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.
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