Princess Anne urges us to eat horse meat

Princess Anne

In the wake of the supermarket meat scandal it has emerged that there's a good chance that most of us have already eaten horse meat. But while many people felt repulsed by the idea, Princess Anne has said that more of us ought to consider it as a dietary option.

It could save us a fortune, and she says it will help horses too.%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%

Let them eat horse

It seems counter-intuitive, but Princess Anne has said that horse owners would be more likely to take better care of their animals if they knew they could get a better price when they eventually sell them on for meat. She was speaking as thousands of horses in the UK are said to face neglect and abandonment.

She told the World Horse Welfare charity: "Our attitudes to the horse meat trade and the value of horse meat may have to change." She added that the reaction to the horse meat scandal wasn't necessarily the horror of eating horse meat, but that people felt they had been misled. She said: "If you had put the correct label on it and put it back on the shelves, that would have been the correct answer for everybody."

Shock

There have been some shocked reactions to the statement, especially as Anne is a medal-winning horsewoman and owns her own rescue horses. As someone so closely associated with horses, there are those who are shocked that she is suggesting we consider them as potential food.

There are also those who highlight that the standards of care of other animals we eat is not universally great, so why should horses be any different?

Cheaper?

However, it would have its benefits for all of us. At the moment horsemeat could help us spend less on the weekly shop. One of the reasons why it found its way into supermarkets in the first place was because in the UK it costs roughly a fifth of the price of beef.

Of course, if it was eaten more widely, the price would go up (which is what Princess Anne is arguing for), but it would increase the overall supply of meat in this country, and would help reduce the price of meat overall.

It would be health boon too, because in cheaper ready-meals, burgers and pies producers would able to legitimately use better cuts of horse rather than the scraps of other animals.

There's plenty of evidence that it tastes good too. It's a delicacy in France, Italy and China.

It's only tradition and culture that puts us off. But what do you think? Would you eat horse meat.

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Princess Anne urges us to eat horse meat

The law states that any goods you buy from a UK retailer should be of satisfactory quality, as described, fit for purpose and last a reasonable amount of time.

This applies even if you buy items in a sale or with a discount voucher. You may have to insist on these rights being respected, though.

Useful phrases to use when you want to show you mean business include, "according to the Sale of Goods Act 1979" and, if it's a service, "according to the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982".

Some shops will allow you to exchange goods without a receipt, but they can refuse to should they wish.

If the goods are faulty, however, another proof of purchase such as a bank statement should work just as well.

If you attempt to return goods within four weeks of the purchase, your chances of getting a full refund are much higher as you can argue that you have not "accepted" them.

After this point, you can only really expect an exchange, repair or part-refund.

The updated Consumer Credit Act states that card companies are jointly and severally liable for credit card purchases of between £100 and £60,260 (whether or not you paid just a deposit or the whole amount on your card).

Anyone spending between these amounts on their credit card is therefore protected if the retailer or service provider goes bust, their online shopping never arrives or the items in question are faulty or not as described.

Start by writing to the agency asking it to either remove or change the entry that you think is wrong. It will investigate the matter and find out whether you have been the victim of ID theft or a bank's mistake.

Within 28 days from receipt of your letter the agency should tell you how the bank has responded. If the bank agrees to change the entry, they will authorise the agency to update their records. They should also send updates to any other credit reference agencies they use.

You can also contact your lender directly to query a mistake. If the lender agrees to the discrepancy, ask them to confirm this in writing on their letterhead and send a copy to the agency, asking them to update your file.

The FOS settles disputes between financial companies such as banks and consumers.

If a financial organisation rejects a complaint you make about its services, you can therefore escalate that complaint to the FOS - as long as you have given the company in question at least eight weeks to respond.

The FOS will then investigate the case, and could force the company to offer you compensation should it see fit.

Bailiffs are allowed to take some of your belongings to sell on to cover certain debts, including unpaid Council Tax and parking fines.

They can, for example, take so-called luxury items such as TVs or games consoles. However, they cannot take essentials such as fridges or clothes.

What's more, they can only generally enter your home to take your stuff if you leave a door or window open or invite them in.

You are therefore within your rights to refuse them access and to ask for related documents such as proof of their identity. If they try to force their way in, you can also call the police to stop them.

Private sector debt collectors do not have the same powers as bailiffs, whatever they tell you.

They cannot, for example, enter your home and take your possessions in lieu of payment.

In fact, they can only write, phone, or visit your home to talk to you about paying back the debt. As with bailiffs, you can also call the police if you feel physically threatened.

Thanks to the Distance Selling Regulations, you actually have more rights buying online or by phone than on the High Street.

You can, for example, send most goods back within a week, for a full refund (including outward delivery costs), even if there's no fault.

You will usually need to pay for the return delivery, though. The seller must then refund you within 30 days.

We enter into contracts all the time, whether it be to join a gym, switch energy supplier or take out a loan.

In most cases, once you've signed a contract, you are legally bound by it. In some situations, however, you have the right to cancel it within a certain timeframe.

Credit agreements, for example, can be cancelled within 14 days. And online retailers must tell you about your cancellation rights for any contract made up to stand up legally.

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