Compassion in World Farming is appalled at the news of the neglect of horses on a farm in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, resulting in the death of 32 horses and the mistreatment of many ponies and donkeys. All farm animals should be treated with compassion and respect.
Horse meat production in the UK is a controversial and secretive practice. The meat is not consumed here, but is exported to the continent.
Unlike cattle and sheep, horses are not exported live to the continent from the UK for meat and are spared the distress of long distance transport. However, across Europe and in other parts of the world, horses are transported very long distances to be slaughtered for meat. 10,000 horses were transported from Spain to Italy in 2006, and 1000s are sent from Eastern Europe to Italy each year.
Horses and donkeys are poor travellers and suffer immensely when sent on long journeys. Packed into overcrowded trucks, often with poor ventilation, these animals are deprived of proper food, water and rest and become increasingly exhausted and dehydrated. Many get injured and fail to survive the long journeys, dying on route.
Compassion in World Farming is campaigning to end the long distance transport of farm animals.