The Good, the Bad and the downright Ugly

Have you ever wondered about the different faces of the equine industry here in France? Please take the time to read ERF’s latest blogs that take you from the highs of the competition at Lion d’Angers to the lows of the Maurs meat fairs…

If you’d like to help make a difference her are just a couple of things that you can do today:

  • Share the blogs with animal lovers and horse lovers across Europe (FB, twitter, e-mail etc.). By working together, we can force change.

  • Donate a few euros each month to enable ERF to continue gathering evidence and monitoring the routes these animals take to slaughter.

For more ways to help, drop a note to and check out the website.

Thank you.

It wouldn’t help anyone to get it all closed down as the community clearly relies on the industry but it would be good to move it away from the dependence on Italian buyers / meat in general. Our presence and complaints have ensured that water is provided, there is a vet on site, the handlers are trained not to hit the horses, the DDSV turn up to talk to drivers etc. etc. so we have definitely had an impact. Local abattoirs should be the way to go but until the Italians get over their need for meat slaughtered locally, it isn’t commercially viable. But we will continue to keep the focus on humane handling and not allow standards to drop…

I think the worst thing is the transport too. having lived close to Maurs for years you end up viewing the heavy horses, either pregnant or with a foal, in the same way as the cows - hence the comparison. I agree that the problem is once they get to the fair, or more specifically once they’re sold. we often see the italian lorries fully loaded up stopped for lunch just down the road from us - the horses are left in the midday heat, often 35+° IN THE SHADE in summer, before they travel all the way to Italy. apparently a lot aren’t slaughtered here as they continue to fatten them in Italy first (they probably need a few weeks to recover from the trip). I don’t think the situation is helped by the fact that the local abbatoires aren’t equipped to take them. they supply water in the lorries but only one or two horses can get to it… Good luck in your efforts to change things…there isn’t much else in Maurs apart from the fair and they’re trying to make it a pôle cheval: centre équestre, foire, lycée…etc. so please don’t get it closed - just make it more humane for the horses!

Hi Andrew, Eating horse meat is a cultural thing - not something I would want to do but then we eat animals other cultures wouldn’t. For me/us, the important point is for all animals to be humanely transported to the nearest slaughter point possible and humanely handled and slaughtered. We see many animals arriving and leaving Maurs in conditions breaking the current welfare and transport regs which is what we need to stop. The fact that these regs are not stringent enough is something that we campaign about but not something a commercial industry with books to balance will do anything about as it will increase their costs (and the end consumer doesn’t like cost, even if it means animals are treated more humanely).
We will do all we can to ensure that the law is upheld and that the laws themselves are reviewed, but your analogy with cows is very true.

Difficult one that - my other half teaches equine studies/zootechnie etc in Maurs and has to do the horse fair with her students. I’ve been to it several times, even bumped into a britsh film crew who didn’t speak french and were trying to do a documentary so I filled them in on the different aspects… the horses that are often the best treated by a long way and in the best condition are the ones going for meat, usually to italy, it’s once they leave maurs that things go down hill. it’s also a big local industry along with beef cows and they’re treated very well along with the cows… everyone’s going to jump on me from a great height… but what’s the difference in eating a horse steak or a beef steak (i’m not a towny with an odd outlook on the countryside, we have 18acres and 2 horses, family farm beef etc)