How can we better protect equines in the upcoming legislative proposals on animal welfare?

14 Dec 2022
On 15 December 2022, the Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals will discuss several issues with regards to equine welfare in the EU and consider how they can be better protected in the upcoming legislative proposals on animal welfare.

Equines, meaning horses, donkeys and their hybrids, are versatile animals serving different purposes throughout their life and often not adequately protected by the legislation in place because they don’t fall within a single category. The presentations and discussions from this Intergroup session will enable us to understand how the upcoming animal welfare legislation, among other opportunities, can better address these loopholes and ensure that all equines are adequately protected in the EU.

Sabrina Gurtner from Animal Welfare Foundation will present the animal welfare concerns arising from the production and use of the hormone PMSG, also called eCG. This hormone is extracted from the blood of pregnant mares in terrible conditions incompatible with minimum animal welfare standards. In addition, the hormone is used on farm animals to synchronise oestrus and therefore increase production, and also affect the welfare of these animals.

Another topic that will be discussed is working equids. In the EU, many equids are used in tourism, agriculture, forestry and waste management among other sectors. Dr. Joe Collins from The Donkey Sanctuary will introduce a new report detailing how these animals contribute to our livelihoods emphasising on the need to better protect them.

Finally, Jessica Stark from World Horse Welfare will give further indications for the inclusion of equines within the scope of the upcoming animal welfare legislation, especially with regards to keeping and transport. In particular, it is essential to introduce species-specific provisions that can best ensure the welfare of these animals.

Christophe Marie from Fondation Brigitte Bardot will also introduce footage taken by the organisation in the Maurs fair in France depicting the abuse and mistreatment of horses.

During this Intergroup session, we will therefore learn more on the role of equines, specific issues affecting their welfare and solutions that can be implemented by the EU in the upcoming animal welfare legislation.

Join us on Thursday in Weiss LOW N3.2 in the European Parliament in Strasbourg or follow live via a link to be uploaded soon. Interpretation in the room will be available in English, Polish, French, German and Italian.