Horse meat is ugly. Carne de caballo es feo.
FOX LATINO reports:
The economic crisis in Spain is sending almost 5,000 horses a month to the slaughterhouse and has increased the number of animals abandoned because their owners can no longer afford to keep them.
The secretary general of the Professional Association of Slaughterhouses and Meat-packing Companies, Manuel Gonzalez, said that since “there is no market” for selling, renting or breaking-in horses at the moment, some breeders find themselves unable to afford the high cost of feeding the animals, estimated at an average of 300 euros ($369) each per month.
The trend started two years ago, Gonzalez said, adding that he was talking about young steeds, “not old or worn-out nags.”
He recalled that in Spain there is scarcely any demand for horse meat*, so that it is either used for pet food or is exported to France, Italy**, Belgium or Greece.
The president of the National Association of Breeders of Spanish Thoroughbred Horses, Javier Conde, said that intensive breeding farms are hit hardest, because sales “are difficult,” the prices they can get for their horses are low while their costs are through the roof, which has led any number of stockbreeders to eliminate part of their animals.
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* Horse meat is not generally eaten in Spain. However, the country exports horses both “on the hoof and on the hook” (i.e., live animals and slaughtered meat) for slaughter.
** Italian companies import hundreds of thousands of living horses to slaughterhouses in Italy from Poland, Romania, Spain and Latin America. Horses transported from Italy to Spain for slaughter travel 36 hours in deplorable conditions with no food, water or rest.