Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Horsemeat scares in WW1

Currently in the UK there is a great scandal about horsemeat being identified in processed beef products. So when I came across this in the archives yesterday I just had to blog about it.
“The situation we are in today has brought horse flesh into some prominence as food and seems to have introduced a new terror to horse owners. Previously it was dangerous to steal a horse which it was generally possible to trace but now the value of the carcass is increased six or seven times it is easier to conceal. Honest slaughterers would not kill a young fit horse but it seems there are those less scrupulous who do not worry about questions if a good offer is made of them”
 Bradford Daily Telegraph 17th Sept 1917

They were not so concerned about the fact they may be eating horse meat but the fact that horses might be stolen from the fields to be killed for meat. This is at a time when petrol prices were at their highest and the government had just asked for a further 10% of Bradford’s horses for use in the military. People could not risk having their horses stolen for meat if they were to carry on farming or trading.