PETITION: PLEASE BAN THE GRAND NATIONAL

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“I’m sat here thinking of all the horses that will run today! Please pray with me that they all finish safely & return to their homes. Some horses can finish the race but die later that day or the next due to internal injuries sustained whilst racing!” 

Please sign the Petition:http://www.animalaid.org.uk/h/f/ACTIVE/petition/?id=10&campaign=horse

If your unsure about the Race Horse Industry, or don’t believe it should be banned, please, download Animal Aids fact files on Race horses below, hopefully it will change your mind:-

ACTION POINTS

The following initiatives would have an important impact on the welfare of Thoroughbred horses. We need your assistance to ensure they are implemented.

  • The publication of comprehensive data on equine mortality, sickness and injury.
  • A ban on the whip. It is not merely cruel, but our research shows that it is counterproductive from the point of view of the rider. Please visit our website for more details.
  • A proper fund for retired thoroughbreds.
  • A ban on the Grand National – a deliberately punishing and hazardous race.

BAN THE GRAND NATIONAL PETITION

Every year more than 400 horses are raced to death in Britain. The racing industry also slaughters thousands of ‘unprofitable’ animals who fail to make the grade. The Grand National at Aintree is particularly cruel and is designed to push horses to their limit and beyond. The majority of horses fail to finish the race, with equine death and injury being a routine feature.

We the undersigned: Believe that, however much welfare standards improve, the Grand National is morally unacceptable. We therefore call for a ban on this race.

SIGN PETITION HERE:-http://www.animalaid.org.uk/h/f/ACTIVE/petition/?id=10&campaign=horse

News Link:-http://www.animalaid.org.uk/h/n/CAMPAIGNS/horse/ALL/592//

Horse Race Cruelty! Animal Planet “Jockeys”

ANIMAL PLANET: JOCKEYS WIN OR DIE TRYING IS A CRUEL SHOW BASED ON A CRUEL INDUSTRY!

For more information on horse racing cruelty, visit http://www.chai-online.org, http://www.hsus.org, or http://www.idausa.org/facts/racing.htm.

!!!! Ban the Cruel Horse Drawn Carriage Industry in Chicago:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/Ban-…

*Photos used thanks to http://www.peta.org, At Our Hands, Animal Exploitation Gallery, http://www.chai-online.org and http://www.fund4horses.org*

Race Horse Death Watch – Background

Animal Aid’s Race Horse Death Watch was launched during the 2007 Festival.

Its purpose is to expose and record every on-course thoroughbred fatality in Britain.

The horse racing authorities have failed to put clear, unambiguous horse death information into the public domain, preferring to offer complex statistical data rather than specifying, as Death Watch does, the names of killed horses, where the fatality occurred, who was riding the horse and the nature of the injury.

We have good reason to believe that the equine fatalities we are able to list on Death Watch, and which we have verified, fall some 30% short of the true total. Disgruntled industry insiders have, in the past, supplied us with documents to support that view. Since Death Watch was launched, we have periodically produced special reports detailing the scale of on-course deaths, the most lethal race courses, the nature of injuries suffered, and the relative dangers posed by National Hunt, Flat and All Weather racing.

You can read those on the Death Watch Reports page.

Deaths on racecourses are just one part of the sorry story to be told about commercial racing. Animal Aid’s extensive research over many years demonstrates that the industry treats thoroughbreds as mere reproducible commodities. It kills or dumps thousands every year when they fail to make the grade or when their racing days are over.

You can read our reports exposing the welfare problems associated with thoroughbred breeding, racing, and training, and the disposal of commercially unproductive stock on our main website:http://www.animalaid.org.uk/h/n/CAMPAIGNS/horse/ALL/.

A Total of 40 horses have died in 2014 alone  on UK & Ireland Race Tracks

 Link:http://horsedeathwatch.com/background.php

 

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VIDEO: Horses And Live Export from the UK

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“Firstly I must apologise for the lack of posts… I’ve been in a lot of pain….but hope to get posting more news stories again soon; so please bear with me!” (MY sincere apologies if some post are a bit disjointed…drugs play havoc with my brain!!) so I hope all myposts will make sense…if the don’t…you know why!!”

