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Countries Where Foals Are Bred For Horsemeat
 By Saferaphus   •   12th Dec 2014   •   7,057 views   •   1 comments
Is Grass the Culprit of Cushings

We may dislike it, but there are still many people who eat horse meat. A few years ago, I interviewed a woman from Malta who was living in Britain. When I asked her what she missed, she said the beauty of the island and her mother serving horse meat. For her, horse meat was a taste of home.

While much of the horse meat being served may come from North and South America’s ‘unwanted’ horses, it may come as a surprise that horses are being raised for meat. In France, the horse meat industry has prevented the country’s nine native draft horse breeds from becoming extinct. The French enjoy their horse meat, and according to France Trait, 88% of the draft horses raised there are bred for human consumption. They also claim that demand is greater than production. French horses and horse meat are exported to Italy, where horse meat is said to be very popular, and to Spain.

In Iceland horses raised for meat are kept separate from horses for pleasure use. The horses used for meat production are raised in the more remote parts of the island, and live a nearly wild existence. Only in extreme circumstances is extra food or assistance supplied. The foals are left with their mothers until they are a year old, when they are then separated and prepared for slaughter. Foal meat is considered a specialty and highlighted on restaurant menus. Iceland exports meat to other countries too, most notably to France and Belgium. Production of meat horses is limited in Iceland, because of the lack of pasture, but still some 10,000 horses and foals are slaughtered each year. In Iceland, cattle breeding is difficult due to the climate.

Related: Would You Ever Eat Horse Meat
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Related: What Will Happen to the Sable Island Ponies
Related: Slaughter Plan Proposed for the Rare Dartmoor Pony

Kazakhstan, a country in Central Asia, bordered by China in the east, with a long history of eating horse meat and consuming horse milk products, recently showed an interest in buying breeding animals from Alberta, Canada for the purpose of producing horse meat according to a September 2013 Globe and Mail article.

“A memo released under the Access to Information Act shows federal officials last year hosted a Kazakh delegation that wanted to buy 350 Canadian breeding horses to kick-start a domestic slaughter industry.”

Traditionally, horses raised for slaughter in Kazakhstan were kept separate from working horses and fed until obese.

There are other countries that export a major portion of the horse meat consumed around the world. But, the horses shipped live, or ‘on the hook’ from these countries are a by-product of the pleasure and race horse industries. Raising horses specifically for meat is not as efficient as raising beef or pork. They are more difficult to keep in the same types of factory farm environments common to current meat production practices. They are more difficult to transport, and they are more expensive to feed. This might explain why horse meat is considered a delicacy in countries where it’s eaten, and why a meat-horse agricultural industry is unlikely to spring up any time soon.
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behind the bit
Id be a hypocrite to be against horse slaughter and eating them as I am a meat eater. But I really wouldn't fancy eating it or breeding horses to sell for meat.
  Aug 20, 2016  •  2,355 views
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