Princess Anne remarks that horses should be eaten, even at home

I hate to say it, but I will . . . I told you so about Princess Anne and horse meat. She is in favor of slaughtering horses, believes Britain needs more of it and now adds that Brits should develop a taste for horse meat.

Princess Anne gives a friendly pat to a horse, but is she really trying to size you how much on the hoof he may be worth for his meat? World Horse Welfare photo.
Princess Anne gives a friendly pat to a horse, but is she really trying to size you how much on the hoof he may be worth for his meat?

Check this out.

    (CNN) — Princess Anne’s suggestion that Britons need to reconsider their reluctance to eat horse meat was “brave” and reflects a sad decline in horses’ value, the head of a horse welfare charity says.

    Addressing the World Horse Welfare conference Thursday, Princess Anne — Queen Elizabeth II’s daughter and the organization’s president — suggested that making horse meat more valuable might lead to better treatment of the animals.

    The Olympic equestrian referred to the transport of horses from countries such as Poland, the source of some horse meat, saying many horses left looking “absolutely wonderful” but suffered in transit.

    “It’s worth noting transport of horses itself is the problem — not the horses or indeed the way they were brought up,” she said.

    “If that’s true then and they value their horses — they look after them well because they’re in the horse meat trade — and it’s the transport that’s the problem, should we be considering a real market for horse meat, and would that reduce the number of welfare cases?”

    The princess suggested that “our attitudes to the horse meat trade … and the value of horse meat might have to change.”

    “I chuck that out for what it’s worth because I think it needs a debate,” she said.

    She noted that Britain’s attitude to horse meat was not universal. “As I was reminded, not so long ago, by somebody who’d traveled in France, the most expensive piece of meat in the local butcher was a fillet of horse meat,” she said.

:: Read full article, view video at >>

I admit I was smirking when I read the quotes attributed to World Horse Welfare chief executive Roly Owers who looked to me as if he were trying to backpedal the Princess Royal’s statements supporting horse slaughter.

World Horse Welfare — the International League for the Protection of Horses in their previous incarnation — works to make the road to slaughter better, but don’t seem interested in protecting horses from the act of slaughter.

Wyeth had to go to England to get a so-called horse protection group to say that what they did with pregnant mares and their foals in order to produce Premarin was not abusive. That group was, you guessed it. The International League for Protection for Horses, now called World Horse Welfare. I wouldn’t want to be a horse in a world where they are in charge of my welfare.

And what about the ideas here attributed to Princess Anne in the Huffington Post?

    The queen’s daughter, a former British Olympic equestrian competitor, says creating a market for horse meat may improve the welfare of horses because owners would take better care of them if they had more value at the end of their lives.

So horses are not worthy of good care if you can’t get something more out of them, even when they die? And you make this statement at a world horse welfare group you head up?

You should be ashamed ma’am.

And I have a very strong feeling this is not going to be very good for British trade and tourism.

Horse welfare charity welcomes ban for trainer Howard Johnson

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Trainer Howard Johnson
Trainer Howard Johnson. Image: John Walton/EMPICS Sport


Johnson, who said he now planned to retire, admitted running Striking Article eight times after the horse had a palmar neurectomy.

The operation involves severing or removal of leg nerves running to the foot and leaves the horse numb to pain.

“This was a reprehensible act,” said Roly Owers, chief executive of the World Horse Welfare charity.

“It clearly crossed the line between the acceptable and unacceptable use of horses in sport.

“When we use horses in sport, that places a significant burden of responsibility on our shoulders for their welfare, and Howard Johnson simply did not live up to that responsibility.

“He showed a callous disregard for the well-being of the horse when he made the decision – not once but eight times – to run Striking Article without any feeling in one of his forefeet.”

Johnson, 58, claimed during a British Horseracing Authority (BHA) inquiry he was unaware of the rule stating he should not have run the horse.

The BHA disqualified the National Hunt trainer for three years with regard to the neurectomy charges, and one year for using anabolic steroids on three other horses.

Johnson indicated when contacted that he had no plans to appeal against the suspension and that he intended to retire from training. He plans to issue a full statement early next week.

Johnson’s principal racehorse owner, Sage computer magnate Graham Wylie, said he was “absolutely, totally shocked” by the ban.

“Howard has been treated like a criminal and he is not,” he said.

“I think it’s a disgusting decision and I’m disappointed for Howard.

“I just feel so sorry for him because that is not Howard and he looks after his horses incredibly well. He would never do anything to harm a horse.

“I think they (BHA) have come down too heavy handed for the charges that have been made against him.

“It is a very sad day for northern racing as it has lost a very good trainer and they have also lost a very good owner.

