26 November 1999
Farmers shoot worthless ponies

FARMERS on Dartmoor are shooting their ponies because they say they have no value at market and cannot even be given away.

Hundreds of ponies are now being shot humanely on farms rather than be transported to local markets where they might fetch a guinea.

In the past, farmers have earned hundreds of pounds from pony sales but at the present time many will fetch not more than 20 guineas.

The animals are unwanted as a direct consequence of the farming crisis because families can no longer afford to pay for tack, fodder and stabling for the animals.

Even slaughterhouses are rejecting the ponies for their export horsemeat because their meat content is too low.

The problem is revealed in the annual report from the Dartmoor Livestock Protection Society.