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

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Pictured: Twycross Zoo enclosure where three keepers ‘were caught on CCTV beating Tonzi the elephant with canes’

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  • Three male staff members have been dismissed for allegedly hitting the two elephants
  • The animals have not been left with permanent injuries
  • Police have arrested and bailed the accused trio

This is the enclosure where Tonzi and another elephant were allegedly whipped with bamboo canes.

Three zoo keepers have now been sacked and arrested after they were accused of harming the two animals at a Leicestershire zoo.

Three male staff members are accused of beating Tonzi the elephant with bamboo canes after reportedly being caught on CCTV camera.

A source at the zoo claims that the keepers took turns hitting the 28-year-old Asian elephant but left no marks, so it was not obvious that the animal had been harmed, it was reported.

It is believed that the other two elephants were hit with bamboo canes.

But when other staff members were checking through CCTV footage of the zoo, they spotted the alleged abuse.

The source told The Sun: ‘It appeared Tonzi was being beaten by the keepers.

‘Apparently the keepers were taking it in turns to hit her with bamboo canes.’

The source claims that the zoo fears people will not visit the Leicestershire attraction after the alleged cruelty to the star animal.

Tonzi, who originally came from a timber camp in Burma, became a grandmother this year when her daughter Tara had a baby.

The zoo, which has an 80-acre site, confirmed that they had sacked staff following the alleged incident and said the animals had not been permanently harmed.

A spokesman said: ‘Three members of Twycross Zoo staff have been dismissed.

‘This action follows an internal investigation and relates to an animal welfare issue.  Twycross Zoo acted rapidly and comprehensively as soon as the issue came to light.

‘The zoo immediately instigated an extensive investigation in line with its internal policies and legal welfare requirements.

‘The small group of animals this incident relates to suffered no lasting injury, are behaving normally and are now doing extremely well.

‘The animals have been and continue to be on full public show.

‘The incident was reported immediately to the police who are investigating.

”The animals involved are being regularly checked by veterinary experts who report they are well and behaving normally. The animals have been and continue to be on full public show.

‘Despite this Tywcross Zoo has a zero tolerance towards such behaviour.

‘This case involved rogue individuals, acting in complete disregard to their moral, contractual and legal requirements.

‘Everyone at the zoo is extremely upset at their actions.’

A spokesman for Leicestershire Police said that there was an ongoing investigation.

She said: ‘We can confirm that there is an ongoing investigation in connection with the unnecessary suffering of an elephant at Twycross Zoo.

‘The beating happened in September this year.

‘Three men have been arrested in connection with the incident and released on police bail for a later date, pending further inquiries.’

A 59-year-old elephant called Anne, who was savagely attacked and beaten, was rescued last year because of a Daily Mail campaign.

She was Britain’s last circus elephant, and was beaten and stabbed with a pitchfork by her sadistic keeper.

Her misery was exposed in March last year after campaigners from Animal Defenders International shot secret footage of her being abused.

After a nationwide outcry, she ass safely re-homed at Longleat Safari park where, thanks to the generosity of Daily Mail readers, a £400,000 sanctuary is to be built just for her.

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British Muslims defend Halal slaughter after calls for ban

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Muslims believe the halal slaughter method ensures the least amount of pain possible for an animal and is in accordance with animal welfare measures. (File photo)

Muslims in Britain have rebuffed calls to ban animals’ halal slaughter after a leading British vet this week called for curbing or even banning the practice popular among the country’s Muslim and Jewish minorities.

Professor Bill Reilly, former president of the British Veterinary Association, called for curbing the practice of slaughtering animals without stunning.

“Non-stun slaughter… appears to be increasing. From an animal welfare perspective this cannot be acceptable,” Reilly said.

“However, we are fortunate to live in a tolerant society and respect the religious beliefs of different faiths and must reconcile animal welfare with religious freedom.

 “In my view, the current situation is not acceptable and, if we cannot eliminate non-stunning we need to keep it to the minimum,” he added.

“This means restricting the use of Halal and Kosher meat to those communities that require it for their religious beliefs and, where possible, convincing them of the acceptability of the stunned alternatives.”

Reilly’s opinion was published recently in the journal Veterinary Record, On Islam website reported on Saturday.

But his comments have been met by criticism from Muslims in the country.

“We believe this is a requirement. [Halal] slaughter is quick, so pain is minimized and there is no unnecessary suffering,” Saleem Kidwai, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Wales, told Wales Online.

“We believe it should continue,” Kidwai added.

British ministers have sought to change a law to ensure that meat slaughtered using Islamic (halal) methods cannot be sold without proper labeling.

The Daily Mail reported in April that “unwitting members of the public” in Britain are being served halal meat “secretly” in schools, hospitals, pubs and famous sporting venues, claiming that many in Britain, including animal rights campaigners, deem the traditional Islamic way of preparing meat as “cruel.” 

Like Jewish kosher slaughter, the halal – meaning permissible in Arabic – method requires the butcher to kill the animal by slitting its throat, ensuring the animal is not stunned first to lessen its ordeal.

Some Muslims say that the halal method ensures the least amount of pain possible for an animal and is in accordance with animal welfare measures.

Halal meat now accounts for 25 percent of the entire UK meat market, according to Reilly. But his figures have been challenged by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) which put the number of slaughtered halal animals at much smaller percentage.

“The results indicate that the number of animals not stunned prior to slaughter is relatively low, accounting for 3 percent of cattle, 10 percent of sheep and goats, and 4 percent of poultry,” an FSA spokesman told BBC.

Meanwhile, the UK government is now drawing up plans to prevent the supply of halal meat to people who are not aware about the method their meat has been slaughtered in, the Daily Mail reported.

The current laws in the UK allow slaughtering animals without prior stunning to enable Jewish people and Muslims to meet the dietary requirements of their faiths.

But a new EU directive on the protection of animals at the time of killing will come into force in the UK in 2013, On Islam reported.

“We plan to consult on the implementation of new welfare at slaughter regulations shortly and will be seeking views on how to restrict the non-stun slaughter of animals as part of that consultation,” a Welsh government spokeswoman told Wales Online.

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Bill of Rights for Dolphins, Porpoises, and Whales Proposed

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Because dolphins, porpoises, and whales are so intelligent and should be regarded as “non-human persons,” a group of scientists, ethicists, and animal welfare groups has proposed a bill of rights for them, advocating for greater protection under the law. The Daily Mail recently reported a “small group of experts in philosophy, conservation and dolphin behavior were canvassing support for a Declaration of Rights for Cetaceans” during a meeting of scientists in Canada. Citing that dolphins, porpoises, and their whale cousins are sufficiently intelligent and self-aware to the American Association for the Advancement of Science‘s annual conference held in Vancouver, the coalition argued that the animals are justifiably entitled to the same ethical considerations given to humans, and the rights to life and liberty.

It is the hope that in recognizing cetaceans’ rights, it would mean an end to whaling and the captivity of dolphins, porpoises, and whales, or their use in entertainment. This means that there would be no more dolphins in zoos or water parks, or whale shows at theme parks.

Among some of the other requests under the Bill, whales would be protected by declaring whalers murderers, whale watching trips would be governed by regulations that would require the watchers to respect the privacy of the whales, and oil companies would also be legally bound to consider the impact of their activities on the sea animals belonging to the order cetacea.

At the very least this movement will bring some much-needed attention to the plight of these animals. Each of their populations is on the decline and much needs to be done to protect them for future generations.

Link to post:- Animal Legal Defense Fund

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