What kind of horse is raised for meat in France?



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    All kinds of horses are raised for meat. Unlike other livestock (such as cattle), most breeds of horse generally produce roughly the same sort of meat (this is attributed to horses’ general inefficiency at converting grain/grass to muscle — any given horse, regardless of lifestyle, winds up producing very similar meat).

    This means that many horse meat processing plants don’t put a lot of effort into raising their horses. In countries where horses are kept as pets, riding animals or racehorses, when these animals become too old to be financial assets, they often wind up being shipped out to countries where horse-processing industries are alive and well. The uniformity of horse-meat means that whether a horse was kept on a horse-meat ranch his whole life or whether he raced in the Kentucky Derby, he’s still a good candidate to produce a uniform cut of meat. 

    Also, as a side not, not a lot of horse meat is actually prepared or raised in France. Horse meat is generally prepared in those countries where horses have very little productive value in society (ie where they are not used for agriculture or transportation). So places like China, Mexico, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and Argentina (to name the top 5) will butcher horse meat and export their products to places where the preparation of horse meat is illegal, but the purchase is not (places like France, Italy, and Belgium).

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