Steaks and sausages made from Dartmoor pony meat has gone on sale in Tavistock.
The Dartmoor Hill Pony Association are selling the meat at Tavistock farmers' market in a move aimed at helping to protect the species.
It is also being sold at a local restaurant, and pony sausages are available to buy online.
Charlotte Faulkner set up the Dartmoor Hill Pony Association to further knowledge and support of the hardy little beasts.
Mrs Faulkner, 53, has lived on the Dartmoor farm with her family for 17 years.
She keeps around a dozen young Dartmoor Hill ponies, and finds new owners for many of the ponies, but many more still need a new home.
Hundreds of ponies are culled every year to keep the numbers constant, with the meat being fed to the big cats at a local zoo or sent to France.
Mrs Faulkner believes the meat is ‘too good' for that.
In 2014 Mrs Faulkner suggested it might be an idea to try to create a meat market in this country for the older ponies.
On their website Dartmoor Hill Pony say the plan for pony meat to be used for human consumption is to save the breed from extinction.
It adds: “Due to the economic problems being felt in this country and abroad, the sale of horses and ponies has fallen dramatically. For semi-feral herds across the UK this has become a huge issue.
“Dartmoor relies on its herds of ponies to keep the careful ecological balance. Without the ponies, the moorland would become vastly overgrown, not only preventing the vital income brought by tourists but also greatly damaging the habitats of a number of insects and birds and other animals.
“During the last few years many Dartmoor farmers have stopped keeping ponies as they are no longer seen as viable. Unless a way can be found to make them profitable the remaining farmers will have to do the same.”
It adds: “This project already has support from some of the hoteliers on the moor and we are confident that others will follow as pony meat, like venison, is low in fat, high in omega 3, organic and delicious. It is really versatile, and can be eaten as steak or roasted, both of which the French enjoy or made into sausages or savoury meats such as salami and pastrami.
Read more: http://www.westernmorningnews.co.uk/Dartmoor-pony-meat-menu-bid-conserve-breed/story-28312151-detail/story.html#ixzz3tg18IMCC
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