“Please email DEFRA now, and tell Lord De Mauley that laws which are not enforced are not worth the paper on which they’re printed (Email already written) just fill in your details to send:-http://www.worldhorsewelfare.org/Live-Export-from-the-UK Please also contact your MP (Letter already done) which will pop up after your email to Defra!

On 10th February the BBC’s Inside Out programme revealed the shocking results of World Horse Welfare’s largest ongoing investigation, uncovering evidence that horses and ponies are being exported through Britain’s ports to uncertain fates on the Continent.

Keeping tabs on Live Export of Horses

It will show that an unknown number of horses and ponies are leaving Britain’s shores under the pretence that they are for leisure or sport – but may in fact be sold for slaughter.

We have been investigating the movement of horses into and out of the UK, including reports of possible export for slaughter, for several years and have always passed any information that we have onto the proper authorities at the earliest opportunity.

Unfortunately it has become clear that in many cases, proper preventative action from the authorities and enforcement of the law was simply not taking place despite the information that we were providing, and that horses and ponies were being left very vulnerable to abuse as a result.

Our investigations have found that horses and ponies are leaving our ports without any checks on their welfare or their paperwork. It is impossible to know whether the laws protecting them are being complied with. 

Horses waiting for death!

These movements are not small or insignificant: over just one weekend of monitoring we saw more than 90 horse boxes – a number of which could carry more than 20 equinesleaving and entering the port of Dover.

World Horse Welfare is calling for the legislation meant to protect our most vulnerable horses and ponies from indiscriminate export to be properly enforced as a matter of urgency. We want to help the enforcement agencies to protect horses and ponies, by continuing to provide intelligence and expertise as we have done in the past.

PLEASE WATCH THE FOLLOWING VIDEO TO UNDERSTAND HOW HORSES ARE BEING TRANSPORTED.!!

P&O Ferries actually stopped a vehicle carrying horse; after checking the vehicle P&O said the horses were not fit to travel….KUDOS to P&O…without whom the horses could have shipped to slaughter!!

Post from P&O Ferries:Service with a conscience

Can we ship livestock on your vessels?
Yes, we can ship livestock on our Dover-Calais and Irish Sea routes, however animal welfare is an issue that concerns us. Hence on our Dover-Calais route we are only prepared to ship breeding livestock and only if booked via the relevant national associations. These livestock must be transported according to DEFRA requirements and accompanied by the correct DEFRA documentation, clearly showing the animals are being shipped for breeding purposes. A surcharge is applied to livestock movements and they will only be shipped on the European Seaway. Please contact the relevant national association for pricing details.

Can we ship horses on your vessels?
Yes, we can ship horses on all our routes (except Dublin – Liverpool, shipments from Tilbury and freight only shipments from Zeebrugge) under the following conditions.

Horses travelling to France MUST be accompanied by either an Export Licence or an AHA certificate AND an equine passport.  Ponies must also be accompanied by a fitness to travel certificate or Health Certificate Horses and ponies travelling with a final destination to countries other than France MUST in addition be accompanied by a Health Certificate. 

Horses or ponies travelling from France to the UK may travel on their equine passports only.  Horses or ponies starting their journey in any country other than France MUST be accompanied in addition by a Health Certificate.

Health Certificates are ONLY valid for 10 days from the date of vets signature (and can only be signed within 48 hrs of departure).  Horses and ponies may return to the originating country on the same health certificate providing it is within 10 days of the vets signature. (day 1 being the day it was signed)

The information detailed above is for guidance only – The responsibility lies with the owner or agent to comply with British and European statutory regulations.

Further information can be obtained by contacting DEFRA.

Find out more by reading our FAQs (Some of which are below), or take action to help these horses today. Or you can make a donation to help keep our teams on the road.

