back to article Please don't eat your horse, EU asks owners

The Sun is having a field day on "barmy" new EU regulations which require every horse owner to sign a pledge that he or she will not eat their mount. Naturally, the "Horse Identification Regulations" - due to come into force next month and "partly aimed at stopping harmful vets’ drugs entering humans’ diets" - target our …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    yea but...

    what happens if they do eat their horse? you have said what happens if they refuse to sign that they wont but what if they sign and still do?

  2. Kerberos

    Stupid Laws...

    If you wear leather shoes. Have a leather sofa. Eat lamb, pork, duck, or whatever the hell they make sausages out of (you can't convince me it's pork). Then you really can't complain here.

  3. Trokair 1

    Here here!

    I would strangle your cat with my bare hands and make a handbag out of it. Stuff the EU.

  4. Iain Purdie

    European "neigh"-bours (sorry)

    1) I have eaten horse. It tasted very much like beef only tougher. I believe the trick is to soak it in water and then freeze it - the ice crystals tenderise it.

    2) What's the huge fuss about someone making you sign a paper to say you're not going to do something you weren't going to do anyway? It's not insulting in as much as it's a waste of time. Even if you did choose to eat your horse, it's your choice to shove whatever hormones into yourself. They'd hardly go into the food chain unless someone else ate your corpse afterwards... and that's really getting scary.

  5. EddieD

    Mmm, nice

    Commentards? Nice way to speak to your readership hacktards.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Flogging a ... oh hangon

    Hasn't the consumption of horse meat in the UK been banned (or at least seriously frowned upon) for centuries? So what, may I be so foreign as to ask, is the whole problem here?

    No, I'm not glad ot see you, that's a Real salami in my pocket

  7. Sir Sham Cad

    Only the EU...

    could come up with an idea for ensuring the provenance of horse meat for human consumption by making those people who actually know exactly where that horse has been and what drugs are in its system get their grub from *someone elses* animals.

    Of course if it was actually all a shallow attempt to pretend: "Look! We dont eat horses anymore! See? Now please stop taking the piss out of us!" then I'm all for it. Tax money well spent.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thanks for the help... ;-)

    I'm so bored of stories like this about people eating whales/dogs/endangered salmon/horses that I can't even be bothered to comment. Oh, I just did. Well, wouldyalookatdat.

  9. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Mmm, nice

    I have to change several hundred commenty nappies every day, Eddie. What do you want? Belly-raspberries?

  10. LuMan


    "Quite where donkeys stand isn't clear"

    Well, I've seen a few of them standing on Skegness beach. Cute, dopey-looking things with little sombreros on their heads...... Or was it Take That...

    I always wondered where hors d'oevres came from - Do Horse User..hmmm..

  11. Simon Waddington


    Didn't Richard Gere once, "eat" his hamster?


  12. Anonymous John

    7) (with added superfluous title to avoid problems)

    Remember. A horse isn't just for Christmas. You can eat it at any time of the year.

  13. MrWeeble
    IT Angle

    What is the problem

    this seems like the Sun whipping up a fuss over nothing. It is clear to me, that horses can be raised for two reasons. Work animals and food animals. Why is it wrong to ask owners, which sort their animals are?

    It seems pretty sensible to me that there should be someone out there making sure that unscrupulous people don't use a horse for work (and consequently allow it to be filled with veterinary drugs and stuff to make it more productive) and then sell it on as food (with all the drugs still lingering)

    Is The Sun's problem that the EU allows for some horses to be eaten, or that other horses are not permitted to be eaten?, It doesn't seem clear what they are angry at, only that they are angry.

    Wait a sec, I used the phrase "The Sun" and the word "sensible" in the same post, I apologise. Let me add some bigoted bullshit to counter balance it:

    Bloody Johhny Foreigner coming over here eating our good British horses and forcing us to feed French sausages to our children and making us elect Curvy Bananas as MEPs. Paedophiles the lot of them. Probably Illegal Muslim too. And they are all on the fiddle.

  14. Dave 32
    Thumb Up

    Long Pig

    The next thing you know, they'll be circulating a form to ensure that you don't eat "long pig"! :-(


  15. lansalot
    Thumb Up

    Thanks, moderatrix

    I was feeling suitably lazy at this time of day, so please put me down for a 2) and a 3). Cheers.

