Danish owners face waiting list to feed their horses to the lions

HORSEMEAT — BBC News reports:

Horse owners in Denmark face a six-month wait if they want to feed their recently deceased equines to the lions.

It’s become so popular to donate the carcass of your dead horse to Copenhagen Zoo as food for its carnivores that there’s now a waiting list, Denmark’s TV2 reports.

Given the choice between having your deceased animal collected and recycled by a private company for a fee of up to 3,700 krone ($584; £443), more owners are looking into the “cheaper and more natural” option of zoo donation, the TV says.

The zoo alternative is free, the Copenhagen Post notes, and owners find their service more comforting than the thought of their beloved animal becoming biodiesel and meatballs.

Part of the food chain

“When the horse is eaten by lions, it is part of the food chain,” horse owner Karina Fisker says. She said it was important to her that her horse Vorning Hestepension didn’t suffer any distress.

“The horses are our one and everything. It’s all very emotional,” she told TV2.

The zoo’s press office says that the waiting list tends to expand in the autumn after owners give their horses “one last summer in the pasture”.

But horse meat is only part of the diet for Copenhagen Zoo’s lions, tigers and brown bears.

“They eat a lot of horsemeat, but they also vary their diet with rabbits, calves and a single goat or zebra every now and then,” the zoo’s Jacob Munkholm Hoeck says.

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So an owner has their horse put down and the zoo picks up the carcass? How do you feel about this?

Killing Horses for Zoo Meat in the U.S.

Bravo Packing in New Jersey have been slaughtering horses to supply meat to U.S. zoos for as long as we have been around. That’s 15 years at least. Tuesday’s Horse was told they have been in this business much longer.

Vivian called to see if Bravo Packing are still open and slaughtering horses for zoo meat. They are. She didn’t get much further than that.  The woman who answered the phone couldn’t hang up fast enough the moment she realized Vivian was not a prospective buyer.

Kwanzaa, a young South African lion at Cameron Park Zoo in Waco, Texas, celebrates his birthday with a cake made from 10 pounds of horse meat, plus whipped cream and a carrot. Image: Seattle Times 2007.
Kwanzaa, a young South African lion at Cameron Park Zoo in Waco, Texas, celebrates his birthday with a cake made from 10 pounds of horse meat, plus whipped cream and a carrot. Image: Seattle Times 2007.

Zoos continue to be the largest consumers of horse meat in the United States. The meat from several thousand horses ends up in the freezers of U.S. zoos every year.

Slaughtering and transporting horses for human consumption is still illegal in the State of Jersey.

Featured Image Source: Zoo lion sunning himself. Wikimedia Commons.

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