Please email DEFRA now, and tell Lord De Mauley that laws which are not enforced are not worth the paper on which they’re printed….email link here:-http://www.worldhorsewelfare.org/Live-Export-from-the-UK

Email & News Link:http://www.worldhorsewelfare.org/Live-Export-from-the-UK

PLEASE WATCH THE FOLLOWING VIDEO – It Is not graphic!!

Clamping down on UK’s illegal horse traders

Published on 11 Feb 2014

A year after the horsemeat scandal, Inside Out’s David Whiteley investigates the illegal export of live horses from the UK.

The World Horse Welfare charity told Inside Out that it suspects that horses and ponies are being transported freely across Europe as unscrupulous dealers exploit a legal loophole in equine transit.

Under an agreement between France, Ireland and the UK, sports horses can be moved freely but low-value ponies are not covered by the agreement.

David Whiteley joins the World Horse Welfare’s field team as they watch for horse dealers who they suspect are breaking the lawAs well as concerns over equine welfare, there are fears the horses could be destined for slaughterhouses in Europe, raising fears about food safety and human health. But P&O Ferries refused some lorries due to unevaluated passports…i.e fakes passports!  P&O also refused some lorries because some of the horses were not fit to travel!  BUT IT SHOULDN’T BE UP TO PORTS TO REFUSE UNFIT HORSES….it’s obvious those trying to take the lorries abroad care nothing about the welfare of its cargo!!! Kudos to P& O Ferries!!

The government says it has agreed to tighten the rules on horse exports from May.

“I won’t believe anything until I see or read new legislation! The Government wonders why horse meat is getting into human food, it’s because the passports are not checked or are faked, horses are being stolen from fields during the night! Read some of the snippets below from News posts, it just doesn’t add up to me!” especially the parts where they say ‘ One of 5 horse slaughter plants’, which includes one  ‘Ashgrove Meats in Newcastle West’ that was responsible for contaminated horse meat! Then in another post it says ‘ THE only approved horse-slaughtering house in Northern Ireland has stopped killing horses, the Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has revealed.?????”

Preview of FAQ

Q. What can I do about this?

Please join our calls for proper enforcement! You can email your MPs and Defra Ministers quickly and easily here.

You can also help these horses by sharing any information that you have, anonymously and in complete confidence, via the ‘Tell Us’ pages of our website.

If you would like to make a donation to help keep our teams on the road, you can do so here.

Q. Is live export of horses legal? What are the laws?

A. In some circumstances it can be legal to export horses (for example for breeding or competition). However there is a package of protective legislation in place which should prevent the indiscriminate export of equines for slaughter. Unfortunately it seems that this legislation is not being properly enforced.
The legislation in question includes:

  • The Welfare of Animals in Transport Order: Sets out the conditions for transporting animals, including rest periods, fitness for transport, vehicle standards and documentary requirements.
  • The Animal Welfare Act 2006: (in Scotland, the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006) Sets out the basic principle that animals should not be allowed to suffer unnecessarily, either through human action or inaction.
  • The Equine Identification Regulations: Set out the rules for horse passports.
  • The Tripartite Agreement: Allows the free movement of some horses between France, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Recently changed – see below.
  • The Animal Health Act 1981 (Minimum Values) Sets out the minimum value that certain types of equine should have if they are to be exported (see below).

Q. I thought exporting horses for slaughter had been banned years ago?

A. There is a package of legislation in place, including an Act which should have limited the export of equines to protect working horses, ponies, mules and donkeys from export for slaughter. This was brought in as a result of the work of our founder, Ada Cole, and has been improved over the years as a result of our subsequent work as a charity. However, it seems likely that a lack of effective enforcement has led to exports for slaughter taking place under the radar of enforcement agencies. We have gathered evidence and passed this on to the relevant authorities.

