On Friday 24th December, the Western Morning News published a response by Paul Taylor, chairman of the Dartmoor Pony Society, to the current culling on Dartmoor. This society is for the pure bred, registered, pedigree Dartmoor ponies. Pedigree ponies are not being culled as part of the recent "sustainable welfare scheme" - that scheme has been set up for Dartmoor Hill Ponies, by the Dartmoor Hill Pony Association.
Paul Taylor makes it clear that it is the Hill Pony keepers who are to blame for the current situation. He also points out that the supposed Irish market for non-registered, semi feral ponies, from Dartmoor would most likely be as live exports to the continent for meat. Paul Taylor is quoted as saying: "The answer to the pony problem on Dartmoor is not to blame the recession, a downturn in hill-farm profits, a fall in demand for the ponies, the cost of passports, microchipping or the new transportation laws but to use a sensible economic approach to the problem.
Remove the stallions from the moor for a period of one or two years so that during that time no foals are born and therefore none will need to be slaughtered.
This is the approach already being operated by responsible pony keepers and breeders of Pedigree Dartmoor and Heritage Dartmoor ponies on areas of the moor".