Friday, November 26, 2010

Irish horses going the way of Celtic tigers

Facing Starvation: The Sad Plight of Ireland's Abandoned Horses

"During Ireland's boom years, thousands of people bought horses as a status symbol. But with the economy in crisis, many owners can't afford to keep them. Some 20,000 abandoned horses are roaming Ireland and could face starvation this winter.
"A horse slaughterhouse in Kilkenny processed more than 3,000 horses last year, five times more than in 2005. Most of the horse steaks are exported to France.

"But only well-nourished horses whose health has been comprehensively logged are allowed to be slaughtered. One wrong drug and the meat is labelled as unsellable. Contrary to EU rules, most Irish horses don't carry implanted microchips containing their most important data. So their remains can't even be processed into dog food. The absence of microchips also makes it impossible to track where an abandoned horse came from. That makes it tempting for troubled owners just to dump their horses by the roadside because it would cost €300 to have the animal put down and disposed of by a vet."

For some related previous posts, see
Why can't you eat horse meat in the U.S.? and Abandoned horses not headed for foreign tables

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