“Firstly I must apologise for the lack of posts… I’ve been in a lot of pain….but hope to get posting more news stories again soon; so please bear with me!” (MY sincere apologies if some post are a bit disjointed…drugs play havoc with my brain!!) so I hope all myposts will make sense…if the don’t…you know why!!”
“Please email DEFRA now, and tell Lord De Mauley that laws which are not enforced are not worth the paper on which they’re printed (Email already written) just fill in your details to send:-http://www.worldhorsewelfare.org/Live-Export-from-the-UK Please also contact your MP (Letter already done) which will pop up after your email to Defra!
On 10th February the BBC’s Inside Out programme revealed the shocking results of World Horse Welfare’s largest ongoing investigation, uncovering evidence that horses and ponies are being exported through Britain’s ports to uncertain fates on the Continent.
Keeping tabs on Live Export of Horses
It will show that an unknown number of horses and ponies are leaving Britain’s shores under the pretence that they are for leisure or sport – but may in fact be sold for slaughter.
We have been investigating the movement of horses into and out of the UK, including reports of possible export for slaughter, for several years and have always passed any information that we have onto the proper authorities at the earliest opportunity.
Unfortunately it has become clear that in many cases, proper preventative action from the authorities and enforcement of the law was simply not taking place despite the information that we were providing, and that horses and ponies were being left very vulnerable to abuse as a result.
Our investigations have found that horses and ponies are leaving our ports without any checks on their welfare or their paperwork. It is impossible to know whether the laws protecting them are being complied with.
Horses waiting for death!
These movements are not small or insignificant: over just one weekend of monitoring we saw more than 90 horse boxes – a number of which could carry more than 20 equines – leaving and entering the port of Dover.
World Horse Welfare is calling for the legislation meant to protect our most vulnerable horses and ponies from indiscriminate export to be properly enforced as a matter of urgency. We want to help the enforcement agencies to protect horses and ponies, by continuing to provide intelligence and expertise as we have done in the past.
PLEASE WATCH THE FOLLOWING VIDEO TO UNDERSTAND HOW HORSES ARE BEING TRANSPORTED.!!
P&O Ferries actually stopped a vehicle carrying horse; after checking the vehicle P&O said the horses were not fit to travel….KUDOS to P&O…without whom the horses could have shipped to slaughter!!
Post from P&O Ferries:Service with a conscience
Can we ship livestock on your vessels?
Yes, we can ship livestock on our Dover-Calais and Irish Sea routes, however animal welfare is an issue that concerns us. Hence on our Dover-Calais route we are only prepared to ship breeding livestock and only if booked via the relevant national associations. These livestock must be transported according to DEFRA requirements and accompanied by the correct DEFRA documentation, clearly showing the animals are being shipped for breeding purposes. A surcharge is applied to livestock movements and they will only be shipped on the European Seaway. Please contact the relevant national association for pricing details.
Can we ship horses on your vessels?
Yes, we can ship horses on all our routes (except Dublin – Liverpool, shipments from Tilbury and freight only shipments from Zeebrugge) under the following conditions.
Horses travelling to France MUST be accompanied by either an Export Licence or an AHA certificate AND an equine passport. Ponies must also be accompanied by a fitness to travel certificate or Health Certificate. Horses and ponies travelling with a final destination to countries other than France MUST in addition be accompanied by a Health Certificate.
Horses or ponies travelling from France to the UK may travel on their equine passports only. Horses or ponies starting their journey in any country other than France MUST be accompanied in addition by a Health Certificate.
Health Certificates are ONLY valid for 10 days from the date of vets signature (and can only be signed within 48 hrs of departure). Horses and ponies may return to the originating country on the same health certificate providing it is within 10 days of the vets signature. (day 1 being the day it was signed)
The information detailed above is for guidance only – The responsibility lies with the owner or agent to comply with British and European statutory regulations.
Further information can be obtained by contacting DEFRA.
Find out more by reading our FAQs (Some of which are below), or take action to help these horses today. Or you can make a donation to help keep our teams on the road.
Please email DEFRA now, and tell Lord De Mauley that laws which are not enforced are not worth the paper on which they’re printed….email link here:-http://www.worldhorsewelfare.org/Live-Export-from-the-UK
Email & News Link:-http://www.worldhorsewelfare.org/Live-Export-from-the-UK
PLEASE WATCH THE FOLLOWING VIDEO – It Is not graphic!!
