WHY has eating horse meat suddenly hit the headlines on television and the national newspapers?
I purchased a second farm in 1982 which was part of a slaughterhouse complex.
Prior to my purchasing the land it was quite common to see over two hundred horses virtually on a weekly basis being delivered and turned out onto the land.
On Saturday and Sunday these same horses were rounded up for slaughter and on Sunday evening the carcasses were loaded onto large container lorries for transportation to arrive early on Monday morning at Smithfield market to be sold to the wholesales.
Where did the meat go? All I know that this happened frequently and we never thought to ask any questions.
By choice I would never eat horse meat, but with the volume handled we must have all eaten some concealed in pies. My consolation is that horses have never had BSE or picked up TB from badgers.
All I can ask is with so many dairy cattle leaving our farms for compulsory slaughter because of the spread of TB, will we in future (because there will be no beef left) have no alternative but to eat horse meat?
What are we going to do about milk? I do not feel like milking horses who after all have only have two teats.
SIR ERIC HOWELLS CBE
AS the horsemeat scandal rumbles on, and various suspect practices come to light, the only way to guarantee where our meat comes from is to buy products that either carry the red tractor logo, which ensures it is of British origin and conforms to the very highest standard of welfare and traceability, or from a trustworthy local butcher.