Advocates Against Slaughter Protest Polish Horse Auction

Thousands of horses changed hands Monday at the traditional Skaryszew horse fair in Poland, despite protesting by animal rights activists.

The activists aimed to stop horses from being sold at slaughter at the 300-year-old annual event, Reuters news agency reported. Allegations from Ireland that Poland supplied the horsemeat found in its Tesco supermarket brand frozen hamburgers helped fuel the protests.

"A horse should be a companion, not an animal for slaughter," Reuters quoted an animal rights group leader as saying. "We are fighting for a change in the law. We have to change it."

Poland has denied any involvement in the horsemeat scandal, however. Last week its minister of agriculture, Stanislaw Kalemba, announced that there was “not the slightest bit of evidence” that his country supplied the meat in question, Polish news source reported.

Poland produces 18,000 metric tons (about 39,682,800 pounds) of horsemeat per year, according to statistics at

In addition, approximately 50,000 live horses are exported for slaughter every year, primarily to Italy—the only European country where horsemeat consumption is actually increasing, according to a report by the French news source

Horsemeat is not considered part of modern Polish culinary culture, the source reported.

About the Author

Christa Lesté-Lasserre, MA

Christa Lesté-Lasserre is a freelance writer based in France. A native of Dallas, Texas, Lesté-Lasserre grew up riding Quarter Horses, Appaloosas, and Shetland Ponies. She holds a master’s degree in English, specializing in creative writing, from the University of Mississippi in Oxford and earned a bachelor's in journalism and creative writing with a minor in sciences from Baylor University in Waco, Texas. She currently keeps her two Trakehners at home near Paris. Follow Lesté-Lasserre on Twitter @christalestelas.

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