Horses

Forums
Eating Horse Meat May Help Preserve Breeds
 By Saferaphus   •   2nd Jul 2017   •   255 views   •   0 comments
Eating horsemeat is a controversial subject that many people find offensive. But, there is a small indication that the stigma is slowly lessening. In part, itís a recognition that we need to be conscious of how we use our resources. And, some feel that raising horses for meat may preserve breeds that would otherwise disappear.



In Iceland, only 1% of the total landmass can be used for agriculture of any kind. This means that grazing land is precious. As a result, the population of horses in terms of quantity and quality is strictly controlled. Part of the control method is to keep some of the animals for meat. Those used for work and pleasure are kept separate, while those destined for meat are left to live an almost wild existence in deserted and remote areas.

Itís estimated that about 10,000 horses a year of Icelandís horse population of 40,000 are processed for meat. While there are those that find eating horse meat objectionable, itís not an unusual sight to see it offered on restaurant menus with cuts from foal meat being a specialty. A portion of the meat is also exported to other European countries. It seems to have been an effective strategy, along with banning other horses from coming to the country, to prevent overgrazing and keeping the overall population healthy.

In France, native draft horse breeds like Breton, Ardennais and Boulonnais are some that are bred specifically to raise animals for meat. According to the French Trait website, over 85% of the draft horses bred in that country are bred for meat production. The meat from these particular breeds is not necessarily eaten within France however. The meat from young horses is exported to Italy, where it is popular. The horse meat eaten in France is said to be from older horses, processed from North American sources. This is a matter of taste, rather than necessity. But, itís believed that without the horsemeat trade, these national draft horse breeds would become extinct. Some believe that farmland too, is preserved by the pasturing of these animals, that would otherwise return to unproductive forests.

The trend of eating horsemeat in France has been in a steady decline since World War I, but recently there has been a slight increase in the number of people who eat horsemeat. The reasons for this might be that horsemeat is a leaner, cleaner alternative to pork, beef, and chicken and more people are coming to see the rationale for consuming it - that itís no different to eat a horse than it is to eat any other animal. Itís more easily found on restaurant menus, although it isnít as trendy for home cooks yet.

The horse-loving Brits are not coming to the idea of eating horse meat as easily. Back in 2014, I wrote about the proposal by the The Dartmoor Hill Pony Association to encourage the use of this rare breed for meat. Dartmoor Hill Ponies and registered Dartmoor Ponies are endangered breeds. The proposal would only affect the semi-feral ponies that are raised on common pastures. Ideally, allowing some ponies to be processed for meat would raise the value and therefore the quality of care these ponies are getting while preventing their extinction. The maintenance of the herds would also preserve the lands they live on.

The Dartmoor Hill Pony Association has announced its intentions to start selling the ponies for meat. But, there are many arguments against the move. The hill ponies arenít rare, say some. Horses raised for meat will not ensure they are of increased quality. Others have long held beliefs against eating horse meat. Still, others say itís only responsible to maintain healthy herds and that a healthy short life is better than a long one of suffering.

So is this a viable way of preserving at-risk breeds? Could other breeds such as the Canadian, the foundation type Morgans, and other Ďdraft-typeí horse and pony breeds be saved this way?

--
ref 1: Charity to save Dartmoor ponies by eating them
ref 2: Is it right to eat horse meat
Horse News More PB Articles About:  horsemeat,
Horse News More In This Category:  General      Horse News More From This Author:  Saferaphus
 More News by Saferaphus
Equine RFID Tagging
19th Sep 2017   |   General   |   Saferaphus
1While pets and other livestock have been carrying microchips for quite some time, using RFID for horses has been a little slower to take off. Back in 2007, the United States Department of Agriculture approved a microchip implant ...
Racehorse Burials
16th Sep 2017   |   General   |   Saferaphus
Back in 2014, a group of archeologists dug beneath the Californian soil and unearthed three large horse skeletons. The skeletons were remains of three famous race horses that raced on the property when it was part of Hollywood Par ...
Shades of Bay
13th Sep 2017   |   General   |   Saferaphus
A bay horse has an overall brown or red-brown body with black mane, tail, legs, ear tips and muzzle. These black areas are called the horseís black points. If the horse doesnít have these points, it isnít considered a bay. ...
How to Keep Your Horse Cool
9th Sep 2017   |   General   |   Saferaphus
Whether to avoid heat stress or to treat an inflamed injury, there are lots of ways to cool your horse. Cold hosing is one way to treat injuries and can be very effective. But, itís messy, not very portable and time-consuming. A c ...
Horse Dental Problems
7th Sep 2017   |   General   |   Saferaphus
Many people have dental cavities. Most of us know that cavities form because bacteria of all types thrive in our mouths. If we donít clear the bacteria out and disrupt their plaque building activity, the plaque covering grows. Any ...
Horses and Goats
3rd Sep 2017   |   General   |   Saferaphus
Getting a goat is a commitment just like any other companion or livestock animals. They take some care but really are pretty low maintenance. Theyíre good around horses, although some horses might harass a goat. Goats have been kn ...
Horse Cosplay and Anime
1st Sep 2017   |   General   |   Saferaphus
Steampunk isnít the only cosplay opportunity out there. Cosplay is probably most commonly associated with anime. But the stories that anime characters are based on donít usually ride horses. There are a few exceptions, however. Co ...
The Last of the Horse Roundups
29th Aug 2017   |   General   |   Saferaphus
Wild horse roundups may be reminiscent of the old west but they still take place today although they may not happen for the same reason as they did back before the turn of the 20th century. Today, roundups may have more to do with ...
  View All News by Saferaphus
 
©2002 - 2017   PonyBox LLC Create Account Terms & Conditions Privacy Contact Us
361 Members Online 237,685 Registered Members 2,330 News Articles 9,394,613 Unique News Article Views 202,941,375 Website Views