The Brits are in a bit of trouble. Their Beef burger patties had Horsemeat in it as well.
Many of Britain’s biggest retailers were forced to pull products from their shelves yesterday as their suppliers were found to be selling beefburgers laced with horse meat. Tesco’s were found to contain up to 29 per cent equine DNA, while Asda, Sainsbury’s and the Co-op all withdrew frozen burgers as a ‘precautionary measure’.
I am not sure what the logic behind adding Horse meat was, but my basic economic sense says that Horses as a source of meat can’t possibly be cheaper than Cows in the Europe. So, why would someone add Equine meat to something as cheap as burger patties is beyond my understanding. But there is a strong reason for it and it is this:
While calling the vet to put down a lame or surplus horse can cost in excess of £200, abattoirs will gladly pay £300 for an unwanted animal. As a result, 8,118 horses and ponies were slaughtered in Britain in 2011, to be sent to the continent to be sold as gourmet meat. Nothing is wasted, with their skins going into the leather trade, while any off-cuts will be used as dog food.
Most will be former pets their owners cannot care for or riding school mounts that can no longer pay their way because they are too old to work. But according to Ben Martin, a campaigner with charity Animal Aid, in 2011 ‘1,127 were thoroughbreds discarded by the racing industry’, which ‘overproduces horses each year’.
The number of British horses ending their days in the slaughterhouse has doubled since 2008, a little-known consequence of the recession. Mr Martin said around 10,000 horses and ponies are now believed to be slaughtered in Britain each year.
Here is an infographic for the whole burger making process.
and a Video.