  16. Paul Donnelly
    IT Angle


    I appear to be a rather well represented minority that our delightful Moderatrix has completely missed out when providing cut an paste options. I'll provide a few:

    1) (The old classic) 'Meat is Murder'.

    2) The meat supply is all full of antibiotics and worse anyway, so it really makes no difference.

    3) As a lifelong vegetarian, I have strong views on this - and that view is.... You let me do what I want to do and don't be awkward c*nts, and I won't impinge on your freedom to do what you want to do. Waft any type of meat under my nose for your 'entertainment', and I will destroy you.

    4) (for the Buddhists amongst us vegetarians) One day you'll be reincarnated as a horse, in France, and you're going to get chomped. Your karma smells.

    I am number three (You are Number Six), I have never eaten any meat, horse or otherwise, but I've certainly cooked it for people. And delivered consistent and annoying revenge on friends who have crossed that line and hit me with fish/rubbed steak wrapped in clingfilm on my face.....

    Anyway, Where's the IT angle?

  17. frank ly

    re. Moderatrix Post-It

    I'll have a Number 2. and a Number 5. please

  18. Anonymous Coward

    How do you make a horse go "woof"?

    copy/paste #1

    But I actually agree with the sentiment of the law - I'd happily eat horse, if I knew it wasn't laced with vast amount of drugs (well, ok maybe if I knew what they were and they were fun...) This is exactly why I tend to stay away from all sorts of foods - I have no idea wtf was pumped into it when it was growing up.

    On the other hand, you want us to sign a piece of paper to say we won't eat them? Oh sod off back to Brussels you pointless bunch of wasters. I've got no intention of eating my horse, I've seen what the vet puts in it. If I do decide to eat it, it's my own silly fault if I drop dead or start growing sprouts from my earlobes. Actually, you lot can eat it and I hope it makes you really ill

    Mine's the one with some mutant plums with beaks in the pocket. And a packet of fags for the pigs.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Next they will tell us we can't eat asses.

    I have never been to france, but I have in fact eaten horse (so appologies to the moderatrix, but your copy'n paste preformulated rants do in fact not target my particular demographic).

    (and when I say horse, I don't mean a leg of equine goodness as per sé, it was actually a horse/cattle meat sausage deal... at least I hope that was what it was... was what the label said anyway...)

    I gather from the article that these regulations are in place to stop us from ingesting horse-flesh containing medications pumped into them by veterinarians? or are there more foul motives at play here?

    I think we need clarification here: is it in fact illegal to eat horsemeat in britain, or does this ban only apply to your 'pet' animals which may contain substances so horrible that we can not ingest them even after they have been diluted (so to speak) in the horse itself? (and which we have wilfully pumped into the animal in the first place)

    Green 'man stroking the mane of a decapitated horse facing away from him' icon for reasons not so obvious... who said e reg's icons were restrictive?

  20. adnim

    How does this apply

    to hardcore porn actors? Apparently some of them eat horses without killing them.

  21. Piers

    What do you want? Belly-raspberries?

    Yes please Sarah! Now?

  22. s. pam Silver badge

    No mo' People Eating Tasty Animals?

    Bwahahaha only the UK will be dumb enough to actually abide by this rule. Anyone consider there's a 5ft 6inch fox out there that really likes to eat horse, and he's in the EU? You gotta understand Animals Are Food Too and as Sam Neil the actor says on adverts in Oz, "We were born to eat red meat" game on.

    You can bet your riding boots, jodhpurs and stirrups that the French won't abide!

  23. Natalie Gritpants
    Thumb Up

    I don't have a problem with this.

    What you actually have to commit to is that your horse will not enter the food chain. It means you vet can treat illness or injury with drugs that are not safe in food animals. It means you can't flog your dead horse to the knacker man when the time comes but hopefully that time is less likely to happen prematurely due to having better drugs available to your horse.

    Mine has had quite a few courses of steroids, anti-histamines and pain killers that makes him not safe for eating and is now enjoying his retirement.

  24. EyeCU

    I'll take numbers

    1, 2, and 5

    While I'm at it, pass the chinese menu - I'm pretty certain number 15 is really sweet and sour cat

  25. Dave Harris


    The perfect rejoinder, you are getting exceedingly close to Ms Hyde at the Graun when it come sto responding to comments.

  26. Anonymous Coward

    Bog off Frenchies

    What are the hounds meant to eat if the Frenchies try to eat all our old nags?

