Horsebreeding for meat production ecological and cultural aspects
The thought to a horse production for slaughtering in large yardstick
appears to our culture strange, however, it may be quite meaningful
under the conditions of some countries. Thereby the ecological and
economic circumstances as well as the cultural background are quite
different. Various forms of use are to be found for example
in the following countries:
The direct horsebreeding for meat production in most cases belongs to
the geographical and climatic conditions
of the relevant regions:
There are wide areas available, where a large number of
horses can live in and is able to satisfy their movement needs.
Usually the horses live there without special care in a free manner.
The natural supply of fodder is spacioulsly distributed,
so it can be used only by fast run animals, which can change their pasture
areas without problems over large distances.
The climatic conditions are extremly hard,
so that an feeding of other large
meat animals is problematic. Some horse races are very well adapted,
substantially more robust and more undemandingly to such conditions
than cattles or pigs.
These conditions apply to certain regions of the earth in almost
extreme way. Above at all here are worth mentioning the steppe areas
in Central Asia as well as in North and South America. In particular
in some areas of Central Asia in the course of history thereby a culture
developed, in wich the horse formed the whole basis of livestock
breeding. In some cases, horses supplied all the life necessities
for the humens in such areas.
In America the natural conditions are usually used only in order to
produce large quantities of horse meat for export purposes.
Importing countries are primarily France, Belgium and the Netherlands.
On Iceland prevail such extreme climatic conditions,
that cattle breeding in the free is often not possible. Therefore,
even since much generations ago the very constitution-hard and climatic
optimally adapted ponys were used for meat production. Today horse meat
is very popular in Iceland and beyond the national consumption
this country exports horse meat to France and Belgium.
Independent of any climatic conditions in some countries the
consumption of horse meat is high enought, so that an direct
breeding of horses for slaughter is economically meaningful.
This is the case, for example, in France, Belgium, Italy and Japan.
In this countries particularily drafthorse breedings, which may rapidly feeded to an
heavy weight, are used for meat production.
While this former working animals have already lost their usage in agriculture,
the production of slaughterbound horses gives an considerable aid in the preserving
of this heavy and beautyful breeds.
Feeded drafthorses may gain an living weight up to 1000 kg and beyond. Therefore this
breeds belong to the most heavy domestic meat suppliers of the world.
Some horse breeds, which are used for meat production, are mentioned in the