The Donkey Sanctuary's partnership with Eurogroup for Animals launched an important project to ensure the EU’s 6 million horses and 1.5 million donkeys are covered by species specific legislation. In 2015 the recommendations were published in a ground breaking report titled "Removing the Blinkers". We were delighted to hear from Eurogroup for Animals that MEP Julie Girling's report on Equine welfare has this week been adopted by the European Parliament.
European Parliament adopts Resolution to transform lives of horses, donkeys and mules across Europe
Press Release from Eurogroup
Eurogroup for Animals has welcomed the adoption of a landmark Resolution by the European Parliament today - a Resolution that paves the way for higher standards of welfare for all horses, donkeys and mules throughout the EU by:
1. Allowing for the dissemination of basic information relating to the care of all equines across the EU
2. Empowering consumers to choose horse businesses with high welfare standards, and
3. Providing funding for smaller farms to be rewarded for high standards of equine welfare.
The Resolution, which was authored and spearheaded by Julie Girling MEP, takes many of the key conclusions from a study that was published by World Horse Welfare and Eurogroup for Animals, ‘Removing the Blinkers: the health and welfare of European Equidae in 2015’. This was the first research report to fully outline the scope, scale and welfare challenges of the EU’s equine sector. The report identified a number of key welfare concerns – most of which were ultimately due to a basic lack of knowledge among owners.
Commenting after the adoption, Julie Girling MEP, said: "I'm very happy that my report has passed through Parliament with such a large majority. Animal welfare has never been higher on our citizens' agenda, and high standards are a mark of a civilised society. I look forward to close cooperation with the Commission to take these recommendations forward."
Roly Owers, Chief Executive of World Horse Welfare and Chair of Eurogroup for Animals' Equine Working Group said: “The adoption of the Resolution by the European Parliament today could not be more timely: June will see the first meeting of the new EU Animal Welfare Platform, a new forum that aims to address specific challenges to animal welfare through cooperation between civil society, public authorities and industry. What better blueprint for action could we have? We commend Julie Girling MEP for her work in this regard.
“The welfare problems facing Europe's equines are just that - European problems. Poor stabling conditions for horses are as likely to be found in Ireland as they are in Italy, overworked donkeys can be found in Santorini just as they can be found in Spain. The absence of basic knowledge right across the EU is hurting equines and holding back the economy alike. We are confident that this Resolution is a big step in the right direction for better equine welfare across our Union, and we look forward to taking forward its conclusions in the near future."