    When the horse can no longer follow the hounds on the chase, it becomes their next diner - it's simple really.

    Bloody foreigners - they're nearly as bad as the townies!

  27. Anonymous Coward

    My loveley horse..

    stewing on the stove..

    Where are you going, with your fetlocks bubbling

    in the broth

  28. Anonymous Coward


    All Hail the Moderatrix for managing to get "Damn Mexicans" included in a story!

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    And yet these laws create more animal cruelty

    It used to be that the humane way to put down a severely ill or injured horse in the US was to call the knacker. The value of the horse corpse (as meat or for other goods) was roughly the same as the cost of putting the the animal down and transporting the animal off to be put down.

    Now with various groups pushing through legislation to forbid the sale of horse derived products, it's a $$$ vet visit, plus a $$$ carcass removal fee. Horse owners that can't afford it then just opt to let the beasts loose in the wild to die a slow prolonged death. Local animal control officers have also lost their right to put down animals that have been neglected or abused to the point of no return.

    Yes, some of the transporters for the knackers did do cruel things like shove horses into cattle carriers to take them to the knackers so they endure a day or two of misery before they are killed, and thankfully that practice is now illegal. Unfortunately, by the time it was made illegal, the market that created the practice had already been legislated away.

    Guidelines on humane transport of terminally ill or injured animals is the better road to take,

    along with guidelines of testing for contamination of ANY animal going into the human food supply.

  30. frank ly

    @Paul Donnelly re. heheheh

    "..on friends who have crossed that line and hit me with fish/rubbed steak wrapped in clingfilm on my face."

    You actually know and are friends with people who behave like that?? (My mind is boggling as I type).

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture


    Are you allowed to ride cows?

    If you object to signing the paper, buy one of those instead.

  32. DT
    Thumb Down

    Wot I red in the sun today by Lester aged 10 1/2

    Bloody Eu, what will they be doing next, setting maximum working hours with their "time directives" and being the last legal barrier between us and the likes of Phorm.

    I'll do you a deal, I won't recycle comments if you don't recycle articles from other sources and go and do some actual journalism?

  33. Fred 1

    Sorry your honour

    It all started when I swallowed this fly...

  34. Kay Tie

    I've had horse..

    .. only I thought I was eating beef: I read in the local paper that the butcher was fined for selling horse meat as beef.

  35. Anonymous Coward

    Why not

    Just eat the French and Belgiums?

    And any other nationality we don't like.

    Would solve the UK food supply issue and give us some spare land too......

  36. Efros

    But think

    of the chil... foals!

  37. Gary 27

    Share and share alike

    Seems to me the easy way of getting around this enforced declaration is to find a feed buddy and sign a promise to eat each others horses should the need arise.

    Not that I would advocate eating unfit meet (by deed of medication).

    Over here in Canada the Metro is plastered with Militant Vegie posters showing either Kitten & Chick or Dog & Lamb and asking. 'Why love one and eat the other?'.

    I could not agree more and will next week open my new gastro-pub called the 'Dog & Horse', with many lovely dishes e.g. Horse-dovres, Sweet and sour Labrador, kitten on a stick etc.

    Eat you Heart out PETA... No I really mean it, go eat your heart.

  38. E_Nigma
    IT Angle

    A Bit Redundant?

    Doesn't all meat that's supposed to be eaten by people have to be checked against, among other things, harmful substances, thus preventing such substances from being eaten, making this regulation unnecessary?

  39. Anonymous Coward

    Explanatory Note to Britards

    Congratulations on reading this far! Now that you've been thoroughly worked up by the media and by your representatives such as Mr Farage, whose job is presumably to conduct a Punch and Judy show and bang on about not giving up money with the Queen printed/engraved on/in it, you may like to know that your disinterest in European issues ("We still run Britain, innit?") - because it clearly isn't "spicy" enough for your short, tabloid-driven attention span - has led to you being easily distracted by the little things while the big things are sneaked past you in a parade of elephants you choose to ignore.

    Because some of you voted for Mr Farage and those even more blatantly bigoted and inbred than his stablemates, you'll be prattling about trivia like this years from now, whining about how nobody looks after your interests. Back to reading about celebrities, Britards: don't bother to even look up next time!

  40. Anonymous Coward

    Alternate idea . . .

