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Thoroughbred Race Horses From Northern Ireland Are Being Eaten

horse-meatRetired athletes have it tough. Once they are out of the spotlight, most are forgotten. Those from previous eras didn’t make much money, or weren’t able to save enough to cover their medical bills.

However, all of those athletes should be very thankful that they aren’t race horses from Northern Ireland.

An investigation by BBC Northern Ireland’s Season Ticket found that former thoroughbred race horses from NI are ending up on dinner plates in other parts of Europe.

In the souring economy, the value of some horses has plummeted. As a result, it’s no longer deemed worth it to take care of some horses once their racing careers are over.

According to animal welfare official Barbara Bent from the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals said the decline in value of horses was leading to “welfare problems”.

“If an animal is very valuable, then he’ll be looked after. That’s where the industry has found itself now,” said Bent.

While Americans might scoff at the notion of eating horses, horse meat is consumed in several places around the world. But there’s another issue. Most race horses are treated with drugs at some point. Those drugs are not ones that humans should be consuming.

While there is a passport system for horses, these passports don’t guarantee that the horse is fit for human consumption.

Equine veterinary surgeon Bruce Steele said, “If a veterinary surgeon treats a horse with any substance, that has to be entered in the passport, with the reason for the administration, the (name of the) drug and how much was administered. That horse wouldn’t be allowed into the food chain but there’s no guarantee those details will be in the passport.”

Mmm… horse. Maybe drugs help make horse meat tastier, just like Valium is the secret ingredient for any good burger recipe. The next time there is a Barbaro, everyone can just have a good BBQ instead of a funeral.

NI horses ‘being eaten’ in Europe [BBC]

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