SHOPPERS in Dorchester were greeted by a four-legged friend promoting local produce.

A horse joined traders as the Dorset Farmers’ Market came to the county town to highlight the reliability of local producers in the light of the horsemeat scandal.

Chairman Nick Ralph said: “We were there to tell people that with us actually what’s on the label is under the label.

“We want to encourage people to talk to their producer to see where their food comes from and how far it comes.”

Mr Ralph said the light-hearted response to the national headlines was well received in Dorchester and he hoped the message was also taken on board.

He said: “Us and local butchers have all had a pretty tough time in competition with the supermarkets and I think we would like to be seen as the genuine product.

“We are pleased with the way it went.”

The Farmers’ Market will be at Poundbury tomorrow.