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Thursday, 17 October, 2002, 15:26 GMT 16:26 UK
Anger over pony cull
Dartmoor ponies
About 200 ponies are to be culled
Hundreds of Dartmoor ponies are being shot and could end up being used for pet food because they cannot be sold.

Animal rights campaigners have condemned the cull of the ponies.

Up to 200 ponies are under threat from the slaughter after they were rejected at a sale.

However, farmers and the RSPCA say the cull is necessary to prevent the suffering of the weakened animals who could face a slow death if left on the moor.

'Absolutely appalled'

Maureen Rolls, from the South West Equine Protection group, said: "I think people are going to be absolutely appalled to think they've been up here petting them and feeding them and now they are being shot.

"There is no need for it whatsoever."

The cull is being organised by the farmers group, the Dartmoor Commoners' Council.

It pays farmers 5 for each unwanted pony. Professional slaughtermen are then sent to the farm to take them away.

A spokeswoman for the council said that the cull was necessary because there was insufficient food for the ponies.

Janet Kipling from the RSPCA said: "As a short-term measure, there was no other option.

"There were some not sold. They can't go back out on the moor as it's against the regulations.

"Disposal at a licensed premises humanely is the best option at the moment."

Stallions are being removed from the moor to help prevent ponies breeding.


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04 Oct 02 | England
01 Oct 02 | England
24 Jul 02 | England
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31 Dec 01 | England
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