Q. What happens to the horses while they are being transported and after they leave the UK?

A. We can’t be sure of what will happen to these horses, but we strongly suspect that some of them will be slaughtered. Some of them are taken to markets where they will be sold for various purposes, including slaughter.  We also strongly believe that they will not be transported in good conditions, either when they leave the UK or on subsequent journeys after they arrive in Europe, and that their welfare will not be respected. The animals in question have a low financial value, making it uneconomic to export them unless corners are cut – which will compromise their welfare.

Q. What is the Tripartite Agreement (TPA) and does this affect these horses?

A. The Tripartite Agreement is a long-standing agreement between France, the UK and the Republic of Ireland to allow horses to move freely between these three countries without the need for animal health certification. This meant that horses could move over these borders without health checks, and without any traceability which posed significant welfare and disease risks. Originally applied only to Registered horses (such as a racehorses), it was extended in 2005 to apply to all horses, other than those moving directly to slaughter. We have been calling for it to be changed ever since, to prevent unscrupulous individuals from falsely declaring that they are moving horses for legitimate reasons then transporting the animals to slaughter abroad.

Happily our calls have recently been successful, and the Chief Veterinary Officers of France, Ireland and the UK have signed a new agreement which means that horses moving between France and the UK, and France and Ireland, will no longer be able to move freely unless they are ‘high-health horses’ – meaning registered FEI or race horses. Moreover these movements will be required to be logged, providing much-needed traceability.  Movement of horses between the UK and Ireland will be unaffected, as Ireland and the UK share the same official health status (determining which diseases are present and absent from a country), making a change impractical.

The details are yet to be decided, but we are very pleased that such a positive step has been taken to protect horses. The crucial thing now is that the details must be decided upon and these changes must be enforced when the revised agreement comes into force in May 2014. We will be working alongside Defra and the rest of the equine industry to finalize the details and to communicate the changes to horse owners.

Q. What does ‘Minimum Values’ mean and what does it mean for the export of horses and ponies?

A. By law horses and ponies must have a financial value above a certain amount in order for them to be exported overseas. This helps protect equines of a lower market value from being exported for slaughter, as the price for their meat should be less than the price of the horse or pony. However, with the lack of basic checks of welfare and documentation at ports, there is no way to know whether this law is actually being complied with.

Q. What about horses being imported into the UK?A. There are certainly equal, if not even greater reasons to be concerned about horses being imported into the UK. These horses may well have come from environments where serious diseases are present that we do not currently have in the UK. A lack of enforcement can make it difficult to trace where the horses came from, or where they went, if disease breaks out. In 2010, Britain had its first ever cases of equine infectious anaemia since 1976 when the disease was found in two horses that had been imported from mainland Europe. More cases were reported later the same year and in 2012, all in imported horses. Tracing the other horses that had travelled with the affected animals was a long and complex process.

Equally importantly, the welfare of imported horses may not be respected, with unfit horses being transported over long distances, and little or no enforcement to protect them. Any low-value animal may be vulnerable to this sort of abuse, whether it is entering the UK or leaving it.

The changes to the Tripartite Agreement should help with this issue to some extent, but only so long as they are enforced properly.Take action to help these horses today!

Link for FAQ;-http://www.worldhorsewelfare.org/live-export-FAQs

A NEWCASTLE West livestock factory is one of only five facilities in Ireland licensed to slaughter horses for meat, it has been confirmed.

The Ashgrove Meats facility in Churchtown has been slaughtering horses and exporting their meat for consumption in mainland Europe for the past three years. It is the only facility licensed to do so in Munster.

Ashgrove Meats is the only plant in Munster which slaughters horses for meat

Link:-http://www.limerickleader.ie/news/local-news/meat-from-horses-with-forged-passports-recalled-by-limerick-abattoir-1-4748132

Related Snippets Of Interest:-2/02/2013 Meat From Horses With Forged Passports Recalled By Limerick Abattoir

THE FOOD Safety Authority (FSA) has concluded an investigation after horses with forged passports were slaughtered for meat at a county Limerick abattoir.

It has been confirmed that meat from two Irish horses which had been exported to Italy had to be recalled after officials discovered that the animals had forged documentation.