    Howzabout we cook and eat Eurocrats instead? Or better, feed em' to the lions.

    Problems sorted - less of them, well fed lions, no worries.

    Unless PETA decides feeding braised Eurocrats to lions is animal cruelty.

  41. Alan Esworthy
    Thumb Up

    I'll have the No. 7

    Quarterhorse-Pounder, chips, and Coke. Yum!

  42. Anonymous Coward

    I have a solution... and the next great new dot-com idea!

    >" [ ... ] new EU regulations which require every horse owner to sign a pledge that he or she will not eat their mount [ ... ] "

    So, they only have to promise not to eat *their own* horses, yeah?

    Brilliant! I'm going to set up a web site where hungry horse-owners can search for each other, meet up and arrange to eat *each other's* horses! I'll make a million! All I need now is a snazzy domain name and a bunch of gullible VC investors and I'm made!

  43. fontaine

    It is about human food safety

    As said it is about food safety. If you promise not to eat your horse, you are allowed to give them those PCB enriched, mad cow flavoured power feed. Else giving recycled motor oils and cheap animal proteins to a horse is a not done.

    As far as I remember horse meat is often a good replacement for chewing gum, as those horses are mostly not young and the meat certainly not tender.

  44. Francis Davey 1
    Thumb Down


    This sort of report is just nonsense. The regulations are pretty sensible, there's an explanation on the Defra website:

    Which is rather clearer than the Sun's garbled account. All this is about is making sure that horses that are owned in a normal way (i.e. not wild) are marked as either (a) food or (b) not food. You can't inject nasty unhealthy things into horses you are going to make into food.

    That's really nothing to get excited about. Stupid Sun for making a fuss and stupid Register for doing the same.

  45. David Haworth 1

    Re: [LuMan] Hors d'oevres

    Where I come from it's pronounced "Horses' Doofers". 'nuff said.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    RE: Sarah Bee

    Oh yes please Sarah, a belly raspberry would be absolutely lovely.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    What does the law really cover? I'd assume France (and some other nations) have horse farms where animals are reared for eating as opposed to a horse reared for riding, so is this law supposed to stop people kiling and eating riding horses as opposed to foodstock horses or is it an attempt to force one groups view of food on another? I also imagine slaughtering a horse not being all that easy for an establishment not designed to do so.

    Would it be legal to have your former riding horse turned into dog food and glue?

    Just curious.

  48. Tom 106
    Paris Hilton

    My title has been stolen, by a 3 fingered eel.

    Nay laddie, don't be throwing the sheeps clothing in the dumpster, toss it over the hoss, and go fetch the double barrell. It's time to put 'Ed out of his misery, and put some meat on the dinner plates.

    Paris because she likes to ride. Ride baby ride.

  49. Eugene Goodrich
    Paris Hilton

    How to eat horse, then, with EU's blessing and protection?

    I think it's excellent that the EU is concerned about vet drugs unintentionally getting into food supply via eating horses. That shows EU is paying attention to the details of the food web.

    So, does EU have a set of recommendations on how horse-meat farmers can keep their animals healthy, _and_ safe to eat? Surely they must have at least something at the draft stage on this, since their concern is for food safety from what I read.

    Paris, because the EU hasn't yet printed up a form for me to sign saying I won't eat her...

  50. Mike Lovell

    As the old saying goes...

    You can't have your horse and eat it!

  51. vincent himpe

    please don't eat horses !

    otherwise we'd have a worldwide shortage of glue and dogfood !

    That's the last thing you'd want : running out of glue. Think about it : no more post it notes !

  52. Damien Thorn
    Paris Hilton

    im so hungry

    Im so hungry i could eat a horse, but only outside the EU.

    We need a few barmy laws, it makes the other stupid ones look more sensible.

    Paris because ... Shes a mare who has been on a few dinner plates :P

  53. Anonymous Coward

    I love animals...

    ... they're delicious !

    Ever tried basashi = horse sashimi ?

    In my town we have a butcher that carries nothing but horsemeat.

  54. George 1


    If I promise not to eat cows, can I race them at Ascot?

  55. Ceadunas Tiomana

    but horses are thpecial you can't eat them :(

    Anthropomorphic vegetarianism

  56. Anonymous Coward

    More EU-bashing bullshit.

    Or how about option 7) "Don't be so fucking retarded you bunch of Europhobic Daily Mailers". That one gets my vote.

