Dept. of Agriculture Approves Horse Slaughterhouse Amid Lawsuit Threat

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“PLEASE NOTE – GRAPHIC IMAGES OF HORSE TRAILER ACCIDENTS – AT THE END OF THIS POST. Do not scroll down the post if you do not want to see them! They are just one of many reasons why these companion animals should not be slaughtered for human consumption; would you think it ok to send your family pet dog to slaughter? Horses were not put on Gods green earth for humans to eat, they are our pets; just as much as cats & dogs are!”

“It is pure greed, FFS we slaughter enough animals to satisfy the human hunger for meat. Nobody is going to starve, horses are not part of a normal persons diet. I am totally sickened & disgusted that this heinous act, the killing of Gods noble most beautiful creatures; is once more going to be in action!! I can only hope & pray that those who want to eat any part of a horse, after all the health scares etc. suffer a miserable & painful existence!! PLEASE sign the petitions”

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A New Mexico meat plant received federal approval on Friday to slaughter horses for meat, a move that drew immediate opposition from animal rights group and will likely be opposed by the White House.

The U.S. Agriculture Department said it was required by law to issue a “grant of inspection” to Valley Meat Co, Roswell, New Mexico, because it had met all federal requirements. Now, the USDA is obliged to assign meat inspectors to the plant.

The USDA also said it may soon issue similar grants for plants in Missouri and Iowa.

NO HORSE SHOULD END UP ON THE END OF A BUTCHERS HOOK!!

Horse meat cannot be sold as food in the United States, but it can be exported. Attempts to reach Valley Meat Co via a number listed on-line were unsuccessful.

Valley Meat would be the first meat plant to be allowed to slaughter horses since Congress banned it in 2006.

It is not known when the plant will start production, but two bills in Congress want to ban horse slaughter and President Obama has asked Congress to ban it.

The Humane Society of the United States and Front Range Equine Rescue threatened on Friday to sue the USDA, saying horses are raised as pets and as working animals. Because they are not intended as food animals, horses are given medications banned from other livestock, the groups said, questioning if the meat would be safe.

The USDA says it can test for residues of 130 pesticide and veterinary drugs. It also has safeguards to keep horse meat out of the food supply.

Congress effectively banned horse slaughter in 2006 by saying the USDA could not spend any money to inspect horse plants. Without USDA inspection, meat plants cannot operate.

The ban was part of the annual USDA funding bill and was renewed a year at a time through 2011. The prohibition expired in October 2011.

Lawmakers could vote on reinstating the ban in coming weeks when the USDA appropriations bills are debated in the House and Senate. But no date has been set to consider the bills and it could be months before work is completed.

The USDA said it was required by law to issue the grant of inspection because Valley Meat met all federal requirements. At one point, the company sued the USDA for an overly long review of its application. Once it issues a grant of inspection, the USDA is obliged to assign meat inspectors to a meat plant.

“Until Congress acts, the department must comply with current law,” said a USDA spokeswoman.

Valley Meat retrofitted its plant for horses after drought weakened its cattle slaughter business.

Horse meat is sold for human consumption in China, Russia, Mexico and other foreign nations and is sometimes used as feed for zoo animals.

But in the United States, horses enjoy a higher stature, more akin to house pets, than to hogs, cattle and chickens.

An estimated 130,000 U.S. horses are shipped annually to slaughter in Canada and Mexico. Groups have quarreled for a decade whether a ban on slaughter will save horses from a cruel death or lead to abandonment by owners of animals they cannot afford to feed or treat for illness.

Early this year, regulators discovered that horse meat was being sold as beef in Ireland. The mislabelled meat was found in meatballs sold by Swedish retailer IKEA in much of Europe and in other outlets.

IF YOU SCROLL FURTHER – GRAPHIC IMAGES ARE BELOW – VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED 

USDA conducts tests on domestic and imported products to identify the species that yielded the meat. The tests can distinguish beef, sheep, swine, poultry, deer and horse.

As well, USDA stepped up its species testing in April because of the meat adulteration scandal in Europe.

(Reporting By Charles Abbott; Editing by Bernard Orr)

News Link:-http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/06/29/dept-of-agriculture-approves-horse-slaughterhouse-amid-lawsuit-threat/

This link explains in a little more detail, worth reading:-http://online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-20130628-909609.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

HORRIFIC INJURIES OBTAINED WHILST TRAVELLING TO SLAUGHTER HOUSE 

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Europe Finds 4.4% of ‘Beef’ Really Horse

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BRUSSELS—Europe-wide tests of “beef” products conducted after the region’s horse-meat scandal found that nearly 5% were contaminated with horse meat, and the percentage was sharply higher in a few countries, especially France and Greece.

The European Union, Switzerland and Norway organized the tests in February after horse-meat DNA was found in products labeled as beef in a number of countries, prompting a public outcry, criminal investigations and pledges from authorities to discover whether the presence of horse meat in Europe’s beef supply is widespread. The authorities found 200 positive samples out of 4,497 tested, or 4.4%.

Nearly a quarter of all positive tests in the 27 EU nations occurred in France, home to a food processor, Spanghero, that shipped large amounts of horse meat found in frozen lasagna, spaghetti Bolognese and other beef dishes in the U.K. and elsewhere. Greek samples accounted for nearly 20% of all EU positive tests. Around 13% of samples were positive in both countries, the highest rate in Europe.

In a separate round of tests, less than 1% of all horse-meat samples tested positive for

A worker handles animal carcasses at an abattoir in northern Romania, in this file photo dated Feb. 12, 2013.

phenylbutazone, known as “bute,” a painkiller used on animals that is a health risk for humans.

