Call for EU to immediately ban horse meat from America


Humane Society International is calling on European Union officials to protect consumer health and immediately ban the sale of horsemeat coming from North America.

Its call is in response in response to news reports that up to 100 per cent horsemeat has been found in Findus beef products marketed in France, Sweden and Britain.

“It is alarming to learn that European consumers may have fallen victim to large-scale food fraud, unwittingly consuming horse-meat products incorrectly labelled as beef,” the group’s European Union director, Jo Swabe, said.

“Consumer alarm is understandable as many people would ordinarily avoid eating horse flesh.

“Humane Society International calls on officials to acknowledge the potential risk to public health and safety, as this horsemeat could have originated from anywhere in the world, including from North America, and to immediately ban its sale from North America.”

The group argued there was a strong likelihood that some of the horsemeat had been imported into the EU from either Canada or Mexico. France, it said, was one of the biggest importers of North American horsemeat.

Most horse meat exported to the EU from both Canada and Mexico actually originates from United States horses shipped over the border.

France also receives horse-meat imports from other Member States, a proportion of which are actually re-exports from Canada and Mexico, too. In addition, French statistics show that a total 16,970 horses were slaughtered domestically during the same year.

There were significant concerns about horsemeat of US origin containing residues from veterinary drugs that in the EU are banned for use in animals killed for food, the society said.

It noted that recent audits conducted by the European Commission’s Food and Veterinary Office in Canada and Mexico have concluded that the medical treatment records for US horses are insufficient to guarantee that standards equivalent to those provided for by EU legislation are applied.

Latest research and information from the horse world.

5 thoughts on “Call for EU to immediately ban horse meat from America

  • February 12, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    I want to state my aversion to eating horse meat, It is not safe for consumers, US and Canadian horses are treated with “bute”, wormers etc. and no records exist of their health.

  • February 12, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    As an American horse owner, all I can say is that we have been trying for YEARS to get through to the people who are eating some of the over 1,000,000 American horses that are slaughtered every year in Mexico and Canada and exported mostly to the EU. Horses in the US are not considered to be food animals, so their medications and over-the-counter products are not regulated for use in food animals. Some3 70% of horse veterinary products contain banned substances – bute is only one of many. Likewise, many of our non-prescription products also contain substances that are banned for use in food animals and are plainly labeled NOT FOR USE IN HORSES INTENDED FOR FOOD PURPOSES. We use these products freely because NO American horses are “intended” for slaughter.

    We have absolutely NO traceability system for horses. Detailed records of what they have been exposed to in their lives simply don’t exist.So, the “kill buyers”- unscrupulous men who acquire our horses any way the can – theft, purchase under false pretenses, rigged auctions, whatever it takes. Then they ship these completely undocumented horses to mostly EU regulated slaughter plants in Mexico and Canada , having forged any necessary documentation. As the EU has found out in their inspections in 2010, and again 2012. Animals with clean documentation tested positive for banned substances.The EU has promised that, after July 31 of this year, they will no longer accept horses from countries that don’t have traceability systems comparable to the passport system. I don’t know about Mexico and Canada, but I do know that the US never even submitted a proposed plan to the EU for consideration and have NO plans for implementing ANY kind of traceability system for American horses.Americans do NOT want their horses slaughtered, but they ARE being slaughtered for human consumption by the thousands every year. This continues because where powerful people think there is money to be made, authorities and legislators can be “persuaded” to turn a blind eye on both the cruelty and the food safety issues, and also block legislation that would outlaw the practice for good. As long as there is a market, criminals will find a way.

  • February 18, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    Come on EU do your job and ban US horse from slaughter We as horse lovers will see that our horse are full of all the good drugs that is good for the horse but bad for human, you know the drugs that will stay in the horses body for life so the sick people that think it is cool to eat horse will never see another US horse on their table. Don’t you guys know we don’t want our horse on your table and we are sick of kill buyers and breeders that have had a easy way to clean out their unwanted and making money when we don’t eat horses in the US.

  • February 20, 2013 at 5:50 am

    It goes up and down from year to year depending on the market. Often dramatically.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.