Who eats horse meat lately? | EUROtoday

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As of: March 31, 2024 4:28 p.m

Eating cattle, pigs, chickens or turkeys: This is regular for non-vegetarians. But horses? Once fairly frequent, horse meat is now a rarity.

By Lorenz Storch, Marie Müller, Sabrina Gerstmaier, br

Kaspar Wörle is the final of his form: the final horse butcher in Munich. In his store on Viktualienmarkt he sells horse specialties that he produces and slaughters himself. Whether it's ham, loin or, above all, sausage: at Wörle you will get the whole lot that you’d discover at a traditional butcher – solely from horses. The greatest vendor is heat horse sausages in a roll. From a purely visible perspective, there isn’t any distinction to traditional sausages comprised of beef or pork.

Customer demand for horse meat additional up

Customers of the butcher store emphasize that they’ve a transparent conscience: as a result of a horse might be assumed to have had a greater life earlier than slaughter than different livestock. According to butcher Wörle, the demand for horse meat is excessive: “We have everything among our customers: celebrities, normal people, Swiss, Austrians, we actually have all nations.”

And but, outdoors his store, the vary of horse meat on provide has turn into smaller and smaller through the years. At the time of his predecessor, there have been nonetheless 35 horse butchers in Munich, says Wörle. But then there have been fewer and fewer of them till solely he was left.

Fewer and fewer horses are being slaughtered

This is just not solely the case in Munich, however all through all the nation. In 1993, virtually 16,000 horses had been slaughtered throughout Germany; in 2023 there have been solely round 3,000. For comparability: Last 12 months, German slaughterhouses processed greater than 42 million pigs and virtually three million cattle. Horse meat has turn into an absolute area of interest product, which is outwardly resulting from the truth that fewer and fewer horses can be found for slaughter.

Wörle goals to supply a regional product. He brings the slaughter horses from a most of 100 kilometers away round Munich. As a rule, these are sport horses, as horses are hardly ever used as draft animals lately. And many horse house owners don't wish to give their mount to the butcher, says Wörle: “For them it's like this: a horse is for riding and not for slaughter. I can understand that because it's like a partner for them and that's where it is It's just difficult to break up.”

Veterinarian virtually now not sees any horses for slaughter

Veterinarian Peter Beer can solely verify this. He runs a observe that focuses on horses on the different finish of Bavaria, in Rehau within the Hof district of Upper Franconia. His expertise is that not one of the animals he sees throughout his work are literally slaughtered anymore.

According to Beers, it is because the possession construction has modified: In the previous, farmers or driving colleges owned many animals, however in the present day the horse house owners are largely personal people who’re very connected to their animals. The veterinarian additionally experiences that there was once numerous horse butchers in Upper Franconia; Now he doesn't know anybody within the space.

Slaughter or not – that's what the horse's passport says

Horses are thought-about by the legislation to be able to slaughter; However, this may be modified with an entry within the so-called “equine passport”, which should be saved for every animal. In Beer's expertise, most horse house owners additionally make use of this selection. An animal used as a slaughter horse is now not allowed to obtain sure medicines, particularly these which were adopted from human drugs for animal therapy. This prevents residues from entering into the meat.

Another distinction: If a horse can now not be ridden, it may be slaughtered at any time if it has the suitable entry within the equine passport. As with different animals for slaughter, the killing is justified by legislation as a way to then use the meat as meals. If it’s a horse that’s categorized as not appropriate for slaughter, the scenario is completely different. The proprietor should then proceed to look after and feed the animal even because it ages. It could solely be killed to keep away from extreme struggling.

Costs play for Horse house owners hardly any function

However, in Veterinarian Beer's expertise, the ensuing price concerns could play virtually no function in on a regular basis life: “Most animal owners would never slaughter their horse and keep it as long as they can. There is an extreme emotional bond that has nothing to do with the market value of a horse has to do.”

The final horse butcher in Munich, Wörle, says he pays 800 to 1,200 euros for a horse for slaughter. And the meat is used sensibly, he emphasizes. Nevertheless, the overwhelming majority of horses in the present day are euthanized at a terrific price and disposed of in a rendering facility.

Wörle and his spouse Ursula don't understand how lengthy they’ll proceed to run their butcher store. The butcher is 62 and there’s no successor. “There are few butchers, and there are fewer and fewer,” he muses: “If no one comes anymore, you can't change it. Then there will no longer be a horse butcher on the Viktualienmarkt in Munich.” He's not enthusiastic about retirement but. Wörle needs to proceed so long as he can. But in a number of years, Munich's final horse butcher could also be historical past.