Scandal of the British horse meat trade

Cross-posted from expressyourself

Written by BONNIE ESTRIDGE

WE REVEAL the growing British trade in horse meat and a campaign which aims to stop the animals’ slaughter.

THE seven-year-old girl wept as she said goodbye to her grey pony and watched the man lead it away from the field behind the family home.

She had groomed it for the last time to make it look its best because the man told her he was buying the pony as a birthday present for his daughter.

Giving her beloved pet a final hug, the girl went indoors. Her mother Julie says: “She had begged us not to sell her pony but we simply couldn’t afford its upkeep any longer. It’s a recession and we’ve been forced to make cutbacks.

We never had a real emotional attachment to the animal but I did wonder whether the £6,000 we got for it was actually blood money, that the pony may well have ended up in a slaughterhouse to be sold as horsemeat for human consumption abroad.”

That’s the fate of more than 5,000 horses a year which are slaughtered in the UK and are sent to Europe where horsemeat is routinely eaten, particularly in France where some 70,000 horses are consumed every year. The irony is that some of that meat is exported back to the UK where, say animal campaigners, it could become a delicacy on tables across the country.

Three years ago restaurateur and TV celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay provoked outrage by urging us to enjoy the delights of a meat which, he said, is gamey, sweet, tender and very low in fat. There was an immediate outcry among animal lovers and animal welfare campaigners.

Even Ramsay’s protégé Marcus Wareing deemed the suggestion “unthinkable”. Yet some are only too keen to experiment. A few weeks ago an Edinburgh restaurant called L’Escargot Bleu became the first in the country to offer “saucisson de cheval” as a successor to donkey meat which had proved extremely popular.

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Obviously the Scots are unaware of the succulent and potentially carcinogenic drug residues in most horse meat. Gordon Ramsey must know, and it appears does not give a toss. – Editor

4 thoughts on “Scandal of the British horse meat trade”

  1. If anyone is eating horsemeat that comes from American horses, they will be eating nothing but a cocktail of toxic waste. The studies have been done and are making their rounds in news papers all over Europe, as well as the US. If the Europeans are scared of Mad Cow Disease, they haven’t seen anything the likes of what this horse meat is going to cause. They have been eating it for a very long time, they just didn’t know it. Here’s fair warning: Don’t eat horse meat that comes from the US or Canada. It’s full of all the drugs that the warning on the drug packaging says: WARNING! NOT INTENDED FOR USE IN FOOD ANIMALS FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION. This is a very serious issue that people need to take very seriously. They may pay with their lives if they don’t.

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  2. Not knowing where a beloved companion might end up is a terrible thing. My heart goes out to all those who must sell or give up their horses due to the bad economy. The horse-loving community and governments must act to provide practical solutions to help individuals keep their treasured animals, and also for humane end-of-life support when necessary.

    More foundations should be set up and publicized for those who want to keep their horses and can prove a need. A portion of auction sales, entry fees, prize money, and purses should go to rescue, rehabilite, re-train, and re-home refugee horses. Also there should be fees required from professional breeders for foals-on-the-ground. It’s way past time for stakeholders to be responsible and provide support for horses they profit from and continue to assert they value.

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    1. I couldn’t agree more. I know the breeders do not want to be hindered in ANY way, but it’s just like everything else – if you can’t be trusted to behave responsibly, then you get regulations to MAKE you. It’s unfortunate, but I’m beginning to think it’s going to be the only way.

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      1. The breeders are the ones responsible for how many horses we have, and how profitable the horse industry is based on quality and quantity. They try to make it sound as if society, or sometimes even the horses themselves, are responsible for surplus horses, and it is up to us to “do something” about it if we don’t like their solution: horse slaughter.

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