The Horse Trust has criticised the growing trend of European horsesdestined for slaughter being purchased and imported to the UK.

The Horse Trust has criticised the growing trend of European horses destined for slaughter being purchased and imported to the UK.

The charity has been contacted by a number of people who have rescued horses from the meat trade in France. Some of these people have asked about rehoming their rescue horse, as they are unable to cope with its medical or behavioural problems.

The Horse Trust is asking horse lovers to stop purchasing horses from the many websites that allow people to buy horses destined for slaughter – and to consider rehoming a UK horse instead.

Paul Jepson, chief executive of The Horse Trust, said: “These websites are profit-making ventures and by buying these horses, people are encouraging the horse-meat trade. You may be saving one horse, but your money will fund the breeding of many more horses for the horse-meat trade.”

“It’s a very risky buying a horse unseen from a website, as you have no idea what the horse is like – it could have behavioural issues and be too much to handle, or it could be permanently lame. With the credit crunch, there are thousands of horses in the UK that need a new home. If people feel they have the time, money and long-term commitment to look after a horse, we would advise them to contact their local equine rehoming centre.”

The Horse Trust is also concerned about the risk of an imported horse transmitting an infectious disease to local horses and advises anyone buying a horse unseen to ensure a thorough and independent vet check is carried out first.

The Horse Trust has information and advice on buying a horse at www.horsetrust.org.uk

Potential horse owners can also get individual advice by emailing The Horse Trust via the contact form on its website.

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