In this latest food hype about horse meat being in food marked otherwise, the usual arm waving and outburst from ministers not knowing what they are taking about, and not one of them or any of the over-paid media presenters have shown any concern regarding the welfare of the unwanted equine destined for the human food chain.

How they end up in markets knocked down for £50, often kept in squalid conditions; packed into lorries to go on long journeys, without water or food, many suffering injuries and dying, then being dumped in some slaughterhouse to be killed in often inhumane ways.

All sorts of equine animals end up like this, racehorses not making lots of money for owners, show jumpers, ponies, donkeys, all just dumped, no longer of any use to their owners. The equine meat trade does not have the same regulations as apply to conventional farm animals, and they need tightening up as it is, with the live exports from Ireland where much of the equine problems started..

My wife and I started taking in retired and neglected equines back in the late 60s, when we first had our smallholding, and helped out at what was then The Bristol Rest Home For Horses now called Horse World.

With the ones we took in, many were badly treated, and among them was a showjumper which had made money and given prestige to its riders and owners in its lifetime in the UK and abroad yet was in a sorry state when we received him; we gave him a few years until his lungs failed. Many owners will not allow an old or ‘past it’ horse to be sold on, because as said they end up in markets and sold to the meat men, and then the suffering starts.

It’s difficult to find out about the fate of polo ponies, people from outside this world are not allowed to see how they are treated.

To repeat, consumers have become totally out of touch with where or how their food is produced, many not caring at all, but we can hope we teach the very young to take more interest in how and where their food is produced.

Many would become vegetarians if they had to see how their food was produced or at least eat less meat, quality not quantity, because as said before the biggest threat to farmers and growers has been the trendy demand for cheap food, so people can spend their money on trivia and junk food, glibly ignored by those who profit from it and could not care less about animal welfare or the health of the nation.

David Thomas, Hisomley, nr Westbury.