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    This Charity Thinks The Best Way To Save Ponies Is To Eat Them

    They eat horses don't they?

    The Dartmoor Hill Pony Association (DHPA) has claimed the only way to ensure the survival of ponies on the moor is to eat them.

    Aleramo/Aleramo

    The charity said it had reluctantly put forward the proposal after seeing the number of ponies drop dramatically in recent years.

    Charlotte Faulkner, the founder of the charity, said in a letter to South West Equine Protection (SWEP): "It has taken years of considering reports and listening to the outcome of meetings to recognise and reluctantly accept that Dartmoor pony herders will only carry on keeping their herds if they have a sustainable market for them."

    "We are in real danger of ponies disappearing from Dartmoor altogether."

    Chris Radburn/PA

    "The Dartmoor Hill Pony Association believes the meat trade should be (used) too. Strangely, having a meat trade should improve a pony's chances of finding a new home at sale."

    Faulkner said the proposal would cause herders to keep young ponies for at least three years, the point at which animals can be used for meat, and those not used for human consumption could be trained for riding at the best age for breaking in a pony.

    However, the suggestion has been met with an angry response from the SWEP.

    Fulcanelli_AOS/Fulcanelli_AOS

    Its welfare officer, Becky Treeby, told the Western Morning News killing the animals for meat would not resolve the issue.

    “We really feel strongly about this. Working with Dartmoor ponies, day in and day out, it is very upsetting to look at foals which in six months time could be in someone’s burger,” she said.

    PA Archive/Press Association Images Chris Radburn

    According to the BBC the number of ponies on Dartmoor has fallen from over around 30,000 at the start of the century to only 1,500 three years ago.

    A spokesman for the RSPCA is quoted by the Independent as saying the killing of horses for meat was “an emotive subject as many see them as companion animals rather than a food source, a sentiment the RSPCA has great sympathy with”.

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