• Short Summary

    THE POTTOK -- A BREED OF HORSES PECULIAR TO THE BASQUE COUNTRY ALONG THE FRENCH AND SPANISH BORDER -- IS CURRENTLY IN DANGER OF BEING TURNED INTO SAUSAGE MEAT.

  • Description

    THE POTTOK -- A BREED OF HORSES PECULIAR TO THE BASQUE COUNTRY ALONG THE FRENCH AND SPANISH BORDER -- IS CURRENTLY IN DANGER OF BEING TURNED INTO SAUSAGE MEAT. BUTCHERS MINGLED WITH OTHER BUYERS AT THE ANNUAL SALE OF THE HORSES IN THE TINY FRENCH TOWN OF ESPELETTE, IN THE WESTERN PYRENEES, DURING THE PAST WEEK.

    THERE ARE ESTIMATED TO BE 30,000 POTTOK HORSES, BOTH WILD AND DOMESTICATED, SCATTERED THROUGHOUT THE FRENCH AND SPANISH PYRENEES. THE ANIMALS ARE REMARKABLE FOR THEIR VARIATION IN SIZE. SOME GROW TO A NORMAL HEIGHT, OTHERS MEASURE LITTLE MORE THAN THREE FEET (ONE METRE) IN HEIGHT WHEN FULL GROWN.

    WHATEVER THEIR SIZE, CONTROVERSY SURROUNDS THIS UNIQUE BREED OF HORSES AT THE MOMENT. FARMERS COMPLAIN THAT THE WILD ANIMALS ARE A PEST AND DESTROY CROPS.

    PLANS HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED FOR SELLING THE HORSES IN BULK EITHER TO THE ITALIAN MANUFACTURERS OF SALAMI, OR TO FRENCH BUTCHERS FOR SAUSAGE MEAT.

    THE FRENCH SOCIETY FOR THE PROTECTION OF ANIMALS HAS OBJECTED VEHEMENTLY AGAINST BOTH PROPOSALS. PROTEST CAMPAIGNS MOUNTED IN NEWSPAPERS AND ON REGIONAL TELEVISION HAVE DRAWN PUBLIC ATTENTION TO THE PLIGHT OF THE HORSES.

    CONSEQUENTLY, AT THIS YEAR'S ESPELETTE HORSE FAIR, BUYERS TURNED UP FROM ZOOS, CIRCUSES, CHILDREN'S SCHOOLS AND BREEDING CENTRES. PROSPECTIVE PURCHASERS EVEN INCLUDED FRENCH RUGBY INTERNATIONAL BASTIA, A SECOND-ROW FORWARD WITH THE DAX RUGBY CLUB.

    AND, OF COURSE, MANY OF THE BUYERS ARE INTERESTED IN THE SMALLER HORSES FOR THEIR CHILDREN -- PAYING PRICES VARYING BETWEEN 400 NEW FRANCS ABOUT (GBP 30 STERLING) AND 1,900 NEW FRANCS (GBP 146 STERLING) FOR THE ANIMALS.

    BUT TO THE ANNOYANCE OF THE PROTESTERS, MAY OF THE POTTOK HORSES WERE STILL DESTINED FOR THE BUTCHER WHEN THE ESPELETTE SALE ENDED.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAF34WRA59275HAXAY3CRNSJKRS
    Media URN:
    VLVAF34WRA59275HAXAY3CRNSJKRS
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    31/01/1970
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:02:23:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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