The horse meat scandal – unanswered questions

So there’s horse meat in ordinary “Fresh Beef” now, not “just” hidden away in processed foods. The scandal continues and we are again told that health risks from eating it are “Very low.” Spokesmen are acknowledging that the horse medicine Bute (side effects in humans from consuming this can include “aplastic anaemia”  – with loss of red and white blood cells). But not to panic, we are told, it must be in minute quantities. If this is the case, did it really warrant the whole business of compulsory horse passports, introduced in order to prevent horse medicines entering the food chain?

The real scandal, though, is the number of horses being sent to abattoirs because of the cost of keeping them is too high in times of financial recession. A mare with foal will fetch £250, I’m told, for meat. It’s one thing for pets (or even humans) to consume a horse which has had to be put down for humane reasons, such as an accident or old age. But are we really a nation that wants see foals go that way?  We need to ask some questions which go beyond the jokes. 

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About lesleylodge

Lesley Lodge now lives on a smallholding bafflingly close to Luton, England, but grew up in the New Forest and has worked for a racing stable, a palomino stud farm and a horse trainer. Her long-time ride is Freddie, a hairy bay cob mare with a long moustache. Lesley has had several short stories published. Blues to Orange, a story about a farmer ruined by the foot and mouth outbreak, was a Luton Literary Prize Winner and published in Junction 10, a collection of short stories. She has twice been a runner-up prize winner in the annual British National Short Screenplay Competition and was the Time Out and Jim Beam Bourbon Cult Film Buff of the Year some years ago. Lesley is always looking for new stories about horses in film or TV

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