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Fake Horse News
 By Winniefield Park   •   18th Feb 2017   •   1,118 views   •   0 comments


Seems like we are inundated with fake news these days. The good advice seems to be to check your sources and make sure you aren’t reading satire, outright fake news, shoddy, biased reporting or rehashed urban legends. It’s not easy. Here’s a look at some of the fake news stories that have hit the horse world in the last year.

Wendy’s Serves Fresh, Never Frozen Horse Meat

It appears that Wendy’s may have served horse and rat meat rather than beef in their chili. But that’s not true. Stories like these have been floating around for awhile now. An earlier story also claimed that McDonald's uses horse meat in their burgers. The Wendy’s story appeared on The News Buzz Daily, a website that publishes both fake news and real news chosen for its shock value. Unfortunately, the story went viral on social media and many people thought it was true.

The story was believable because, in the U.K., Wendy’s and several other restaurants inadvertently served up horse meat that was mixed into ground beef. The meat supplier did not label the contents of its ingredients correctly. Ikea, Tesco and many other retailers and restaurants pulled the mislabeled ingredients and apologized to customers. Wendy’s in the U.S. wrote an assurance to their customers that there was no horsemeat or any other type of meat other than beef in the foods they serve.

Anti-Presidential Candidate Protesters Break Police Horse’s Leg

Protest groups were out in force long before the current president was elected or took office. Back in May of 2016, a group of protesters broke windows and burned trash in front of the Albuquerque, New Mexico convention center where the presidential candidate was appearing. Protesters threw rocks and bottles at the line of police horses sent to control the unruly crowd. During the melee, a horse slipped on the pavement and suffered abrasions on its back legs.

But, the story quickly devolved. Rumors were spread that the horse had a broken leg and that the horse had eventually died or was euthanized. The location of the incident also changed from Albuquerque to Anaheim. The police department finally tweeted that the horse was fine and quelled the rumor mill.

U.S. Bureau of Land Management Votes to Euthanize 44,000 Wild Horses

The true part of the story is that an advisory board did recommend destroying thousands of wild horses. A press release issued by the Humane society stated: “The BLM’s National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board voted to recommend euthanasia of all unadopted wild horses and burros now in government holding facilities...” But, while there may have been a recommendation, the BLM did not accept it. Nevertheless, horse and burro lovers reacted on social media, outraged that tens of thousands of horses were to be euthanized. What to do with the animals is a contentious issue, but for now, the horses are safe.

Police Horse Kicks Student Protester at Black Lives Matter Demonstration

This story is partially true. I first heard of it shortly after the incident, because it happened relatively close to where I live. A Queen’s University student in Kingston, Canada slapped a police horse on the haunches during a homecoming event. The young mare was relatively inexperienced, and two young men had previously done the same thing. Clearly, the mare was fed up with being attacked and lashed out at the woman. The woman was knocked down, and video shows her getting up, and running away holding her nose, still laughing. The three who attacked the horse were later charged with Injury to an Animal. The story happened on the wrong side of the border and nowhere near a Black Lives Matter demonstration. The good part of this story is that lots of city kids learned what happens when you mess with a cranky horse.

Skeleton of Napoleon’s Horse Marengo To Be Part of Museum Exhibit

While the journalists who wrote the headlines announcing the installation of Marengo’s skeleton thought their facts were true, a little more research might have revealed that there is evidence that skeleton itself is likely a fake. A book written in 2000 dispels the myth of Marengo and the author claims that there is evidence that the skeleton is not that of the horse. So perhaps this isn’t so much fake news as erroneous news.

Got any fake news about horses? I’d love to hear your story.
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