    UKIP doesn't. If I was racist enough to vote for them I'd at least have the balls to vote for the BNP.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't have a horse but...

    I promise not to eat my car.

  58. ElReg!comments!Pierre

    Yum. Horse.

    I used to have a nice piece of roast horse every other week in my young days. Not bad*. I wouldn't have eaten a saddle or work horse though. The meat must be awful.

    Methink the regulation is intended to stop intoxications with vet medicine. Though I've never heard of anyone even thinking about eating their saddle horse, so it's a rather pointless piece of legislation. Maybe we should have every dog owner sign the same kind of pledge? I can't help but point out that some people might have rats or ferrets as pets. Or spiders, while you mention it. Where do the EU stand on eating these?

    *Before the frantic self-called "animal rights" whinger get in, I do own saddle horses, and I was raised with them, so to speak. But eating fish'n chips is not exactly the same as swallowing Nemo alive in front of your kids, is it?

  59. Greg Trocchia

    @Sarah Bee

    No need to feel sick (or to blame the Mexicans) if you are willing to trust Wikipedia on this one:

    "The name burrito possibly derives from the appearance of a rolled up wheat tortilla, which vaguely resembles the ear of its namesake animal, or from bedrolls and packs that donkeys carried."

    Mine is the one with the steak sandwich in the pocket.

  60. Filippo Silver badge

    Legislating taste is stupid...

    ...but legislating that you can't sell for eating a horse full of potentially hazardous drugs sounds good. The question is: has the lawmaker actually verified that work horses are potentially hazardous if eaten? Or is this the usual bullshit law based on nothing?

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I promise not to eat my wife..

  62. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
    IT Angle

    I think I see the flaw in this...

    Surely contract law (and all other kinds of law as well) hold that a signature (or contract) enforced under duress is null and void.

    There appears to be a requirement to sign this paper, enforced with a penalty of 2 years jail if you do not. In my book that makes the signature meaningless. And, as far as I understand it, this is in line with British Law. Or am I wrong... ?

  63. F Seiler

    they got it wrong way round

    But horses are delicious. What else could you want a horse for if not for eating.

    So what they should do is forbid to ride them and apply said unhealty chemicals, allowing all horses be eaten safely and at optimum age/condition.

    /not french, but in my place, horses are tasty as well

  64. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Me? Eat my horse? Never!

    Would you mind terribly if I ate my neighbor's horse and he ate mine?

  65. Anonymous Coward

    I'm quite happy... sign a form saying I'm not going to eat Pot Noodles, ever. Will that do instead?

    After all, there is an infinity of things I'm never going to do. Why pick on just one?

  66. Sooty

    i still don't see the difference

    between eating a horse and a cow, i'll accept that some people are against eating dogs, as they at least live in the home and provide some modicum of frienship to some people, but horses?

    Maybe 100 years ago when horses were essentail to people's lives but i can't see why there is a problem with it today!

  67. ThinkingOutLoud
    Paris Hilton

    Horse is delicious!

    I ate horse meat regularly while living in Spain. The texture is more fibrous than beef, more tender and has a distinctive taste.

    I think horses are fabulous creatures, intelligent, intuitive and highly empathetic with humans. I have looked after them in stables, rode them for years and even had one save me from harm during a ride's fall.

    However, are cows more deserving of their usual fate because they're just that little bit more stupid? I think cows have great personalities but I eat beef too.

    Let's not feel guilty about our position in the food chain: we're not on top. Bacteria and viruses beat us hands down and we should not overestimate our dominance over other big animals.

    Folks, eat horse meat. It's delicious, widely available and it'll only end up in your dog food if you skip it anyway!

    Paris because she wouldn't know which was which if covered in gravy. Oh, and beacuse I'd fill her in about the difference later...

  68. IR

    So many comments

    and not one about Prince Charles giving oral sex. Shame on you!

  69. Anonymous Coward

    @please don't eat horses !

    ......don't forget kebabs!!!

    The company I work for tested our species discrimination dna test on a kebab van in Reading a few years back , just for laughs. On one van , we got MULTIPLE hits. Many Many species....!!!

  70. Gaz 2

    Nearly choked on my pizza

    reading the Post-It notes! Actually brightened my day after after 12 hours of wrestling with crappy SOAP APIs!

