Horse welfare campaigner Julie Girling has warmly welcomed moves to set up a multi-national steering group to improve equine protection and care.
The British MEP, whose own comprehensive report on equine welfare was adopted by the European Parliament earlier this year, described the proposals for co-ordinated action across the EU by leading member states as signalling a “big leap forward”.
Denmark is leading the call to create an informal international group to progress good equine welfare practices – and has secured the support of Germany and other EU member states.
Mrs Girling, MEP for the South West and Gibraltar, sees this as the next step following her report in achieving comprehensive protection for horses and donkeys throughout the EU.
The Eurogroup for Animals has praised Mrs Girling for her role in raising the profile of equine welfare and creating the impetus for a steering group specifically on horses and donkeys.
Mrs Girling said: “I am delighted my report had such a formative and effective impact in the move for better equine protection.
“Horses and humans have been best friends for thousands of years. Responsible ownership and care of horses should always be expected as a minimum, but given the number of health and welfare problems faced by Europe’s horses and donkeys today it is clear these are too often neglected.
“Action is therefore not only necessary, but also overdue – and this development could mean a big leap forward.”