As a horse lover I'm sure that the last place you would want to imagine seeing a horse is on someone's dinner plate, but sadly there is a market out there for horse meat. While we cannot stop this from happening, we can try to minimise the suffering of the horses whose fate is to be sold as meat.
In Europe thousands of horses suffer in crowded conditions on illegal journeys of up to 36 hours from Spain to Italy to be slaughtered for meat. The horses are denied adequate rest, food and water throughout the journey, breaking European Union regulations designed to protect them. The animals are constantly distressed by the overcrowding and are subjected to roasting temperatures that often exceed 40 degrees centigrade. The conditions result in extreme stress for these sensitive animals during their final hours.
The transport of chilled and frozen meat has been going on for more than 125 years, yet horses are being transported unnecessarily long distances each year - just to be slaughtered on arrival. Horses suffer this for one reason: if slaughtered in Italy, their meat can be misleadingly marketed to consumers as being of ‘traditional Italian’ origin. European nations should enforce the EU rules on live animal transport to support the existing humane trade - chilled or frozen meat already makes up a significant part of the Italian horse meat market.
To find out more about the global campaign backed by the world’s leading animal charities calling for an end to the long distance transport of live animals for slaughter please go to www.handlewithcare.tv/uk/
Please sign the petition to stop the long distance transport of horses for slaughter (click on link below)
Please Help! We need as many signatures as we can get before mid October 2008
On behalf of The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA)