Charity suggests eating ponies to preserve the breed

A charity has come up with a novel suggestion to help safeguard the future of the Dartmoor pony – eating it.

The Dartmoor Hill Pony Association (DHPA) has said farmers were no longer keeping the ponies, due to the fact they were no longer viable and had become a “luxury”.

The loss of ponies on the moor could lead to a fall in grazing, which would adversely affect the natural habit of the moorland across the board.

To help retain the viability of keeping ponies, the charity is now suggesting a radical route to providing a source of income from the animals for farmers – by putting them on the menu.

In a statement, the charity said: “This project already has support from some of the hoteliers on the moor and we are confident that others will follow as pony meat, like venison, is low in fat, high in Omega 3, organic and delicious. It is really versatile, and can be eaten as steak or roasted, both of which the French enjoy or made into sausages or savoury meats such as salami and pastrami.”

The DHPA said it had already contacted a small abattoir, which it said dealt “compassionately with ponies”.

However, the idea has been described as “shocking” by the Dartmoor Pony Trust, which said that pony costs could be kept down through more controls on animal breeding.