“Most of my horses will go the sales and the rest of those that I keep will either go down south to be trained or to Ireland. I shall spend the weekend thinking about it.

“It’s a very sad day.”

Johnson said the horse would not have pulled up on his final start [at Musselburgh in February 2010] if he had no feeling in his foot.

Striking Article was put down after that race. It was discovered in the post-mortem that the neurectomy had taken place.

Johnson said he was not aware of the rules and did not know that a horse that had been de-nerved was banned from racing on welfare grounds, and because it could affect the safety of the jockey.

But Rowers said: “We are also dismayed that a trainer of Johnson’s experience and stature is pleading ignorance of the rules. Ignorance is no excuse for not knowing the rules but more importantly it’s no excuse for cruelty.

“Looked at another way we just need to apply a little simple common sense: how could anyone think it was acceptable to race a horse that was in so much pain it needed a neurectomy in the first place?

“This case should send out a clear message to everyone involved in racing that the welfare of the horse has to come first, not the need to win at any cost.”

Howard, who has held his licence since 1984, was also charged under a separate investigation in relation to the administration of anabolic steroids to three other horses.

BBC Sport, video and report >>


Why was trainer Howard Johnson banned for four years“, by Joe Wilson, BBC Sport, 12 August 2011.

Charity spearheads expert meeting on transport to slaughter welfare issues (UK)

Horse Transported to Slaughter
'The practices we see in commercial transport to slaughter are the worst possible combination for the horse,' says Dr David Marlin who will be attending the June 15th meeting in London spearheaded by World Horse Welfare to examine the issue.

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World Horse Welfare is bringing together a group of distinguished scientific experts in a bid to develop recommendations that will help address key welfare concerns currently facing horses being transported long distances across Europe to slaughter.

The leading international horse charity has arranged the meeting of experts in London on Wednesday 15 June 2011, during which professionals from across Europe and the USA will share their knowledge and experience. Exhaustion, journey times, dehydration and water provision are the topics being examined: all serious concerns that World Horse Welfare has documented during field investigations along Europe’s routes to slaughter.

World Horse Welfare Campaigns Advisor Jo White said:

“Every time we undertake field investigations we see exhausted and dehydrated horses suffering needlessly. We’ve brought this team of experts together to aid in developing proposals that will end the current and totally unacceptable suffering these horses endure. It is clear that people at every level need to know what’s going wrong and see the compelling case for change if horse welfare across Europe is to be improved.”

The meeting will further develop the charity’s existing recommendations for changes to the current transport Regulation* by pulling together the latest information, scientific evidence, and expert opinion; ultimately reinforcing the call for improvements to horse welfare whilst identifying gaps in research where further work is needed. The findings of the meeting will be sent to key decision makers including the European Commission and EU Member State Governments.

Representatives from organisations and educational institutions including the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), Italian Equestrian Federation, University of Lincoln, Texas A & M University, International Equestrian Federation (FEI), Animal Health Trust, University of Glasgow, Donkey Sanctuary, University of Liverpool, Royal Veterinary College, and University of Bristol will be in attendance.

Attendee Dr David Marlin, Scientific and Equine Consultant, said: “The practices we see in commercial transport to slaughter are the worst possible combination for the horse. If you wanted to make a horse ill, you would dehydrate it and transport it until it was exhausted. This meeting will capture ideas from leaders in the field of equine veterinary science and transport to help direct research that can have an impact on the future lives of thousands of horses.”

World Horse Welfare continues to campaign for an end to the long-distance transportation of horses across Europe to slaughter. Visit for more information about the charity’s campaign and how you can help bring an end to the suffering currently endured by around 80,000 horses every year.

Source: Press Release

Royal Marines help round up feral horses (UK)

Feral Horses Moray
Feral Horses Moray

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The Royal Marines were involved in helping to round up almost 100 semi-feral horses on a remote farm at Dallas in Morayshire in a major operation co-ordinated by the charity World Horse Welfare.

It was the charity’s biggest and most unusual project and also involved vets from the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and the armed forces charity, Horseback UK.

The operation was organised after an elderly farmer contacted World Horse Welfare as he was concerned about his Highland-type horses and ponies and realised help was needed to rescue them.

The animals were in danger of becoming serious welfare cases.

The herd, made up of stallions, mares and foals had been increasing in size for many years due to uncontrolled breeding.

The 1,000 acres of grassland, forest and scrub land could not sustain them adequately. Continue reading >>

The horses are expected to be sold at auction to recoup part of the expenses.

World Horse Welfare do not work to eliminate horse slaughter in the UK, preferring instead to work on improving welfare standards in transport to slaughter.

See BBC News Scotland video report >>