Clamping down on UK’s illegal horse traders
Published on 11 Feb 2014
A year after the horsemeat scandal, Inside Out’s David Whiteley investigates the illegal export of live horses from the UK.
The World Horse Welfare charity told Inside Out that it suspects that horses and ponies are being transported freely across Europe as unscrupulous dealers exploit a legal loophole in equine transit.
Under an agreement between France, Ireland and the UK, sports horses can be moved freely but low-value ponies are not covered by the agreement.
David Whiteley joins the World Horse Welfare’s field team as they watch for horse dealers who they suspect are breaking the law. As well as concerns over equine welfare, there are fears the horses could be destined for slaughterhouses in Europe, raising fears about food safety and human health. But P&O Ferries refused some lorries due to unevaluated passports…i.e fakes passports! P&O also refused some lorries because some of the horses were not fit to travel! BUT IT SHOULDN’T BE UP TO PORTS TO REFUSE UNFIT HORSES….it’s obvious those trying to take the lorries abroad care nothing about the welfare of its cargo!!! Kudos to P& O Ferries!!
The government says it has agreed to tighten the rules on horse exports from May.
“I won’t believe anything until I see or read new legislation! The Government wonders why horse meat is getting into human food, it’s because the passports are not checked or are faked, horses are being stolen from fields during the night! Read some of the snippets below from News posts, it just doesn’t add up to me!” especially the parts where they say ‘ One of 5 horse slaughter plants’, which includes one ’Ashgrove Meats in Newcastle West’ that was responsible for contaminated horse meat! Then in another post it says ‘ THE only approved horse-slaughtering house in Northern Ireland has stopped killing horses, the Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has revealed.?????”
Preview of FAQ
Q. What can I do about this?
Please join our calls for proper enforcement! You can email your MPs and Defra Ministers quickly and easily here.
You can also help these horses by sharing any information that you have, anonymously and in complete confidence, via the ‘Tell Us’ pages of our website.
If you would like to make a donation to help keep our teams on the road, you can do so here.
Q. Is live export of horses legal? What are the laws?
A. In some circumstances it can be legal to export horses (for example for breeding or competition). However there is a package of protective legislation in place which should prevent the indiscriminate export of equines for slaughter. Unfortunately it seems that this legislation is not being properly enforced.
The legislation in question includes:
- The Welfare of Animals in Transport Order: Sets out the conditions for transporting animals, including rest periods, fitness for transport, vehicle standards and documentary requirements.
- The Animal Welfare Act 2006: (in Scotland, the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006) Sets out the basic principle that animals should not be allowed to suffer unnecessarily, either through human action or inaction.
- The Equine Identification Regulations: Set out the rules for horse passports.
- The Tripartite Agreement: Allows the free movement of some horses between France, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Recently changed – see below.
- The Animal Health Act 1981 (Minimum Values) Sets out the minimum value that certain types of equine should have if they are to be exported (see below).
Q. I thought exporting horses for slaughter had been banned years ago?
A. There is a package of legislation in place, including an Act which should have limited the export of equines to protect working horses, ponies, mules and donkeys from export for slaughter. This was brought in as a result of the work of our founder, Ada Cole, and has been improved over the years as a result of our subsequent work as a charity. However, it seems likely that a lack of effective enforcement has led to exports for slaughter taking place under the radar of enforcement agencies. We have gathered evidence and passed this on to the relevant authorities.
Q. What happens to the horses while they are being transported and after they leave the UK?
A. We can’t be sure of what will happen to these horses, but we strongly suspect that some of them will be slaughtered. Some of them are taken to markets where they will be sold for various purposes, including slaughter. We also strongly believe that they will not be transported in good conditions, either when they leave the UK or on subsequent journeys after they arrive in Europe, and that their welfare will not be respected. The animals in question have a low financial value, making it uneconomic to export them unless corners are cut – which will compromise their welfare.