The horses had been slaughtered at Ashgrove Meats in Newcastle Westone of only five facilities in Ireland licensed to kill horses for meat.

Under regulations, all horses slaughtered for meat in Ireland have to have a verifiable passport to ensure that they have not been in contact with substances which may be harmful to humans.

Link:-http://www.limerickleader.ie/news/local-news/meat-from-horses-with-forged-passports-recalled-by-limerick-abattoir-1-4748132

Related Snippets Of Interest:- 14/04/2013 NI’s Only Horse Slaughtering House Stops

THE only approved horse-slaughtering house in Northern Ireland has stopped killing horses, the Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has revealed.

She explained that the Armagh plant asked the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to remove its authorisation and stopped killing horses at the end of January.

“There was one slaughter plant in County Armagh approved by the FSA for equine slaughter,” she explained.

“This establishment is also approved for the slaughter of cattle and sheep. It ceased slaughtering horses completely on 25th January 2013 and has asked the FSA to completely remove their authorisation to slaughter equines.”

She said this was the only establishment approved by the FSA to slaughter horses in Northern Ireland in recent times.

Link:-http://www.londonderrysentinel.co.uk/news/business/business-news/ni-s-only-horse-slaughtering-house-stops-1-4974741

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Part 1 of 2:Danger Drug In UK Horsemeat: Tests Reveal Health Hazard AFTER Meat Was Exported To Europe

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“Why in Gods name are we eating horses anyway? We raise more than enough animals that can suffer heinous living conditions, & an even worse death, not to mention the abuse many share…just to satisfy the human demand for meat…burgers, sausages etc. Why would anyone want to eat a horse or baby cows & lambs…it’s sickening!! If I wasn’t already vegetarian, almost vegan…the thought of eating something that could contain any amount of horse; would be enough to turn my stomach & make me vegetarian. There is no way my horses will ever go to slaughter as I ticked the “Not fit for human consumption” box on their passports.

  • The horses were slaughtered in UK and tested for phenylbutazone, or bute
  • It is an anti-inflammatory drug that can affect human health
  • The meat has already hit Europe and has been eaten or processed

British horse meat contaminated with the danger drug bute has been exported to Europe and has already been eaten or added to processed food, the Daily Mail can reveal.

Details are due to be announced by ministers and the Food Standards Agency today.

The horses were slaughtered at an unnamed British abattoir in the last few weeks and the resulting meat was tested for the presence of the anti-inflammatory drug bute.

But the results of the tests only came back after the meat had been shipped to the Continent and eaten or added to processed food.

Tests have shown the drug bute is contained in horsemeat butchered in the UK and sent to be eaten and processed into food in Europe “What a disgusting filthy yard, the hay looks mouldy…those poor ponies!”

It is not known whether any resulting processed food came back to the UK in ready meals such as lasagne or spaghetti bolognese.

The revelation came as Environment Secretary Owen Paterson signalled more raids could be carried out on British firms suspected of selling contaminated meat in the coming days.

On Tuesday Food Standards Agency officials raided a Yorkshire slaughterhouse and a Welsh factory which it claimed was passing off horse meat as beef.

But the bute scare points to a serious loophole in the food protection regime for consumers, which has been highlighted by Labour’s environment spokesman Mary Creagh.

The FSA announced last week that it would be moving to close this loophole with a new regime for horse meat.

This new system, which only came into effect days ago, is meant to ensure that no carcass is allowed to be sold for food until the bute test results have come back as negative.

The Peter Boddy slaughterhouse in Todmorden, Yorkshire, which was raided yesterday as part of the police inquiry into the sale of horsemeat being sold as beef

While the presence of bute – phenylbutazone – is a concern, the amounts that appear in horse meat would be extremely small and unlikely to cause any ill effects. “If unchipped horses passports are being swapped around, (as they were with the previous post of the cob swapped, for another horse much bigger to go to slaughter)… nobody can tell how much bute was given to that horse; apart from the owner! I have given my horses bute & not just on a vets prescription. I think most horse owners who know what they are doing, have some bute around, just in case a horse bruises a sole, or has arthritis & seems a bit stiff. 

