World Horse Welfare is bringing together a group of distinguished scientific experts in a bid to develop recommendations that will help address key welfare concerns currently facing horses being transported long distances across Europe to slaughter.
The leading international horse charity has arranged the meeting of experts in London on Wednesday 15 June 2011, during which professionals from across Europe and the USA will share their knowledge and experience. Exhaustion, journey times, dehydration and water provision are the topics being examined: all serious concerns that World Horse Welfare has documented during field investigations along Europe’s routes to slaughter.
World Horse Welfare Campaigns Advisor Jo White said:
“Every time we undertake field investigations we see exhausted and dehydrated horses suffering needlessly. We’ve brought this team of experts together to aid in developing proposals that will end the current and totally unacceptable suffering these horses endure. It is clear that people at every level need to know what’s going wrong and see the compelling case for change if horse welfare across Europe is to be improved.”
The meeting will further develop the charity’s existing recommendations for changes to the current transport Regulation* by pulling together the latest information, scientific evidence, and expert opinion; ultimately reinforcing the call for improvements to horse welfare whilst identifying gaps in research where further work is needed. The findings of the meeting will be sent to key decision makers including the European Commission and EU Member State Governments.
Representatives from organisations and educational institutions including the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), Italian Equestrian Federation, University of Lincoln, Texas A & M University, International Equestrian Federation (FEI), Animal Health Trust, University of Glasgow, Donkey Sanctuary, University of Liverpool, Royal Veterinary College, and University of Bristol will be in attendance.
Attendee Dr David Marlin, Scientific and Equine Consultant, said: “The practices we see in commercial transport to slaughter are the worst possible combination for the horse. If you wanted to make a horse ill, you would dehydrate it and transport it until it was exhausted. This meeting will capture ideas from leaders in the field of equine veterinary science and transport to help direct research that can have an impact on the future lives of thousands of horses.”
World Horse Welfare continues to campaign for an end to the long-distance transportation of horses across Europe to slaughter. Visit www.worldhorsewelfare.org/you-help/take-action for more information about the charity’s campaign and how you can help bring an end to the suffering currently endured by around 80,000 horses every year.
Source: Press Release