After several Swedish food retailers had to recall ready-made meals as the horse-meat scandal engulfed Europe, many stores and supermarkets now demand that their subcontractors use separate facilities to slaughter animals intended for consumption and horses.
Yet a shortage of such facilities means many slaughterhouses are simply turning away requests to put down horses across Sweden, reported Sveriges Television (SVT) this week.
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"It doesn't feel good if the alternative is to send horses to the south of Europe to be slaughtered," said Skövde slaughterhouse spokesman Ove Konradsson, who is now only killing pigs and cows.
"If our customers accepted that we slaughter horses, we'd be happy to," he added.
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There are 34 industrial slaughterhouses in Sweden, six of which have now completely stopped putting down horses, SVT's tally revealed.