Slaughter Plan Proposed for the Rare Dartmoor Pony
 By Winniefield Park   •   9th Dec 2014   •   4,304 views   •   3 comments
Slaughter Plan Proposed for the Rare Dartmoor Pony

Is the key to ensuring a pony’s survival putting them on someone’s dinner plate? This is what is being proposed by The Dartmoor Hill Pony Association. Unlike the feral herds of the American mid-west, Chincoteague and Sable Island, the feral ponies that roam the moors of south-western England have owners who have grazing rights on the commons. They share the space with free-roaming sheep herds and cattle, along with a diverse wildlife population. They have become an important part of the ecosystem, keeping gorse under control and eating plants less appealing to cattle and sheep.

Herds don’t range as they please. Most livestock is encouraged to stay within a certain area, called a lear. The ponies however, roam further afield, requiring them to be ‘drifted’ or rounded up into a pound, where the owners separate those they own, and return them to their home pastures. The previous spring’s foals are weaned from their mothers and either branded and returned to the moor, or sold. The money earned from selling the young stock or others culled from the moor is used to maintain the rest of the herd throughout the year.

The Dartmoor Hill Pony, and the purebred Dartmoor Pony, is a hardy pony, capable of carrying heavy loads. Since medieval times, they were used as pit ponies, most commonly in the tin mines of the Dartmoor region. Today, The Dartmoor Hill pony, and the purebred registered Dartmoor Pony is used as a child’s mount, and for driving. But, as many of us know, pony or horse keeping can be expensive and this is one of the main reasons there is less demand for ponies overall. The last pony sale in April of 2014 only sold 14 of 100 foals offered. This decreased demand leaves farmers wondering what to do with each foal crop, whether they be registered Dartmoors, or the mixed breed ponies like those of the Dartmoor Hill.

Related: Would You Ever Eat Horse Meat
Related: The Five Dollar Horse In The Shed
Related: What Will Happen to the Sable Island Ponies

Dartmoor ponies numbers, whether entered in the studbook, or of untraceable lineage roaming on the moor are in a dangerous decline. The Dartmoor Pony is recognized as a rare breed by Britain’s Rare Breed Trust. Various groups are looking at ways to preserve the breed. One suggestion has been to sell the ponies for meat. And, even with Princess Anne’s endorsement, that selling horses for meat would ensure their standard of care, the idea does not sit well with many pony lovers.

The Dartmoor Hill Pony Association is looking at selling ponies for meat as one way to maintain the dwindling numbers of feral horses. Selling ponies for meat could make it worthwhile for farmers to maintain their herds. While the horse loving Brits may find eating horsemeat distasteful, neighbors such as France, Belgium and Holland, where horse meat is often on the menu, might provide a profitable market.

The Dartmoor Pony Society is vehement in differentiating themselves from The Dartmoor Hill Pony Association and does not support any proposal to market pony meat. They, like many others, say the answer is proper management. Contraceptives for both mares and stallions have been tried, but of course, this adds to the expense of maintaining a herd, with no return income. So, this suggestion of selling ponies for horse meat has been tentatively put forward, while North Americans have resoundingly agreed that horses are not for eating. What do you think? .
Horse News More In This Category:  General      Horse News More From This Author:  Winniefield Park
Kaylied Estal   
I personally think that its a good idea, people might not like it but there isnt the demand that is needed to keep the breeds alive
  Dec 11, 2014  •  4,291 views
Flemmy spare
The hill pony is nothing like the purebred. They are smaller and not wanted. They get fed to zoo animals, or shipped overseas.
I can't see how putting them on a plate is going to help, the zoo takes them.
  Dec 18, 2014  •  4,163 views
I dont agree with this and i think we should try to protect every horse breed because alll of them are God's creation.
  Dec 27, 2014  •  4,073 views
 More News by Winniefield Park
Miles Ranch Connects PTSD Military Vets with Horse Therapy
8th Aug 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Ex-military personnel who have been on active duty often struggle with PTSD when they return to what is supposed to be normal life. The suicide rate of veterans is alarming. But there are many programs that use horses to help woun ...
Top 15 Summer Horse Products
5th Aug 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
The lazy days of summer are the busiest for many horse owners, although COVID19 may be holding things up a bit. The only annoyances this time of year are the high temperatures and the bugs. Thanks to some great products, most of t ...
Dapples on A Horse Coat Sign of Good health
3rd Aug 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
1Dapples on a horse’s coate are often thought of as a sign of good health. And, many a grey owner wishes there was some way to preserve those amazing dapple grey spots before they fade to white. But what are dapples? Why do some h ...
Horse Foam Bit Review
2nd Aug 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
What’s the newest in horse bits. According to Youtuber RaleighLink14, you might want to check out the foam bit. The idea is that the thickly sponge covered bit is much softer on a horse’s mouth than any other material. But, says t ...
PonyBox Champion Casual Boho
1st Aug 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
As we headed into the July holiday weekend was Casual Boho held the top ranking spot. The 15 year old Casual Boho is owned by Jumping Bloom Horses. This 16.3 hh mare is by 21st generation Boho Express, a breeding by Fox Tail Forg ...
Love For Wild Horses Org Responsible for California Relocation
1st Aug 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
A herd of wild horses from California has found a new home in the Red Feather Lakes of Colorado. Advocates say the horses are useful because they clear the ground cover that feeds wildfires, and they plan to move more horses there ...
Woman Kicked By Wild Assateague Horse
28th Jul 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Recently, a woman found out the hard way that smacking a cooler-raiding horse with a toy shovel is a good way to get kicked. Which is why you need to take those do not feed that animals signs seriously. ...
PonyBox Top 5 Barn Ranking
26th Jul 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Persistence, dedication and an eye for good breeding have paid off well for many Ponybox stables. And, it isn’t just longevity that affects a stable’s ranking. Here’s a look at the top five ranking stables on Ponybox right now. ...
  View All News by Winniefield Park
©2002 - 2020   PonyBox LLC Create Account Advertise Terms Privacy Contact Us
178 Members Online 268,701 Registered Members 2,750 News Articles 11,685,712 Unique News Article Views 278,111,784 Website Views