Horses, Medication and Meat: A Digest of the Indigestible

Is horse meat safe to eat? Does “burger-gate” go beyond squeamishness about eating equines and point to larger health concerns? Dr Duncan Campbell, the chief public analyst for West Yorkshire, has commented in the Guardian on the odds of the infamous “Equine DNA” in the “value burgers” containing common horse medications like bute that are …

A Brief History of the British and Horsemeat, written for the Telegraph

I’ve written a piece for the Telegraph comment pages on Britain and Ireland’s history with horse meat. You can find it here, along with some subversive food writing from the brilliant Rose Prince. It includes everything from 1400BC horsecare manuals to observations on our current habit of shipping our equine meat overseas for others to …

Why Is There Horsemeat in Burgers From Ireland and the UK?

The news that horse meat has been found in beef burgers sold in the UK and Ireland is hitting the headlines – more so, even, than the fact that some of these burgers contained pork. There’s reams to be written on the reasons for the taboo on horse meat (and I think most of that …

Whole Heap of Little Horse Links

Billionaire Roman Abramovich has purchased Pringle, one of the best showjumping ponies in the UK, for his daughter Irina. (Daily Telegraph) Mustang round-ups in the US are halted after video evidence of abuse of the horses is presented (Salt Lake Tribune) The owner of a pit bull that chased a police horse for a mile-and-a-half …

Whole Heap of Little Horse Links

This is the most sensible thing written about champion chaser Kauto Star’s controversial retirement to the dressage arena, from Greg Wood (Guardian) In a repeat of Jesse Owens’ sprint against a thoroughbred, bladerunner Oscar Pistorius took on a horse in Qatar, although not without, yes, more controversy. The South African SPCA say that the horse …

Whole Heap of Little Horse Links

I was away! Things happened! But first – a round up of curious happenings in the horse world! Looks like I got rid of the virtual racing stable I ran in the early 1990s far too early. An unraced imaginary horse from the Digiturf game has just been sold for $5,225. Yes, not only is …

If Wishes Were Horses: Hunters and Amazons

Here’s the Robin Hood Cave horse carving, safely at the British Museum. I drew heavily on the work of a husband and wife archaeology team for the section on the early domestication of the horse: you can find out about David W Anthony and Dorcas Brown’s Institute for Ancient Equestrian Studies here. You can find …

Horse Meat is Not a Delicacy in Europe

Please folks, especially those on the anti-slaughter side of the argument, stop repeating the falsehood that horse meat is a delicacy in Europe. It is not. I know that it makes the whole business sound more depraved and decadent if horse meat is a luxury good, but it’s not. In the parts of Europe where …

Horse Slaughter to Re-start in US?

Big news: according to Agri-Pulse, the first obstacle to the resumption of horse slaughter in the US has been removed. This means that federally funded inspections of horse abbatoirs are once again legal. A provision allowing for the restoration of USDA-sponsored inspections of horse processing facilities is included in the appropriations bill conference report passed …

Woman Climbs into Horse Carcass

Oh, the weird: A woman who crawled inside the gutted carcass of a horse and took photos of herself and her boyfriend holding the animal’s organs will not face charges. The woman, 21, told Washington County sheriff’s deputies that she enacted the gruesome scenes in order to “feel one” with the horse, KOIN reported Thursday. …