Following the horse market in Zuidlaren (NL) in October, today a meeting was held between representatives of the five largest Dutch horse markets (Hedel, Zuidlaren, Bemmel, Barneveld and Elst), an exporter, the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA), the national welfare protection agency and a representative for Eyes on Animals and the Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF Germany).
A large part of this meeting needed to be spent on clearing the air and creating possibilities to work together on improving animal welfare at the horse markets. These markets will probably continue to exist, but with everyone’s collaboration we could succeed in reducing any stress and suffering.
Although the EonA/AWF representative did not leave the meeting completely satisfied, it has become clear that there is at least a will to improve animal welfare and to work together. The organiser of this meeting has promised to try to get the Horse Market Council to invite EonA/AWF at a meeting in February, in which agreements will be made.
Eyes on Animals and the organisers of the horse markets have also agreed on meeting again well before next fall, when the yearly horse markets take place again, to be sure that everything has been well planned.
This meeting contributed to getting to know one another as well as one another’s view points and better communication to enhance animal welfare. Eyes on Animals feels optimistic about this and will continue to inspect the horse markets.