It is known to be able to induce blood disorders, including aplastic anaemia, in which the bone marrow stops making enough red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. “Above they say it isn’t a big concern, but if a horses passport has been switched & the passport given to another horse, your not going to know how much bute was in that horse before it was slaughtered; bute is not a drug required to be registered on a horses passport!

Those with severe or very severe aplastic anaemia are at risk of life-threatening infections or bleeding. Bute is also known to cause cancer in rats, but there is no conclusive evidence for it to have the same effect in humans.

Miss Creagh said: ‘With every passing day this scandal seems to get wider.

‘I raised the problem of bute contaminated horse meat being released into the food chain with Defra [farming] ministers last month yet up until two days ago horses were still not being tested for bute and were being released for human consumption.

Parliamentary answers released this week show 9,405 horses were slaughtered in the UK for human consumption abroad last year. We must make sure horse meat is not contaminated with bute.“You must make sure that the horse has the correct passport too!

facemarkings on old horse passport

Markings on face to be recorded in passport by vet

“Without all horses having to have microchips, I don’t know how they are going to tell without testing a sample from each horse that is slaughtered…imagine how much that is going to cost!” 

“Micro-chipping has been compulsory for foals in the Thoroughbred breeding industry since 1999. Then any equine foal born after 1 July 2009 had to be micro chipped under European-wide regulations.”

 “The regulations apply to foals of all equines —horses, ponies, donkeys, mules and so on.”

“For older horses, it wasn’t mandatory for them to be micro-chipped. 

(“See pictures attached as to how the vet would shade in areas on the passport, of the horses colours & markings, this would be in the passport for an older horse & one not mandatory to be microchipped “)

“The old style passport had an area at the back of the passport where there was an outlined picture of a horse showing the front, right & left side, back, legs, & face of a horse which had to be shaded by a vet to match the exact markings, colouring, even whorls (spiral patches of hair on a horse) & a detailed description given of that particular horse then signed by a vet as proof of identification. Unless your horse was valuable, people didn’t use to microchip until it came into force.”

body of horse passport picture

A vet had to shade in all areas of horse markings & colours

Mr Paterson entered talks with EU ministers in Brussels to try to secure mandatory labelling of the ‘Country of Origin’ on all processed meat products, intelligence sharing between regulators, and spot checks on processors and retailers. “Sounds good, but how is that going help if they have a passport for the horse 

Workers handle meat at the Doly-Com abattoir, one of the two units implicated in the horse meat scandal. Romanian officials say the meat was properly declared and any fraud was committed elsewhere

After the meeting it was announced all member states should carry out 2,500 horse DNA tests on processed beef products and 4,000 bute tests on horse meat during March, and publish the results in mid-April.

Mr Paterson has put the blame for the food fraud scandal on retailers, saying: ‘People have got to trust what they buy and the ultimate link between the quality of the products and what is marked on the label has got to be the business selling the product.

‘If people are being sold a product that says processed beef and get a product that contains a significant amount of horse meat, that is a fraud.

FSA officials said they were looking at trailswhere the meat wentfrom five slaughterhouses in the UK that regularly process horses.

Mr Paterson said Tuesday’s raids were the result of information  passed to the Food Standards Agency after contamination was first detected in Ireland three weeks ago, and said the agency was doing ‘methodical, painstaking work … sifting through data’.

Tesco withdrew its everyday value spaghetti bolognese when it emerged that it contained horsemeat. The product was prepared in Europe

‘We saw vigorous action yesterday, and we may well see some more action over the course of the coming few days’, he said. ‘But it’s not very clever to give advance notice of what we are going to do in carrying out investigations that may lead to criminal prosecutions.’

However, he insisted processed meat on British supermarket shelves was safe to eat, and even said he would eat anything, including horse. ‘I’m relaxed about it’, he said. ‘ I’m omnivorous, I’ll eat anything.’

