Improved European Standards for Equine Care
Horses, donkeys and mules could enjoy greater protection in the future. On the 14 March, the European Parliament made a landmark resolution following proposals from MEP Julie Girling. A significant majority passed the resolution. It covers animals used in a wide range of activities from farming to tourism. The resulting report will be passed to the European Commission.
The new proposals include shorter journey times for horses for slaughter and the requirement for member states to inspect slaughter houses. The report suggests that tourist should have more information made available to them. Therefore helping them to decide whether to avail themselves of services involving working animals. In addition, they recommend an increase in farm inspections.
In addition, the report further calls for an improvement in the availability of information on how to care for horses and donkeys. This includes breeding, equestrian enterprises and end of life care. Julie Girling has pointed out that whilst horses and donkeys offer vast economic potential, they are often subject to neglect, overwork and poor living conditions.
She believes that the people of Europe will back action on animal welfare. Therefore, we now a golden opportunity to improve the lives of millions of animals. As a result of better care, Julie Girling believes it will bring a greater economic return that will provide a valuable boost to rural communities.
Europe’s most significant equine welfare organisations, including World Horse Welfare, have welcomed the adoption of the resolution. The report features many of the conclusions reached by a study published by World Horse Welfare and Eurogroup for Animals. The study is entitled ‘’. Also, this was the first research to fully explore the scale of the equine welfare challenges in the European Union.
A New Era?
Many of the key welfare concerns are related to a basic lack of knowledge amongst owners which must be addressed. So, with enhanced education and cooperation between the authorities involved, it will be possible to improve the lives of horses and donkeys across the territory. You will find overworked animals and poor stabling conditions everywhere. However, the resolution could signal a new era in equine care.
Let's hope that the European Commission acts upon the report and produces the right measures for change.