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MP to Ride into Parliament

At 1.30 pm on Wednesday 31st March, James Gray, Conservative MP for North Wiltshire will ride his horse through Carriage Gates, into Parliament

James Gray, the first MP to exercise his right to ride a horse into Parliament since the beginning of the last century, will be supporting the ILPH and highlighting a Westminster Hall debate taking place from 2.00 pm that Wednesday afternoon.

The debate, which James Gray is answering, is on rising concerns over the resumption of the live export of British horses and ponies for slaughter in European abattoirs.

The MP is supporting the International League for the Protection of Horses (ILPH) who have been running a campaign Say NO to Live Exports, since September last year.

Says Jo White, ILPH Campaigns Manager, "The EU draft Regulation on the Protection of Animals during Transport is due to be considered by the Council of Agricultural Ministers at the end of April. We are extremely concerned as it contains no provisions to protect our horses and ponies from the live export for slaughter trade from which they have been protected for nearly 70 years. We cannot understand why the Government suggests that these new draft Regulations will protect our horses and ponies, when the journey times and rest periods currently proposed within them could actually make the situation worse than it is under the present Directive.

"Members of the European Parliament have been extremely supportive in tabling amendments that will improve animal welfare, for inclusion within their report to the European Commission, which will be voted upon in Strasbourg on Tuesday 30 March. The Commission have openly stated that they would look at an opt-out for the UK if the Government proposed it. The European door is open, why is our Government refusing to act to protect our horses?"

James Gray adds, "I am certain that the people of Britain do not want to see the live export of horses to the continent for slaughter for human consumption. That's why I am determined to persuade the Government to make use of the opt-out that the European Union is offering them."



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