Mr Paterson said it was ‘too early to tell’ how many people may have eaten burgers and kebabs from the firms raided yesterday, or what chemicals could be in them.

Last week Mr Paterson described the scandal, then only linked to horse meat sent from Poland to Ireland, and from Romanian slaughterhouses to the French food company Comigel as an ‘international criminal conspiracy’.

Yesterday he said the premises raided in Britain were a separate issue.

A police community support officer stands guard at the gate of the Peter Boddy slaughterhouse

The FSA were ‘working through all those involved in the slaughter of horses … and that work is carrying on, they are looking through invoices and customers lists’, he said.

‘There will be further action, depending on their investigation,’ he said.

He added that when the investigation was over there were likely to be ‘lessons to be learned’, for the agency.

At Prime Minister’s question time, David Cameron said it was ‘appalling’ and ‘completely unacceptable’ that consumers were buying beef products that turned out to contain horse. ‘I do think that this is a serious issue.

People are genuinely worried about what they are buying at the supermarket and I really think we have got to get a grip,’ he said.

‘Retailers I think do bear a real responsibility here.

‘At the end of the day, it is they who are putting products on their shelves and have got to say that they are really clear about where that meat came from, what it was, who it was supplied by.  It is up to them to check that and I think that is vitally important.

Yesterday a Dutch meat broker, Draap Trading Ltd, was named as a middleman in the horse meat scandal. The company bought some £45,000 of horse meat from a Romanian abattoir, some of which eventually ended up in Britain

News Link:- http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2278342/Danger-drug-UK-horsemeat-Tests-reveal-health-hazard-AFTER-meat-exported-Europe.html#ixzz2Ku0BJdpW
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Male dairy calves are killed, but why the surprise? People have no right to complain if they don’t inform themselves about food

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By CLIVE ASLET

I am baffled by the response to the Channel 4 documentary showing the fate of male dairy calves. Why the shock?

What did people think did happen to them? Most of the audience will drink milk. How did they think it was produced?

I agree with one thing: it’s a terrible shame that this massacre of the innocents should take place. In a thrifty society, it wouldn’t.

If you farm animals to eat, you owe it to them – and to your conscience – not to waste the meat they furnish. In my view that includes throwing away food from the fridge which has been allowed to pass its sell-by date: if you buy meat, the least you an do is to make sure you consume it.

We should also make better use of male calves. As I write this, on a train to Kent, I am sipping a cappuccino.

At the outlet in the railway station, I watched the barista carry half a dozen huge plastic containers of milk to the fridge. Milk has become an industrial product.

It bears little relationship to the creamy liquid that froths out of the cow. It’s sold in petrol station and other places that have no obvious connection with food. It’s ubiquitous.

Produce: A female farmer milks a cow. Unfortunately there’s no market for their bobby calves

The retail system has driven down the price to a level where thousands of dairy farmers have had to pack up over recent years. The family farm, as it exists in many people’s imagination, is now a thing of the past. 

Put all these factors together, and it’s hardly surprising that harsh economics and ruthless efficiency have risen above sentiment.

I didn’t see the documentary in question but I bet the farmers on it cared deeply about the welfare of their herds. In a sense, that’s the surprise.

Farmers, despite all the financial pressures that they’re now under, still want to do their best for their animals. They’re as sorry as anyone that there’s no market for their bobby calves. 

In part, this was destroyed by the animal rights brigade. Traditionally, Britain’s male calves were exported to the Continent. Some years ago, campaigners blockaded the ports and put a stop to it.

I wasn’t wholly sorry that they should have done so. The calves often had to travel long distances in dreadful conditions, and were then bred for veal. In order that a wiener schnitzel or Blanquette de veau is the correct order of whiteness, the veal calves are kept in darkness, and fed on milk.

As a consequence, white veal is one of the few things I won’t eat. Where the campaigners were wrong was in failing to establish an alternative destination for the British calves.

