The Rt. Hon. Margaret Beckett M.P.
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
House of Commons


Dear Secretary of State

I am extremely concerned to hear that we are at risk of losing crucial legislation that protects our British horses and ponies from being transported vast distances in appalling conditions to be slaughtered abroad for their meat.

The International League for the Protection of Horses (ILPH) submitted a report on the slaughterhorse trade in Europe, Stop the Suffering, to your government in 2002. This detailed how horses are incarcerated in lorries, travelling many thousands of miles in extremes of temperature, without food or water with no opportunity to rest off the vehicle at anytime. They remain on the lorry for many days, with no one checking on their welfare.

On the 16th July 2003, the European Commission released a draft regulation on the Protection of Animals During Transport which does not sufficiently address these issues. Worse, if adopted, it could permit the export of horses for slaughter from the UK to commence.


The present UK legislation has protected hundreds of thousands of British horses and ponies over the years. The British public regard horses as companion rather than meat animals and would be outraged to see horses leaving our shores to an uncertain fate. I hope that the letters you are receiving demonstrate the strength of public opinion and will encourage you to present to the European Parliament and the Member States arguments that would allow the UK to continue to prohibit the export of all equines for slaughter.

I urge you to do everything in your power to stop our horses and ponies from being subjected to this cruel fate and prevent thousands of horses suffering as a result of this barbaric trade. Horses should be treated with respect.

I would like you to register my views but do not expect a reply.

Yours sincerely