Long-distance transportation of horses to slaughter in Europe

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Every year, around 26,000 horses are packed into trucks and driven needlessly long distances across Europe to slaughter. Travelling for days over thousands of miles with little chance to rest, eat or drink, these horses arrive at their destination exhausted, in pain, stressed, severely dehydrated and broken in spirit.

We need you to help us to convince the European Commission to introduce a maximum journey limit of 9 to 12 hours, ending the torment caused by these relentless journeys. We also want to see the conditions in which horses travel to slaughter improve - find out more about our goals.

Act now to urge the European Commission to change the law that is failing horses Sign our petition today!

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These journeys are not necessary.

Long-distance transport to slaughter - stressed and sweating stallion, abnormal posture, resting leg in empty water trough

There are licensed slaughterhouses across Europe - but despite this these journeys continue, often passing many slaughterhouses that could take the horses on the way. We want to see a short finite journey limit introduced to prevent needless suffering.

Changing the legislation would also make it easier for transporters to be compliant and enforcement agencies to enforce the legislation as these shorter journeys could be harmonised with driver working times and rest times.

We need supporters like you to join the campaign to end these journeys. Public pressure is an essential part of changing the law to end these journeys.

You can help by becoming a campaigner and getting involved in activities like letter writing, collecting petition signatures or spreading the word about the campaign.


Our campaign is based on science.

We know that the best way for us to show policy-makers why these journeys cause such suffering is to have a strong scientific basis.  Imposing a maximum journey time of no more than 12 hours is based on scientific evidence which shows just why these journeys compromise welfare so badly and is also in line with the recommendation of the European Commission’s own scientific advisors. Find out more about our evidence.


Working for improvements today.

Our goal is to stop to the long-distance transport of horses across Europe to slaughter by 2027.  We also understand that journey times are just part of the picture - the care and handling of these horses, the condition of the vehicle and the standards of driving are also all important in stopping this needless suffering.We will always campaign for an end to these journeys - but we also want to relieve the suffering of the horses being transported long-distance to slaughter today.

In 2017, we will be playing a leading role in the European Commission’s project to provide good and best practice guidelines for animals transported within Europe and into third countries for slaughter.  Through this, we will provide practical guidance to transporters and control posts on complying with the welfare aspects of the Regulation regarding equidae. Already we have worked with stakeholders to produce guidance on the watering of equids transported by road and on assessing equids’ fitness for transport. Going forward, we aim to build closer relationships with relevant bodies (e.g. reference centres) to provide guidance and training with the support of the European Commission.


Like to know more?

Read our FAQs about the campaign, look at our timeline showing our successes to date or find out how you can become a campaigner.

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