The buying and selling of our top equine Olympic athletes is one of the major talking points in the equestrian community at the moment.
For someone who bought her last horse for £100, expensive competition horses are not a specialist subject of mine, but it is the suffering of those equines whose destination is far from a plush competition yard with saunas and swimming pools, that we should be talking about.
Every year, 65,000 horses are driven vast distances across Europe to slaughter and World Horse Welfare is calling for the European Commission to introduce a short, maximum journey limit for these horses.
The journeys that these animals face are barbaric with animals exhausted, often diseased, injured, stressed and travelling for days over thousands of kilometres, desperate for food, water and rest.
Horse meat is still popular in many countries across Europe and in order to meet demand horses are often transported over vast distances.
For the horses inside the lorries, packed into compartments with inadequate space in temperatures that can exceed 40 degrees centigrade, the journey is appalling.
Exhausted by the struggle to maintain balance on a moving vehicle for what can be days on end, their suffering is often compounded by hauliers flouting legislation that demands that they must stop to feed, water and rest their live cargo every 24 hours.
The horses often have limited if any access to water prior to, during, or after these journeys and become severely dehydrated.
World Horse Welfare is asking members of the public to take an active part in this campaign today by sending a quick and simple email to their MEP.
This must be done as soon as possible before an important vote focusing on the EU Transport Regulation takes place in October.
For further information on how you can get involved in the campaign go to www.worldhorsewelfare.org
In an ideal world this wouldn’t be happening at all, but for now let’s support making the lives of these animals a little easier and instead of talking about whether it’s right to sell our top Olympic horses we should be talking about whether it’s right to allow the single biggest abuse of horses in Europe to continue.
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