Q. What is the Tripartite Agreement (TPA) and does this affect these horses?
A. The Tripartite Agreement is a long-standing agreement between France, the UK and the Republic of Ireland to allow horses to move freely between these three countries without the need for animal health certification. This meant that horses could move over these borders without health checks, and without any traceability which posed significant welfare and disease risks. Originally applied only to Registered horses (such as a racehorses), it was extended in 2005 to apply to all horses, other than those moving directly to slaughter. We have been calling for it to be changed ever since, to prevent unscrupulous individuals from falsely declaring that they are moving horses for legitimate reasons then transporting the animals to slaughter abroad.
Happily our calls have recently been successful, and the Chief Veterinary Officers of France, Ireland and the UK have signed a new agreement which means that horses moving between France and the UK, and France and Ireland, will no longer be able to move freely unless they are ‘high-health horses’ – meaning registered FEI or race horses. Moreover these movements will be required to be logged, providing much-needed traceability. Movement of horses between the UK and Ireland will be unaffected, as Ireland and the UK share the same official health status (determining which diseases are present and absent from a country), making a change impractical.
The details are yet to be decided, but we are very pleased that such a positive step has been taken to protect horses. The crucial thing now is that the details must be decided upon and these changes must be enforced when the revised agreement comes into force in May 2014. We will be working alongside Defra and the rest of the equine industry to finalize the details and to communicate the changes to horse owners.
Q. What does ‘Minimum Values’ mean and what does it mean for the export of horses and ponies?
A. By law horses and ponies must have a financial value above a certain amount in order for them to be exported overseas. This helps protect equines of a lower market value from being exported for slaughter, as the price for their meat should be less than the price of the horse or pony. However, with the lack of basic checks of welfare and documentation at ports, there is no way to know whether this law is actually being complied with.
Q. What about horses being imported into the UK?A. There are certainly equal, if not even greater reasons to be concerned about horses being imported into the UK. These horses may well have come from environments where serious diseases are present that we do not currently have in the UK. A lack of enforcement can make it difficult to trace where the horses came from, or where they went, if disease breaks out. In 2010, Britain had its first ever cases of equine infectious anaemia since 1976 when the disease was found in two horses that had been imported from mainland Europe. More cases were reported later the same year and in 2012, all in imported horses. Tracing the other horses that had travelled with the affected animals was a long and complex process.
Equally importantly, the welfare of imported horses may not be respected, with unfit horses being transported over long distances, and little or no enforcement to protect them. Any low-value animal may be vulnerable to this sort of abuse, whether it is entering the UK or leaving it.
The changes to the Tripartite Agreement should help with this issue to some extent, but only so long as they are enforced properly.Take action to help these horses today!
Link for FAQ;-http://www.worldhorsewelfare.org/live-export-FAQs
A NEWCASTLE West livestock factory is one of only five facilities in Ireland licensed to slaughter horses for meat, it has been confirmed.
The Ashgrove Meats facility in Churchtown has been slaughtering horses and exporting their meat for consumption in mainland Europe for the past three years. It is the only facility licensed to do so in Munster.
Ashgrove Meats is the only plant in Munster which slaughters horses for meat
Related Snippets Of Interest:-2/02/2013 Meat From Horses With Forged Passports Recalled By Limerick Abattoir
THE FOOD Safety Authority (FSA) has concluded an investigation after horses with forged passports were slaughtered for meat at a county Limerick abattoir.
It has been confirmed that meat from two Irish horses which had been exported to Italy had to be recalled after officials discovered that the animals had forged documentation.
The horses had been slaughtered at Ashgrove Meats in Newcastle West, one of only five facilities in Ireland licensed to kill horses for meat.
Under regulations, all horses slaughtered for meat in Ireland have to have a verifiable passport to ensure that they have not been in contact with substances which may be harmful to humans.
Related Snippets Of Interest:- 14/04/2013 NI’s Only Horse Slaughtering House Stops
THE only approved horse-slaughtering house in Northern Ireland has stopped killing horses, the Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has revealed.
She explained that the Armagh plant asked the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to remove its authorisation and stopped killing horses at the end of January.
“There was one slaughter plant in County Armagh approved by the FSA for equine slaughter,” she explained.
“This establishment is also approved for the slaughter of cattle and sheep. It ceased slaughtering horses completely on 25th January 2013 and has asked the FSA to completely remove their authorisation to slaughter equines.”
She said this was the only establishment approved by the FSA to slaughter horses in Northern Ireland in recent times.