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Hi Mary,
 
I've just seen a local news story on the BBC about the Dartmoor ponies annual sales..............and I'm absolutely fuming about the comments from DEFRA.
 
A defra statement said that " there is no evidence of ponies being sold abroad for meat."     
 
The figures from the BBC news story are :  10,000 horses were slaughtered last year in the UK alone.  Defra say these figures have now gone down and only 7000 were slaughtered this year.  Some of these Dartmoor ponies are slaughtered and fed to the lions at Bristol Zoo.
 
Defra said that because of the high price of the ponies sold being sold at market,  it is uneconomical to send them abroad for meat.  
Yet the Tavistock Market reserve price today was EIGHT GUINEAS per pony.
 
 
Watching the terrified ponies  being herded into huge cattle lorries,  I am once again shocked and horrified at DEFRA's callousness and in particular Margaret Beckett's refusal to ban the export of live ponies from the UK.
 
best wishes,
 
Didi
 
Higher Fonstone Farm
Warbstow
Launceston
Cornwall