Sometimes a pony gets depressed*

The Daily Mail is hideous in many respects – its story this week about, basically, whether too many ‘ethnics’ in our World Cup video destroyed the UK’s chances of hosting it in 2018, to give one example – but it is good on some things. Those things being a) cute/ weird animal pictures b) animal welfare stories and c) keeping us informed of just who has lost their ‘baby weight’ and how fast, just who has a new ‘bikini body’ and how they got it, and just who really ought to do something to hide their ‘bingo wings’ (extra points if they’re someone who is generally known for being in pretty amazing shape, but a flaw has been found!!)

OK, forget (c). They might not like women very much, but they do like cute and cuddly animals, and as such are pretty good on animal welfare stories. I try not to be too influence by the ‘awww’ factor when it comes to animal welfare. One of the reasons I became vegetarian was because I couldn’t reconcile myself to the double standards involved in thinking it was OK to eat a chicken or a cow but not cats or dogs or horses. Or even – at least in my case – rabbits and ducks. Or duck eggs.

But…. have a look at this story. Which definitely does have the ‘awwww’ factor.

I love Dartmoor, and I love driving through there and suddenly seeing the wild ponies, silhouetted against the sky. At least I’d assumed they were wild ponies. I’m sure I’ve read stories in the past about them starving to death during difficult winters. But apparently they’re bred for sale, and they’re now being killed off in a bid to reduce supply and drive up the market price. It’s described as a ‘welfare disposal system’ and a local says ‘Breeding Dartmoor hill ponies is a low cost, low input enterprise. But the minute it doesn’t pay anymore, the pony is at risk.” You could argue that this isn’t such a big deal when millions of cows are sent to slaughter every year, but it’s depressing that it’s happening. And they are adorable. They have great hair.

* I’ve used this title before, for the (successful) Save Kipper’s Field campaign. What are the chances of being able to do that?! Silver Jews.

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Comments

  • Susanna Forrest  On December 5, 2010 at 8:08 am

    They need to breed only as many ponies as they can look after (ie give veterinary attention, chip and passport) and train so that they can be children’s ponies rather than meat or handbags. Otherwise those breeders are just crying crocodile tears.

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