13 October 2000
Dartmoor farmers can’t sell ponies

By FWi staff

WEST-COUNTRY farmers are struggling to give away Dartmoor ponies, reports the Daily Mail.

At a sale in Tavistock, Devon last week two colts sold for 50p each, and many raised 75p or 1.50 – an all-time low.

With a reserve price of a guinea (1.05) on each pony, half of the lots went unsold.

While 50 years ago 30,000 ponies roamed Dartmoor, there are fewer than 3000 today. The newspaper fears there could be none at all in 50 years.

Auctioneer Paul Griffin blamed the collapse of the market on legislation banning live horse exports to Europe.

Domestic petfood manufacturers had already stopped using pony meat.

Mr Griffin says there is not enough demand for riding ponies.

Dartrmoor ponies, one of only nine British native breeds, have grazed the moor for 2000 years.