EU sets up new guidelines for transporting equidae
Through a collaboration of transport professionals, veterinary organizations, animal welfare groups and agri-food workers, new practical guidelines have been established for assessing the fitness of horses, ponies, donkeys and their hybrids for travel.
The guidelines, which received support from the European Commission, are a result of extensive research and consultation by a stakeholder group coordinated by World Horse Welfare and the Federation of European equine Veterinary Associations (FEEVA). The guidelines are quite clear, meant to help maintain good health among animals and humans, reduce the risk of disease transmission and prevent animal suffering while in transit.
Additionally, the guidelines offer a health and transport checklist and a reference guide to assess vital signs and health concerns. While the guidelines are designed to protect animal welfare, they also provide for the health and safety of the handlers and other humans who might come into contact with the animal. “No animal shall be transported unless it is fit for the intended journey,” say the guidelines.
The guidelines also met the approval of Dr. Bernard Vallat, who was director general of the World Organization for Animal Health for 15 years before recently leaving the position.