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PM rejects Anne's 'eat horse' call

Britain should not become a horse-eating country, David Cameron has said - after the Princess Royal suggested that dropping our aversion to the meat could improve equine care.

The Prime Minister - who is an enthusiastic rider of horses - said he was "not keen" on eating them but did not say whether he may have done so in the past.

"I'm not keen on eating horse," he told reporters in Sri Lanka, where he is attending a Commonwealth summit.

"I know it's something that happens in other countries but I think we should stick to our non-horse eating habits."

Horse meat hit the headlines earlier this year when it emerged that frozen burgers supplied to several supermarkets including Tesco contained horse DNA.

Investigations found that other beef products sold by retailers, including lasagne and spaghetti bolognese, were contaminated, while meals in schools and hospitals had to be withdrawn after it was found they contained horse meat.

Anne, a former British eventing champion, claimed that horse owners might take better care of their animals when they are alive if they believed they could later sell them for meat.

Her comments follow warnings by charities of a horse welfare crisis, with 7,000 horses currently at risk of abandonment and neglect.

Speaking at the annual conference of the World Horse Welfare charity in central London, the Princess, who is president of the organisation, said: "Our attitudes to the horse meat trade and the value of horse meat may have to change.

"If that's true then, that they value their horses, they look after them well, because they're in the horse meat trade... should we be considering a real market for horse meat and would that reduce the number of welfare cases if there was a real value in the horse meat sector?

"I chuck that out for what it's worth because I think it needs a debate."

Anne said the focus of the horse meat scandal was that food was improperly labelled rather than the use of the animal in products.


From Belfast Telegraph