World Animal Day sees activists fight to save Portugal’s ‘forgotten horses’

Commemorating World Animal Day today, Beja-based horse rescue charity Their Voice has launched a petition designed to start saving Portugal’s abused and forgotten horses.

Explains the group over Facebook, there are no laws protecting equines in this country.

While animal rights exist for pets, there is very little that can be done to help abused farm/ working animals.

Said the group: “We have had to walk away from too many poor souls, to leave them facing a life of suffering.

“Together with a lawyer and the help of Movimento 4 Patas, we have put together a petition to make the following legal changes:

– All horses must be registered for a purpose; either for personal use or a farm animal

– The purpose must be recorded in the microchip and the horse used accordingly

– Horses’ usual place of living must be recorded in their registration

– Horses pulling carts should not be allowed on roads during high traffic hours

– Passenger numbers and weight load of the cart must be restricted

– All passengers on the cart must wear reflecting vests

– Extra horses should not be tied carts

And finally, there should be larger fines and punishments for owners who breach the above.

To help this petition along, Portuguese residents with valid residency status are asked to access the petição pública site on this link: (click here)

“We need 10,000 signatures”, says Their Voice – stressing that even if people do not qualify to sign, they can share the appeal over Facebook.

The bottom line is that anyone signing MUST “provide details accurately”, otherwise the signature will not count.

Their Voice describes itself as “the only organisation in Portugal actively working to help mistreated horses.

Founded in 2012, it is constantly called out to dramatic situations, one of the most recent of which was typically heartbreaking and saw activists having to leave an orphaned foal in the hands of the very people who had left its mother to die in excruciating pain (click here).

In UK, animal protection laws extend to farm animals (only this week, prison terms for cruelty being extended). In Portugal they don’t – and this is what Their Voice is trying to change.

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