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Sunday 5 February 2023 Dublin: 2°C
MarilynJane via Creative Commons
# Recession
Thousands of thoroughbred horses slaughtered 'for meat'
Some 4,600 thoroughbred horses have been slaughtered to be sold as meat in countries like France and Belgium because their owners can no longer afford to care for them.

THOUSANDS OF HORSES bred for racing at the height of the economic boom are now being slaughtered for their meat because their owners can no longer afford to care for them.

During the Celtic Tiger years, more people than ever before were able to buy horses – once the reserve of the super-wealthy. The BBC reports that thoroughbreds were being bred at an increasing race to meet demand during the boom years, with the number of registered foals shooting up 40 per cent, from 8,793 to 12,633 between the years 2000 and 2007.

With thoroughbreds costing about €17,000 a year to keep however, many owners are no longer able to afford to keep the animals – who have a natural lifespan of up to 30 years.

Many of these horses have been abandoned since the recession hit, some have been put down, and 4,600 have been to be slaughtered to be sold as meat in countries like France and Belgium.

In 2008, there was just one abattoir in Ireland – that number now stands at five.

Read Rececca Morelle’s report in the BBC >