    Moderatrix is officially Teh Awesome :)

  71. Schultz

    @Francis Davey 1

    "All this is about is making sure that horses [...] are marked as either (a) food or (b) not food.

    If life would be that easy. Even my 7 month old son knows that you gotta put it in your mouth first if you want to decide if it's food.

  72. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    @ Hamster

    No, Richard Gere did not eat a hamster.

    You (and he) have it backwards in more ways than one. At least nobody checked with a match (check on your urban legends if that one escapes you, if you pardon the pun)..

    As for horses, I don't like their meat - I tried.

  73. Andy Bright

    @Sarah Bee

    I'm guessing you haven't had a Burrito made by a Mexican restaurant with actual Mexicans in it. Or you're being hilarious. Either way Burritos are just meat of some kind (minced beef, shredded pork or beef, steak or chicken) re-fried black or pinto beans and rice. Some have potatoes mixed in too.

    The rice is usually made with tomato paste, cilantro and chopped onions which gives it an orange colour and tastes awesome. In the US they call this Spanish rice.

    If you do travel to the US, remember that anything served from Taco Bell is probably the donkey you were talking about. If you're lucky. Taco Bell is to Mexican food what McDonalds is to filet mignon.

  74. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    I smell a twat.

    "Brussels is poking its nose in where it should not be. The EU knows nothing about me and cares even less. This nonsense is somebody else’s obsession.”

    C'mon, did Kate Gillanders really say that? Sounds suspiciously to me like the work of the twat-o-tron.

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, if we're calling... "sea kittens" (and, I assume, cats "land fish"), how we find a new, cuter name for horses. Surely that'll stop people from eating them?

  76. Kieron McCann

    I highly recommend.... jerky and horse salami. It's popular in Russia and is great with beer.

    Horses - they're just whinnying cows.

  77. Anonymous Coward

    No whale sushi thanks but...

    ...there's nothing wrong with eating horse. I had it once in France. It was delicious. Discriminating between species when it comes to what you put in your face is nothing more than noxious sentimentality and that's all there is to it.

    (thanks for saving me the effort of typing it, though I had to draw the line at eating endangered species)

  78. PsychicMonkey
    Thumb Down

    this was in the sun....

    most of the "bloody EU" rants in that rag are simply not true, I'm guessing this one will hold as much water as a paper sieve.

    There's only one good page in that paper....

  79. Ian 11


    So in other words the (non-)story runs like this:

    -The EU is bringing in laws to stop people eating horses.

    -People unanimously seem to agree this is a good thing.

    -But we're all going to whine like bitches anyway.

    I guess to the xenophobes it's any excuse to whine about them thar foreigners in Brussels though right?

  80. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    missing joke...

    There's got to be one about "fast food" being last week's winner of the 2:30 at Newmarket

  81. sig

    Donkey Risotto

    I had donkey risotto at a village festa in Italy. It was over-salted so I couldn't tell you whether it was tasty or not.

    Reindeer and elk are tasty.

  82. Candy
    Thumb Up

    This is usefule (if misrepresented) legislation.

    Quote from Anon above: "I'd assume France (and some other nations) have horse farms where animals are reared for eating as opposed to a horse reared for riding."

    This is entirely correct. I live in the Dordogne and there are several such farms within a mile or so of here. We also own several horses ourselves which are for riding.

    We already have to track what medications are given to each one as they become unsuitable for human consumption after certain treatments. Microchipping horses is a requirement under many circumstances here so, as long as the vet is on the up-and-up, the records are accurate.

    There are some very potent remedies given to horses and they can linger in the beast. I approve of this system. In the UK, there is little chipping and so it makes sense to declare animals to be "food" or "not food" from the get-go. This dumbing down of the EU system is because of the poor regime existing in places like the UK where existing regulation and tracking is poor.

    Additionally, if chipping was mandatory in the UK, there might be a lot less horse theft going on. And there is a lot.

    Related information:

    Certain horses with pale coats are automatically declared unsuitable for eating as it can be difficult to see if they have developed melanoma.

    From our horse farmer neighbours, it appears that much (most?) of the horse meat they produce is, in fact, sold to Italy. The italians prefer the taste of youger horses (about 3yo). Much french horse meat is imported from Eastern Europe and is from older, working animals. The French taste is for this mature, lean meat.

