Up to 300 horses are being slaughtered every week in Ireland to feed a growing appetite in Europe.
Demand for the equine meat is soaring around the Continent with meat from factory horses in Ireland ending up in front of diners in France, Italy and Belgium.
The number of horse meat processing plants in Ireland has risen to six with B&F Meats in Thomastown, Co Kilkenny killing 150 horses a week while Pay Hayes of Ossory Meats in Co Offaly confirming fattened horses are fetching 150 euros - about £120 more than last year.
“There is quite a considerable market right across the EU. The standard is very high and if they meet these standards you have the customers,” Mr Hayes told the Irish Daily Mail.