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EU Will Not Accept Horse Meat Imported from the United States

Post time:2013/3/25 9:19:41 Author: wpa Hits:979


Just a week ago Petside featured an article about the high probability of horse slaughter facilities soon opening in the United States to produce meat for human consumption.


In 2006 Congress defunded USDA horse and horse meat inspection, closing the doors of the three remaining foreign-owned slaughter plants producing meat for human consumption which was exported to Europe and other countries outside the United States. However, in 2011, Congress stripped the defunding language for USDA horse and horse meat inspection, leaving the doors wide open for slaughter facilities in the United States to start killing horses for their meat for humans.


At the present, however, the sale of horse meat for human diners in the United States remains illegal. As a result should the horse meat slaughter facilities open to produce human-grade horse meat, they must export the meat to Europe and other countries that consider horse meat a delicacy.


But since racehorses, and those that compete in strenuous events in a wide variety of other sports are frequently injured, to alleviate their pain they are given powerful anti-inflammatory drugs such as Phenylbutazone (Bute) and flunixin meglumine (Banamine) which are highly toxic to humans. Horses regularly are administered wormers and other medications that are dangerous to humans. Additionally since horses have never been bred for food, often records of the drugs administered to them are scanty, or don’t accompany them when they go to sale. So how can we assure the safety of their meat?


We are more than aware of the frenzy caused by the recent discovery of horse meat contaminating many food products throughout Europe. What is even more alarming to Europeans were the traces of Bute that were found in some food products contaminated with horse meat.


As a result of the growing concern about the safety of U.S. horse meat, commercial establishments that are getting hungry to either retool their existing slaughterhouses, or start building slaughter horse facilities will not be able to sell horse meat to EU; the primary market for U.S. horse meat.


According to Straight from the Horse's Heart the Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA) has received confirmation from EU authorities that “by virtue of commission decision 2011/163/EU the US is not authorized to export horsemeat to the EU.”


Making matters even more alarming, according to USA Today, in an interview with Reuters, Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture said that the sequestration with its concomitant meat inspector furloughs might result in sporadic food shortages if inspectors are not available to examine poultry, egg products and meat. Having to provide horse meat inspectors would further amplify the necessity of protecting US consumers. Secretary Vilsack said he hoped the Government could find an alternative to horse slaughter; a statement that was rather shocking to many folks.


But even though the confirmation received by EWA may be shine a ray of light for the 80 percent of people in the our country who abhor American horse slaughter; now is the time that we must keep up pressure on Congress for them to restore the defunding language which will effectively ban USDA horse meat inspection.


Take action now! Tell your representatives that horse slaughter for human consumption is not only inhumane, it is economically unwise.