Experts from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) have recommended improvements to current EU welfare legislation for horses in transit to slaughter, including a 12-hour cap on journeys and improved conditions.

The EFSA recommendations are based on research by World Horse Welfare and mean the charity is a step closer to its goal of ending the long-distance transportation of horses to slaughter in Europe.

A report by the European Commission on the current rules is due in the autumn.  

Jo White, director of campaigns at World Horse Welfare, said that the recommendation of a 12-hour journey limit for horses destined for slaughter was extremely welcome.

She said: “To have this robustly enforced could bring an end to the stress, exhaustion and suffering along Europe’s slaughter routes.”

Other recommendations include providing water before and after the journey and continual access to an unrestricted supply of clean drinking water during the whole of any rest period.
Individual partitions would also be mandatory.

For more on welfare during transportation don’t miss vet news next week (10 February, 2011)

This news story was first published in the current issue< of Horse & Hound (3 February, 2011)