This article first appeared in our News Pages and was last updated in October 2009.
High birth rates increase the chance of an exceptional foal with the excess simply disposed of to slaughter.
The lengthy article explores many different facets of this industry and merits being read by all who care for horses. We need to ask if there are European parallels. What has this got to do with Clevelands? Just that the typical well-muscled CB would be the perfect target for a meat buyer. Posted 1.10.09
P.S. Zoe Woods, our member in northern France, discovered that both her local butcher and supermarket sell Canadian and Mexican horsemeat for human consumption. The supermarket stopped after she told them about the appalling cruelty in Mexico. Zoe asks “Will EU ban importation of horsemeat from Canada and Mexico where they don't regulate the administration of drugs or have passports?”
A recent lead on Peter Biddlecombe’s vibrant website, Horsey Talk, described a huge and lucrative industry exporting horses from the US to Canada and Mexico to be slaughtered for meat.
A link to a site in the US called Respect4Horses.com revealed a disturbing story. It is not pleasant reading.
Quite apart from the description of immense cruelty and suffering, the article gives the lie to a popular myth. The meat trade does not weed out the less suitable horses from the population. In fact it cherry picks the better animals and leaves the less desirable to uncertain rescue.
Because the trade is a profit-orientated business driven by greed, it encourages some larger breeders to produce many more horses than the legitimate market can absorb.