Without one, a bolt from a humane killer was the only alternative. Some retailers attempted to establish a taste for pink veal in Britain – veal from young animals which have been allowed to see the outdoors – but it didn’t really take off.

We live in a largely urban society, and unfortunately most town dwellers are too lazy to find out about animals, even when they say they care about them.

Life for many dairy farmers has been made all but impossible by the badger explosion.

We all want to have badgers in the countryside, but when was the last time you saw a hedgehog dead by the side of the road? Squashed hedgehogs were something of a sick joke in the 1970s.

Now, I’m told, hedgehogs are eaten by badgers, along with the eggs of skylarks and other ground nesting birds.

Urbanites hardly think about the consequences of badger preservation on other forms of wildlife, much less the impact on dairy farms. In fact, many of us close our eyes to farming practices altogether.

If consumers choose to exist in a state of wilful ignorance about the production of what they eat, they really don’t have the right to complain at what goes on, when they suddenly find out.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2152608/Baby-calves-shot-C4-documentary-People-right-complain-dont-inform-food.html#ixzz1wRylYCEI

Circus master Cottle backs ban on wild animals after 50 years – UK – News – Evening Standard

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Veteran circus impresario Gerry Cottle, a former leading advocate of wild animal acts in the Big Top, is backing the Government’s new ban on the practice.

The showman spent 50 years fighting attempts by councils and campaigners to stop his elephants, lions, monkeys and, in one famous case, a duck from performing. But he has “reluctantly decided to move on”, conceding today: “The animal issue has given circuses a bad name.”

Mr Cottle, 66, will have no animal acts in his new touring circus, following the Government’s pledge at the start of this month to outlaw them “at the earliest opportunity”. Draft regulations are due before Parliament in the summer, with a new licensing regime in the meantime to improve conditions for performing animals.

“Sad as it is for me to say, I now support the ban,” said Mr Cottle, who ran away from home at 15 and set up his first circus featuring two elderly ponies he bought for £60.

“Times have changed and this issue has to be decided one way or the other. I believe a ban will, in the end, improve the image of circuses in Britain.”

Famous fights: Gerry Cottle has challenged campaigners over animal acts for 50 years

His passion for amazing animal acts has triggered famous battles. In the Eighties, Brent council objected to his use of a turkey called Lucky at his annual festive Wembley Circus. In 1993, Haringey council tried to ban the use of a duck called Quackers in a clown act.

“We checked and found Haringey had many Chinese restaurants where you could eat duck,” said Mr Cottle. “It prompted the headline, ‘You can eat a duck in Haringey, but you can’t watch it perform’.”

His new £500,000 all-human show starts its UK tour in Southend next month. “We may have gone from a country where a circus wasn’t a circus without at least one elephant to a place where you can’t even have a performing duck, but I have reluctantly decided to move on,” he said.

The show features 50 acts in 100 minutes for a flat rate of £10, and Mr Cottle calls it the “easyJet of circuses”. He added: “Instead of animals I have a brilliant blindfold trapeze act, a boneless boy who fits into a bottle, six Big Top beauties, a tumbling troupe, a Wheel of Death and lots more.”

via Circus master Cottle backs ban on wild animals after 50 years – UK – News – Evening Standard.

Ricky Gervais Thrilled With Elephant Ban

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Ricky Gervais is celebrating a victory after a ban on using wild animals in circuses was passed in Britain.

Wewon… Congrats Twonks (fans). A victory for compassion

The comedian and longtime animal rights activist has been outspoken in pressuring government officials into outlawing tigers, lions, elephants and other exotic creatures from the big top.

On Thursday (01Mar12), the Department for the Environment confirmed plans to implement the crackdown within two years.

Gervais took to his Twitter.com page to share his delight, writing, “We won… Congrats Twonks (fans). A victory for compassion”.

Sir Paul McCartney also threw his support behind the legislation, while American stars including Pink, Demi Moore and Olivia Munn have helped spearhead a campaign to eliminate elephants from U.S. circuses.

via Ricky Gervais Thrilled With Elephant Ban.

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