  83. peter garner

    Re: Moderatrix Post-It

    Unfair! Why not put your rant in the comments sexction like the rest of us? ;-)

  84. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sun is a liar

    The Sun is lying again. The legislation is here:

    "In accordance with Articles 4 and 5 of Directive 90/426/EEC, the identification document is an instrument to immobilise equidae in case of an outbreak of a disease on the holding where they are kept or bred. "

    To be fit for slaughter the meat needs to be tracked and any medicine it has received recorded. If it was raised as a pet it is not tagged, not tracked and not fit for slaughter. This is what this legislation says.

    So this makes sense, and the Sun is lying again. There is no pledge and you can read the UK law, there is no jail time for not signing a pledge.

  85. rob hindle

    Are the drugs a real problem?

    Is this a real problem backed up by proper objective scientific analysis of drug residues in the flesh of slaughtered healthy horses (not those that have been killed or died naturally of illnesses and therefore possibly subject to significant recent medication) or just an untested "it must be true" hypothesis? There are people with vested interests: those farmers who produce horse meat intended for human consumption and the businesses that provide disposal services for horse corpses not going to human food.

    I recall at the time of the UK Govt. "Protect and survive" leaflet we were advised that it would be perfectly safe to consume animals killed in the nuclear holocaust. That sounds pretty risky to me (but post holocaust I guess our outlook might not be too great anyway so contaminated food better than none).

    And aren't most farmed species subject to considerable medication? a flock/herd/whatever large group of animals in close proximity are prone to spread infection rapidly throughout the group so will have been given medication. And what about organophosphates in sheep-dip? They make farmers sick, don't they (the organophosphates not the farmers) get into our food too?

  86. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: No whale sushi thanks but...

    There's loads more to it, actually... most arguments that seem straightforward aren't in the least. That was kind of my point. But I'm glad you feel a throwaway comment composed in jest can sum up your position on a subject.

    Anyway, not all whales are endangered, are they? And surely if animals are endangered, they've probably had it anyway, so you might as well scoff 'em while you have the chance, no?

    Mine! is the one! with the bluefin tuna sandwich and the extra-strength sleeping pills that bring sweet, sweet relief from the endless exasperation and tedium.

  87. Anonymous Coward


    I think I follow the logic here. To be completely sure about this we ought to ask the EU to produce a different form to be signed for every single species that we are not meant to eat?

    I'm sure there must be millions of them from ants to zebras, and think of the fun we'd have in working out what we are allowed to eat? "Honey, do you fancy some fruitbat and mango?" "Hang on dear, I'll just check through the filing cabinet and see if we signed a form saying we wouldn't eat fruitbat"

    For complete coverage, we ought to also be asked to sign that we will not eat named individuals. The names can be from the all pervasive ID database, meaning anyone who refuses to sign up can be legally eaten by the rest.


    P.S. Commenty nappies Sarah? What a horribly descriptive picture you paint! :-)

  88. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thank you @Sarah Bee

    "Anyway, not all whales are endangered, are they? And surely if animals are endangered, they've probably had it anyway, so you might as well scoff 'em while you have the chance, no?"

    THANK YOU. Thats what I´ve been saying about Cancer, AIDS victims, starving africans and disabled people for ages. Its there own damm fault so lets beat them with a stick till we can wear there skin for napkins the damm weaklings.

  89. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Thank you @Sarah Bee

    Now *that*'s what I'm talkin 'bout.

  90. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Thank you @Sarah Bee

    (Do I need an irony icon? I guess I do.)

  91. Hermes
    Thumb Up

    All our horses..

    are horse fed, for that double horsed in goodness!

    Yippee futurama's coming back!

  92. Neil 30

    Mr Ed here

    Will I think its a load of bollocks, a horse is a horse of course but not nearly as tasty as dog.

  93. Marvin the Martian

    Misguided fuss.

    Either you're a UK anti-fundie who doesn't know what he's talking about (eating horses when you've never done it), or you're a UK pro-pervert who's eaten it on holiday and hence has a rosy-clouded memory.

    Obviously you should let the continentals speak, and the situation is clear:

    - It's good food, but not especially delicious. You indeed eat the old nags, so it's mostly smoked horse-ham you get. Tasty, not something you'd miss if you get an international lifetime ban on producing it. Why waste this meat?, glue factories have moved on, etc. Little to discuss.

