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How horses became Europe’s funniest and most hunted animal

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[dropcap]H[/dropcap]orses have become Europe’s most hunted animal – not because everybody suddenly dislike it, but because its tendency to show up where it shouldn’t.

Do the Findus executives laugh, too?

Do Findus’ executives laugh, too?

As the horse meat scandal spread over much of the European continent in January and February, so did the jokes. One who might not laugh is the Swedish frozen fast food producer Findus, in which products horse meat was found. Not long after news of the discovery was made public, an image with wild horses appeared on the Internet with the caption, “Lets run before they FINDUS.”

Also Swedish, furniture giant Ikea found horse meat in its meatballs, Findus’ competitor Coop went down the same road, too, in the last few weeks. And so did Nestle, British Tesco, Spanghero of France, Irish Slivercrest Food, and a long row of other companies and countries. A map that the Guardian put together shows the scandal spreading over pretty much all of Europe. On Thursday, Poland became the latest European state to be dragged into the meat-mess.

Of course, for many the horse meat itself isn’t the thing here, but rather the feeling that you no more can trust restaurant menus, or nutrition facts on European food packages.

Food companies and restaurants could potentially be hurt financially by the horse debacle. As for tourism, no one knows. It seems unlikely that people from outside of Europe would start changing their travel plans due to the scandal.

And perhaps some businesses can benefit, too – it isn’t too hard to think of a potentially selling slogan for, let’s say, a salad bar these days.


The editor of the Traveling Reporter works as a business news editor, and is a frequent traveler. When not doing any of that, he spends time on his boat and tries to figure out where to travel next. Two of his top destinations are the Philippines and San Francisco. Email Erik! Follow the Traveling Reporter at Stumbleupon, Tumblr, Chime In, Pinterest, Google+, Weibo, Storify, Facebook, Traveldudes, Myspace.