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Niall Quinn, Patricia McKenna & Tracy Piggot

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Press Release

Irish Horse Welfare Trust (IHWT) launches Petition

Stop the Export of Live Horses for Slaughter from Ireland

Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin, Ireland, Thursday May 6th, 2004 at 11am. The Irish Horse Welfare Trust (IHWT), Ireland’s leading equine welfare charity CHY14634, today launches a Petition seeking legislation to uphold the State Ban on the Export of Live Horses for Slaughter. Tracey Piggot, Patron of the IHWT, presided over the launch and was the first signatory to the Petition.

IHWT was formed in 1999 to protect and rescue horses in Ireland. However, its brief soon grew to protest against the cruel practice of exporting live horses for slaughter to UK, France and even as far away as Italy. This practice is currently against Irish State Policy but is not enforced.

Speaking at the launch Tracey Piggot, Patron, said, “The export of live horses for slaughter is unnecessary, cruel and more importantly, against Irish State Policy. I urge every lover of horses, and Ireland abounds in such people, to sign this petition and to stop this barbaric practice.”

In 1960, the Irish State took a position to ban the export of live horses for slaughter. This was based on the poor conditions often suffered by horses on their way to abattoirs in the UK. Highly strung creatures, many of them suffered death by hanging in their terror, while they faced days without feed and sometimes even without water in substandard containers.

Sharon Newsome, director and co-founder of the IHWT charity explains their decision to launch a Petition against the trade. “In 1960, the Irish Government was enlightened enough to recognise the horrendous conditions suffered by horses on their way to abattoirs overseas. Over 40 years ago it took action to ban this practice.

“However, inertia and ignorance combined has allowed horse dealers to carry out such shipments with impunity, earning themselves substantial fortunes along the way.”

The timing is the launch is key according to Newsome. “Currently the UK has in place legislation that prevents the export of live horses for slaughter and a recent amendment to a proposal for an EU Council Regulation would allow Ireland to do the same,” she says.

The amendment was added to a proposal on the protection of animals during transport and related operations and included the following observation:

‘This regulation shall not be an obstacle to any stricter national measures, including a total ban on the export of live equine intended for production or slaughter, aimed at improving the welfare of animals during transport taking place entirely within the territory of a Member State or during transport by sea, departing from the territory of a Member State."

The Irish Horse Welfare Trust (IHWT) is a voluntary organisation set up for the protection of Equines in Ireland, which includes Rescue, Rehabilitation and Rehoming of horses and ponies. The IHWT continuously aim to increase welfare standards for all horses and ponies in Ireland.

IHWT is involved in the following work:
• Rescue, Rehabilitation & Re-homing of horses and ponies
• Racehorse Re-training for Re-homing Programme
• Campaigning on issues affecting Equines
• Promoting Equine Welfare Awareness

Petition can be signed either on-line http://www.irishhorsewelfaretrust.org/campaigns/export.html

Contact details
Irish Horse Welfare Trust
Ballydonnel Stables
Redcross, Co. Wicklow, Ireland
Tel: +353 404 45720
Mobile: +353 86 6047840



Irish Horse Welfare Trust, Ballydonnell Stables, Redcross, Co Wicklow, Ireland
Tel: 0404 45720,   Mobile: 086 6047840,   Email: info@irishhorsewelfaretrust.org

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