DID YOU KNOW?
In transit, horses must continually shift their weight to maintain balance. A journey of 36–46 hours is the equivalent of being forced to walk for nearly two days without rest.
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Thousands of horses are transported live from Spain and eastern Europe to southern Italy for slaughter every year, a journey of 36–46 hours.
The horses are denied adequate rest, food and water throughout the journey, breaking European Union regulations designed to protect them. The animals are constantly distressed by the overcrowding and are subjected to roasting temperatures that often exceed 40 degrees centigrade. The conditions result in extreme stress for these sensitive animals during their final hours.
The long journey to slaughter is unnecessarily cruel. Horses suffer this for one reason: if slaughtered in Italy, their meat can be misleadingly marketed to consumers as being of ‘traditional Italian’ origin. European nations should enforce the EU rules on live animal transport to support the existing humane trade – chilled or frozen meat already makes up a significant part of the Italian horsemeat market.