legislation to Britain’s much-valued freedom from the live export trade.
As they stand, the draft regulations could open the way for live export of horses from Britain. Meanwhile, fears have been raised that a side effect of passport legislation will be the closure of British abattoirs, creating a market for live export of horses.
International League for the Protection of Horses (ILPH) president the Princess Royal said at an ILPH seminar last week: “We are faced again with losing critical legislation. We seem to have been here before several times.”
DEFRA official Graham Cory told delegates at the seminar that government and industry are united with regards to live exports, and ILPH chief executive John Smales stressed how responsive the department had been to ILPH advice.
However, Peter Stevenson, political director of Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), said: “I don’t have a sense from our government that it is taking this seriously enough and working hard on it.”
The ILPH is currently campaigning for members of the public to write to secretary of state for rural affairs Margaret Beckett, urging her to do everything in her power to stop the resumption of the live export trade from British shores.
Meanwhile, the CIWF presented a petition of some 60,000 signatures to Downing Street earlier this week.
For more information about the ILPH campaign Say No to Live Exports visit: www.ilph.org or (tel: 0870 906 1927) or write to ILPH Campaign Pack, Anne Colvin House, Snetterton, Norfolk NR16 2LR.
Read the complete story in today’s issue of Horse & Hound (20 November)