Ramsay gets food Asbo’ for promoting horse meat

Foul-mouthed celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay came under fire from a leading Norfolk-based equine charity yesterday for promoting the eating of horses.

Foul-mouthed celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay came under fire from a leading Norfolk-based equine charity yesterday for promoting the eating of horses.

The International League for the Protection of Horses (ILPH) at Snetterton branded the chef's television show, The F Word, as "irresponsible" for filming a feature about the controversial meat without painting a full picture of the animal abuses that occur in parts of Europe.

The charity has now nominated Mr Ramsay for one of his own "food Asbos" ahead of the Channel 4 show, which will be screened next week.

The episode will see presenter Janet Street-Porter visiting a horse slaughterhouse in France before trying to sell "Nag burgers" to punters at Cheltenham Racecourse.

Eating horse meat, which is not illegal but is taboo in Britain, is promoted by Mr Ramsay who claims it is a healthier "slightly gamey" alternative to beef and "packed with protein".

However, the subject has sparked revulsion from horse lovers and animal welfare campaigners across the country.

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Jo White, ILPH head of campaigns and European affairs, said: "By encouraging people to eat more horse meat, Gordon Ramsay is actually encouraging an increase in the totally unnecessary and cruel long-distance transport of horses for slaughter which the ILPH is working hard to eliminate.

"The horse meat trade is undoubtedly the largest general abuse of horses in Europe, involving the transportation to slaughter of thousands of horses, thousands of miles, in totally inhumane and pitiful conditions.

"We find this particularly surprising coming from Gordon Ramsay, who is known for encouraging people to eat local produce."

The equine charity has also expressed its "disappointment" after Mr Ramsay and his Channel 4 show failed to respond to its nomination for a food Asbo for its "irresponsible attitude".

The ILPH says that about 100,000 horses a year are "unnecessarily" and "inhumanly" transported long distances for slaughter in Europe and the cruel practice should be replaced with a carcass-only trade.

Italy is the biggest consumer of European horse meat at 84pc, ahead of France (7pc) and Belgium (5pc), which buys produce from Poland, Romania, Spain, Lithuania and Belarus.

A spokesman for Channel 4 said the celebrity chef did not urge viewers to eat horse meat, but "merely states that he has liked it."

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