A vet and leading equine expert has suggested eating Exmoor ponies as a solution to manage the population.
Peter Green warns that ponies that are being dumped on Exmoor are threatening the pure-bred population which has grazed in the National Park for thousands of years.
The Bath Chronical reports that Mr Green says one solution to eliminate the unwanted newcomers is by slaughtering them and selling their meat to hotels and restaurants.
In his report, The free-living ponies within the Exmoor National Park: their status, welfare and future, Mr Green writes: "Several contributors, including moorland herd owners, society committee members and others expressed the view that the British aversion to eating horse meat was both illogical and unhelpful to the free-living Exmoor ponies.
"As there is so limited a market for ridden ponies, show ponies and conservation grazers, why not promote the free-living Exmoor ponies as a food animal as much as an amenity or aesthetic resource?"
According to the Daily Telegraph, a number of Exmoor Pony Society members are believed to support the plan but others say it could deter tourists from visiting the National Park to stroke and ride the famous British animals.
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