Horse meat consumption is widespread in Italy since ancient times, Among European countries, Italy is the major consumer of horse meat and related meat products. However, national production has never been able to satisfy market demand; the refore more than half of the consumed meat is imported. A survey on productive assets has been carried out in a horse and bovine slaughterhouse located on Emilia-Romagna region to investigate the characteristics of horse meat production in Northern Italy. The two-years period 2004-2005 was chosen for this investigation. The abattoir under examination provided to slaughter 4,375 horses in 2004 and 4,770 in 2005. Around 16% of the slaughtered horses were foals, being less than two years old. The results of the present survey confirmed that half of the slaughtered horses came from Hungary and, to a much lesser extent, from Poland. The horses of Italian origin were mainly from Lombardia, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, and Toscana regions.
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