Writing To Further Animal Welfare

Posts tagged ‘missions’

Equines Suffer in Spain

Having lived in Spain for several years and having set up a welfare operation for donkey welfare I have been looking into what other problems face the equines of this country.  I asked a member of Animals Angels “Julia Havenstien” what her views of the situation were?

 “Dear Paul,

Exactly, the number of equines slaughtered in the north west is increasing and the number of exports is decreasing.

It is very difficult to tell where the most equine problems are in Spain. 

Horses for slaughter are raised in north – west Spain (Navarra, Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, Pais Vasco, Aragon and Catalonia). They are raised in half wilderness/ extensive farms and are only gathered for further fattening about one months before slaughter. Many are slaughtered in the same region where they were born or nearby regions. In Galicia there are some awful traditions when taking the animals down from the mountains and marking them for identification: they used to cut the ears of horses or use ear tags and in order to catch them they use brutal methods. 

If the horses from the northwest that are not slaughtered in the same area, they are taken to the area of Levante and Catalonia for further fattening and later they are exported to Italy or France. The transports from northwest Spain to the area of Levante often exceed 8 hours and thus are not allowed for unbroken horses (they are all unbroken), as well as the transports from the Levante to Italy or the North of France.

Thus there is the problem that unbroken horses are regularly transported over long journeys. The ministry knows this perfectly but ignores it in order to keep the trade going. We filed endless numbers of complaints…. 

Andalucia has no tradition of horse slaughter and no export tradition. In Andalucia in general no horses are bred for slaughter (I know only one dealer near Sevilla).

However, for me the main equine problems are in Andalucia, especially for “riding and breeding” horses

–          Worst holdings
–          No pasturing
–          Kept in small boxes
–          Lack of movement
–          Hobbling very common
–          Brutal riding methods
–          Stallions for breeding that practically never leave their boxes 

 All the best, 


As you can see from Julia’s report although export and slaughter are still major problems, the aspect that is also very worrying is with regard to riding and breeding. How do you tackle a situation that effects tens of  thousands of animals but not in large groups, some breeders/owners will have a couple of animals others twenty or thirty? Although you can check the markets and ask the authorities to enforce animals welfare protection laws in Spain (which do exist but are seldom enforced) many will be bought and sold directly and so go unnoticed.

This is a problem that faces equines all over Europe and will only get worse as the recession continues and will be high on the list of priories for WTFAW in 2013

Paul Svendsen


As we all stood by

Had a bit of encouragement for my poetry recently from another animal welfare site                    THE ANIMAL SPIRITS which encouraged me to write the following poem/story after seeing a lorry crammed with chickens on the way to the abbatoir.

chicken leg

As we all stood by

the breath of a thousand young souls

leaking from hot cramped cages

as the lorries role into the abattoir

terror the common denominator

 As we all stood by

cage opens legs grabbed terror increases

wings flapping useless, voices screaming

bodies hung on hooks no chance of escape

moving towards there mechanical end

 As we all stood by

electric shocks stun, heads and wings hang

knives cut, steam scalds, bodies prepared

in automated measure all trace of life removed

prepared packed and chilled souls still departing

 As we all stood by

special offer today no more cheep just cheap

detached from reality the deed done for us

shielded from the responsibility of wielding the blade

we ask no questions, don’t want the answers

As we all stood by

Paul Svendsen

chicken leg

WTFAW Campaigns

One of the primary purposes of WTFAW is to improve welfare for animals, a very effective way of doing this is to put pressure on the people who are involved through exposing their activities. Nobody likes bad publicity whether it’s a private individual or a government. Over the years I have been involved with many campaigns that really have made a difference . For instance I worked with a great animal welfare person Christa Blanke and her organisation ANIMALS ANGELS. They have managed to improve the conditions for thousands of animals travelling for slaughter by fearless investigation, relentless campaigning, lobbying and petitions.

WTFAW Campaigns will feature current welfare issues and provide information on what is being done and how you can help, sometimes working with existing charities such as Animals Angels and sometimes under our own initiative. Watch this Space



Badger cull ‘mindless’, say scientists


Badger cull ‘mindless’, say scientists

You don’t have to be a scientist to see that this is wrong! I just hope the government has the sense to stop this pointless and heartless exercise before hundreds of these wonderful creatures are killed. You can sign the E-petition against the cull by following this link http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/38257

let kindness and caring replace  greed and cruelty”

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