Monday, 13 December 2010

Dartmoor Ponies: Saving an endangered species?

In recent newspaper articles, we have been told that ponies on Dartmoor are an endangered species.  Is it really logical that one endangered species is being slaughtered to feed another endangered species in a zoo?  Meat from 250 of the 700 culled ponies is being used to feed tigers (which are also classified as an endangered species) in zoos.

Reference has been made to the fact that ponies are rarer than the giant panda...but why is there a double standard...We never hear reports about hundreds of pandas being slaughtered as part of a "sustainable welfare scheme" and fed to tigers in zoos...or about pandas being sent to regional markets to an uncertain fate...or about them being travelled long distances to be slaughtered for their skins.  Why on Dartmoor are we proud to state we have an endangered breed, and yet we are not able to manage the pony populations in a responsible way? 

If you are considering donating money to help these ponies, please make sure that you know how your money will be spent - is it going to be spent in a way that ensures the future of the ponies, or will it instead support/fund continuing indiscriminate breeding and slaughtering as part of an ongoing "sustainable welfare scheme"?  Ultimately, this issue does not come down to needing large sums of money.  It is simply a case of removing stallions from the moor and maintaining a responsible breeding programme.