The Sun is having a field day on "barmy" new EU regulations which require every horse owner to sign a pledge that he or she will not eat their mount.
Naturally, the "Horse Identification Regulations" - due to come into force next month and "partly aimed at stopping harmful vets’ drugs entering humans’ diets" - target our equine-scoffing continental cousins.
Brits, however, will also be obliged to commit, and face up to two years in prison if they refuse to promise not to succumb to the temptation to tuck into some classic French cuisine.
Naturally, the Sun had no trouble lassoing a couple of outraged commenters. UKIP supremo Nigel Farage derided: “I’d like to be a fly on the wall when the Queen and Princess Anne are asked to sign a form saying they’re not going to eat their horses.
“Measures to stop the trade in horse flesh may be a good thing. But any common sense in Brussels is drowned by the sheer weight of ludicrous suggestions."
"Furious" stable owner Kate Gillanders thundered from Perthshire: “We don’t see our horses as cattle. The thought of them being eaten is utterly repulsive.
"Brussels is poking its nose in where it should not be. The EU knows nothing about me and cares even less. This nonsense is somebody else’s obsession.”
In case you're wondering who's responsible for this outrage, look no further than EU agriculture commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel, who last year apparently reversed the famous bent banana ban which had Middle England choking on its resolutely-Caribbean, resolutely banana-shaped bananas. ®
Quite where donkeys stand isn't clear, but let's get one thing straight: I own three and if EU operatives turn up waving some damn paper under my nose they'll be met by the barrel of a shotgun and the unmistakable aroma of burro stew wafting over Haines Acres.
Any commentards experiencing a certain sense of deja-vu but remaining nonetheless compelled to take another elegantly discursive turn on the animal ethics merry-go-bollocks may find these cut'n'paste options handy.
1) There's nothing wrong with eating horse. I had it once in France. It was delicious. Discriminating between species when it comes to what you put in your face is nothing more than noxious sentimentality and that's all there is to it. Mine's the one with the whale sushi.
2) So what? Food is in short supply in this world and it's disgusting to make an issue of this. This is a non-story.
3) I would strangle your cat with my bare hands and make a handbag out of it. Stuff the EU.
4) Is that where 'burrito' comes from? Does that mean I ate donkey for lunch today? Suddenly I feel a bit sick. Damn Mexicans.
5) If you wear leather shoes. Have a leather sofa. Eat lamb, pork, duck, or whatever the hell they make sausages out of (you can't convince me it's pork). Then you really can't complain here.
I wear leather shoes and eat meat. If I was to be anti this then I would be the worst kind of hypocrite as you can'y pick one animal over another like that.
6) I'm so bored of stories like this about people eating whales/dogs/endangered salmon/horses that I can't even be bothered to comment. Oh, I just did. Well, wouldyalookatdat.