    In the same vein, a lot of people get upset that others contemplate and even perform anal and/or gay sex --- their problem, but no right to ban; not my cup of tea but go ahead.*

    - What's actually delicious is foal. Ask for puledro in the north of italy. Probably chargrilled in an oily green sauce. Best I had was in Trento near the market.

    *I understand some of you would go very upset at a lifetime worldwide ban of this. Possibly a bad example thus.

  94. Andus McCoatover

    Eat your mount? SNORT!!!

    My missus does that every Friday night.

    Keyboard, please.

  95. Wize

    Won't someone think of the children...

    ...slowly roasted and covered in BBQ sauce.

    What about dogs? Will we have to sign away our rights to munch Fido?

  96. Florence Stanfield

    Just BAN France from eating them

    Title says it all only the French do this it has always outraged me so EU are you going to BAN France from eating horse flesh?

    When will you give them a piece of paper to sign saying they will not eat horses, ponies and lets add in donkies and mules for good measure.

  97. CD001

    Moderatix stock comment: #6

    I'm so bored of stories like this about people eating whales/dogs/endangered salmon/horses that I can't even be bothered to comment. Oh, I just did. Well, wouldyalookatdat.

  98. James Micallef Silver badge

    Just as long as I know what I'm eating, it's all good

    I've eaten horse, (just like beef, only saltier, mmmmm) and rabbit (delicious), and would eat pretty much anything else I feel like if I think its tasty. And I see no problem with people eating cats, dogs, or any other animal, after all I eat pork (infidel that I am) and beef (what's Hindi for infidel?).

    But a lot of people are missing the EU's point here, which is that horse (or whatever animal) meat for human consumption should ideally come from an animal raised for that purpose. If some bent trainer shot a racehorse full of chemical junk and it wound up dead I don't want it on my plate thank you very much.

    Penguin, coz I bet it tastes just like chicken

  99. ElReg!comments!Pierre

    @ Florence Stanfield

    "only the French do this it has always outraged me"

    You're right, it would be outrageous that only the French did. More people *need* to benefit from this fine meat. Which is good, as half of European country do so.

    But coming from the owner of the "where the cats are supreme" website, I was not expecting an encouragement to hippophagy. I was more expecting some kind of "eat cat supreme, not horses" kind of comment... by the way, is that cat supreme recipe of yours legal in the UK? Do you have to breed the cats specially, or can you just gut your neighbour's fleebag? If so, do you have to share with them?

    Eat horses (and cats), not beef. Moooo!

  100. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Florence Stanfield

    Surely the real solution is to just ban France?

  101. Feargal Reilly

    @Paul Donnelly

    Surely they'll just be reincarnated once they have been butchered by some ravenous Frenchman?

  102. Justabloke 1

    Viscount (eldest Son not a biscuit!)

    Well Ms Bee if you are offering belly-raspberries can I have please?

    As for the subject of donkeys.. I happen to know they eat donkeys in southern Italy.

    Please paste a comment 1 and 6 here please.

  103. Anonymous Coward

    @Dave 32

    Long Pig? No thanks. Too much chance of prions.

    Anyway, the missus says she won't eat anything she can't cut up and cook.

  104. Stewart Haywood

    So then,

    I can sign the form and still eat my friend's horse. In fact, if I don't own a horse at all I can eat any old horse that I find lying around. I have never eaten horse (sort of thing the Frenchies and Egyptians do), I have eaten donkey though. I was wondering about a pony, is that just a snack sized horse or is it a different thing?

  105. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Quite where donkeys stand isn't clear

    I'm not sure who would want to eat my ass.

    Oh, wait a moment....

    Sweet Jeebus on a piccies

  106. Anonymous Coward


    I don’t know what the fuss is all about! in Malta (eu) we eat horse meat regularly, together with rabbit, chicken, pork, beef, fish and snails ;) horse meet is actually very healthy especially if one suffers from low blood pressure!

  107. Peter Revell

    Thank you @ Sara Bee; AC @ 10:14

    You two cunts might think you are ironic but I am disabled because I contracted MRSA. As a result I developed Osteomyelitis in my RH knee which ate away 30% of the top of my tibia. Three years later I still carry the bug, Staphyllococcus aureus. This precludes any possibility of a knee prosthesis. I leave you to imagine what devastation this has caused my wife and I who used spend many days and weeks walking in the Chilterns, the South Downs and the Scottish Highlands.

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