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EU Stable-Door Directive takes effect

Updated: Jan 2

The EU’s Stable-Door directive enters into force this week, in a bid to clamp down on the future risk of horses bolting. The bill comes into effect five years after the mass escaping-horse scandal of 2015, also known as farmgategate.

The law provides for a list of indicators for what constitutes the risk of a horse bolting. Those indicators are to be decided by national regulators, and notified to the European Commission.

It also sets out parameters for action at national level to stem the risk of horse-bolting, which can include “the securing of the entrance/exit of the stable or other equestrian enclosure, such as to prevent egress.” But it stops short of requiring the door or gate to be closed, leaving leeway for member states to notify “alternative equestrian containment measures.”

The scope for greater discretion and powers to EU capitals followed months of pressure from the German horse lobby.

Horse escapes have become largely moot in recent years, after costly litigation from horse owners following farmgategate resulted in greater rigor from stables, and developments in stable-door technology, including ‘latches’ and ‘locks’.

Asked if the directive would make much difference, a spokes-horse said:

“neigh.”

BM [not even sorry for the horsey joke]

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