Horse welfare petition signed

A NORFOLK charity is delivering an international petition to the European Commission to campaign for more humane treatment of horses bred for food on the continent.

A NORFOLK charity is delivering an international petition to the European Commission to campaign for more humane treatment of horses bred for food on the continent.

Each year 100,000 horses are transported thousands of miles on cramped lorries from Poland and Romania to Italy, where they are slaughtered for food.

Snetterton-based charity World Horse Welfare discovered on a fact-finding trip that 91pc of the horses in transport receive at least one injury such as open wounds or eye damage.

Richard Howitt, Labour MEP for the East of England, visited the charity last week to lend his support for the scheme.


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“The current regulations to prevent cruelty clearly aren't working. They are simply being ignored,” he said.

“I am calling on the people of Norfolk to join me in backing this petition. Europe can listen and will listen and we can make a change.”

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The petition already contains 123,000 signatures from Poland, France and Italy as well as the UK, but the deadline for new signatories is Friday September 18. After this the petition will be hand-delivered to the European Commission in Brussels on September 30 by staff from Norfolk.

Helen Taylor, campaigns officer at the charity, said that the petition was vital to improve conditions for these animals.

“We're not saying 'don't eat horse meat', that's not our decision. We're interested in the horses before they're slaughtered,” she said.

Horses are only entitled to a space 70cm wide in which to stand under European laws introduced in 2005, and are not given access to food or water during transit.

The charity is campaigning for an end to the inhumane practice, and for slaughtering of animals to happen nearer to the source to avoid traumatic journeys.

To sign the petition online visit www.makeanoise.co.uk

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