Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fears that pet ponies and donkeys traded for horsemeat in Britain unfounded, study finds

Date:
July 8, 2013
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Fears that pet ponies and donkeys are being traded for horsemeat are unfounded, reveals new research.

Fears that pet ponies and donkeys are being traded for horsemeat are unfounded, reveals research published online in the Veterinary Record.

Related Articles


Buyers want larger size animals to obtain the maximum meat yield, so go for thoroughbreds and riding horses, the study indicates.

The researchers looked at the animals put up for sale at seven randomly selected auction markets in Britain in August and September 2011, and the type preferred by dealers buying on behalf of abattoirs.

The auctions were in North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Wales (Powys), Berkshire and Cheshire and traded equines only, but of all types, breed and age.

Their study was prompted by public concerns about the possible dispatch to slaughter of pet horses and donkeys and unwanted thoroughbred racehorses.

The authors examined 384 animals, which included a broad range of cross breeds, thoroughbreds, and ponies, and found out the destination of the 294 that were sold. Ninety were either withdrawn from sale or didn't reach their reserve price.

Just 68 were bought on behalf of the three main horse abattoirs operating in Britain in 2011, while 226 were bought by other types of buyer.

Almost half of the horses and ponies put up for sale were geldings (42%), followed by mares (30%), fillies (16%), colts (10%), and stallions (2%). Height varied from 9 to 17 hands while age ranged from under 12 months to 21 years.

Animals destined for the meat trade were around 2.5 times as likely to be larger -- taller than 15 hands -- than those bought by other outlets. Horsemeat buyers avoided ponies and cross breeds and instead opted for thoroughbreds and riding horses (43%). The price per hand for meat trade animals varied from £1.31 to £57.79.

Dealers buying on behalf of abattoirs were twice as likely to purchase animals that had some physical abnormality, including flesh wounds, burn injuries, bruises, swellings, bleeding, discharge, hair loss, or deformity, as those buying for other outlets (26% compared with 13%). And 16% of the animals destined for an abattoir were lame.

The authors conclude: "Equine buyers supplying horse abattoirs in Great Britain had a preference for purchasing larger animals and they avoided buying ponies. This is thought to reflect a preference for animals which provide a maximum meat yield from the carcase to cover the cost of transport, slaughter, and dressing."

They add: "A relatively small proportion of unwanted ponies and small horses were destined for the meat trade. In general, the findings from this study did not support the view that the abattoir industry focused on profiting from the slaughter of pet ponies."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Y. Bell, T. J. Gibson, N. G. Gregory. Procurement of equines for the horsemeat trade in Great Britain. Veterinary Record, 2013; DOI: 10.1136/vr.101636

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Fears that pet ponies and donkeys traded for horsemeat in Britain unfounded, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130708200206.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2013, July 8). Fears that pet ponies and donkeys traded for horsemeat in Britain unfounded, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130708200206.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Fears that pet ponies and donkeys traded for horsemeat in Britain unfounded, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130708200206.htm (accessed March 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Lioness Has Rare Five-Cub Litter

Raw: Lioness Has Rare Five-Cub Litter

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) — A lioness in Pakistan has given birth to five cubs, twice the usual size of a litter. Queen gave birth to two other cubs just nine months ago. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) — Using motion tracking technology, researchers from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) are trying to establish an optimum horse riding style to train junior jockeys, as well as enhance safety, health and well-being of both racehorses and jockeys. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bear Cubs Tumble for the Media

Bear Cubs Tumble for the Media

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) — Two Andean bear cubs are unveiled at the U.S. National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Alicia Powell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

AFP (Mar. 25, 2015) — Experts are gathering in Botswana to try to end the illegal wildlife trade that is decimating populations of elephants, rhinos and other threatened species. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins