Horses were ridden through the streets of London on April 18th in order to put pressure on parliamentarians to pass animal welfare legislation. Ten horses took part, ridden by familiar faces from the equestrian world and entertainment including influencer This Esme and veteran eventer Jane Holderness-Roddam.
The event is to bring attention to, and press for the passage of, the Kept Animals Bill, which seeks to ban the transport of live animals for slaughter. The bill, which was first introduced into Parliament in June 2021, is similar to the legislation to end the same practice in Canada that singer/actor/songwriter Jann Arden has tried to get the Trudeau government to pass. The Canadian Horse Defense Coalition is behind that bill of which we provided an update most recently in March.
The London ride was organized by the well-known charity World Horse Welfare and took just over 45 minutes to travel from South Carriage Drive in Knightsbridge through Hyde Park to Constitution Hill and along The Mall before arriving at Parliament. Horses and riders were escorted by mounted police and once they arrived at Parliament Square there was a photo session with the Rt Hon. Caroline Nokes, MP, who supports the bill. The ten horses, which were supplied and led by Carol Andrews, owner of Wimbledon Village Stables, were well behaved and the march proceeded without incident.
The ride marked the start of the charity’s #StopHorseSmuggling appeal to help finish what the late Ada Cole, who founded World Horse Welfare almost 100 years ago, started and ensure that no horse from Britain is transported abroad live for slaughter.
Roly Owers, Chief Executive of World Horse Welfare and one of the riders, said in a statement: “The issue of live export to slaughter is a founding issue for World Horse Welfare and, almost 100 years later, the Kept Animals Bill will ban live exports of animals for slaughter and fattening. The Bill was first introduced to the UK Parliament in June 2021 but, despite cross-party support, it has stalled and will drop from the agenda unless it is passed before the end of the year. As the country gears up for another general election, time is running out to get this Bill over the line and ensure live exports of animals to slaughter are banned.”