“Today’s findings have confirmed that this is a matter of food fraud and not of food safety,” said Tonio Borg, the EU health commissioner. “In the coming months, the commission will propose to strengthen the controls along the food chain in line with lessons learned.”

The commission, the EU’s executive arm, could seek new legal authority that would give it the power to require action from member states to fight fraud in the food chain, commission spokesman Frédéric Vincent said.

The horse-meat scandal offered a window into the complex supply chains that move food ingredients from farms across Europe, through trading firms, processing plants and ultimately to packaged food products on supermarket shelves. The horse meat that found its way to U.K. supermarkets originated from slaughterhouses in Romania; at various points, it moved through a warehouse in the Netherlands owned by a Cypriot firm called Draap Trading, Spanghero’s facility in southwestern France, the French food-processing firm Comigel SAS and finally to the frozen-food company Findus Group.

Comigel and Findus have pointed the finger at their suppliers for mislabeling horse meat as beef, while Draap and Spanghero have said the meat they shipped was labeled as horse meat. Authorities in several countries are conducting criminal investigations. The U.K. has arrested three men in a separate horse-meat investigation who worked at processing plants in Wales and West Yorkshire.

The French government said its positive tests were particularly high because it focused on suppliers and products that were already suspected of mislabeling horse meat.The government said it would propose EU-wide rules that will strengthen penalties for food-chain fraud to a maximum of five years in prison and 10% of a company’s annual revenue.

The animal-protection group Humane Society International said European governments should have also tested for other common medications administered to horses that pose a health risk to humans.

“Testing for just one of the many drugs banned for use in animals that enter the food chain falls short of a precautionary and thorough approach to addressing fraud and ensuring food safety standards are met,” said Joanna Swabe, Humane Society International’s EU director.

News Link:-http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324030704578426622446482126.html

 

DA Declines To Prosecute Horse Shooter: Videoed Himself Shooting Horse To Annoy Animal Activist

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In an April 12 letter to the New Mexico Livestock Board, the Fifth Judicial District Attorney’s Office, which covers Chaves, Eddy and Lea Counties, said it won’t seek charges against Tim Sappington – the man who created uproar after filming himself shooting a horse last month.

District Attorney Janetta Hicks explains that’s because “Mr. Sappington’s conduct was not a violation of New Mexico law.”

She writes that Sappington killed the horse for his own consumption, which is a commonly accepted agricultural and animal husbandry practice; it’s also excluded from the state’s extreme animal cruelty statute. The state also reviewed federal laws, and determined that Sappington also acted in accordance with those slaughtering standards.

“The was verified through the interview with Mr. Sappington, video clips of Mr. Sappington actually processing and storing the horse after shooting it, and recovery of horse meat packaged for human consumption,” Hicks writes.

Even so, Hicks, in her letter, also pointed out the video clip featuring Sappington’s incendiary comments and the abrupt manner in which he killed the horse “demonstrated infectivity as well a poor judgment.”

The shooting incident came after Sappington, an employee of Valley Meat Company outside of Roswell, said he and his family was fed up with the threats they had received from animal activists because the company was seeking United States Department of Agriculture approval for a domestic horse slaughtering plant.

Link to:Horse Shooting Letter

News Link:– http://www.kob.com/article/stories/S2996640.shtml?cat=504

Horse-killing Video Draws Wide Reaction: Sappington Dismissed

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A video of a Roswell slaughterhouse employee fatally shooting a horse after swearing at “animal activists” has sparked outrage across the country.

Officials with the state Livestock Board also are investigating to see if the video depicts animal cruelty, according to the Albuquerque Journal. The board executed a search warrant Thursday at the Dexter home of Tim Sappington, who had worked in maintenance for the Roswell area Valley Meat Co., the Journal reported.

Tim Sappington

Sappington, who is shown in the video, was quoted about how he enjoyed eating horse meat in a report by Bloomberg News. Members of animal support groups began contacting media outlets about the year-old video Thursday after the Bloomberg report was circulated.

Albuquerque Business First received several calls and emails after it posted a link to the Bloomberg report on its website.

Valley Meat Co. is seeking USDA inspections so it can begin slaughtering horses to export the meat to Mexico and overseas markets. It issued a statement confirming that the man in the video is Sappington. It also said Sappington has been dismissed.

The company’s Albuquerque lawyer, A. Blair Dunn, said Valley Meat fired Sappington after becoming aware of the video, which has now become the focus of a public relations campaign by the Horse Plus Humane Society, according to the Journal.

We agree that his (Sappington’s) comments were regrettably crass, not contributing anything to this dialogue so we do not condone his statements,” according to the Valley Meat statement, “but he was within his lawful rights to slaughter and butcher a horse and he was not acting as an employee of the company in that action.”

Dunn told the Journal that since Valley Meat began trying to become the first company in the U.S. since 2006 to slaughter horses for the consumer market, the company’s owners and staff have received death threats and bomb threats. The slaughterhouse has also been burglarized and vandalized, Dunn told the Journal

News Link:-http://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/blog/morning-edition/2013/03/horse-killing-video-draws-wide-reaction.html

USDA Says Horse Slaughter Plants May Open After Ban Lifted: Petition Letter To Email

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“Why the hell do we need to keep talking about killing horses for food…for Christ’s sake!! We already kill more than enough cow’s, pigs, sheep & poultry, all classed as livestock. These days the demand for high-end meat products, at good retail prices, mean livestock are modified, to produce the maximum end product! With the introduction of specific genes to the male species, breeding via artificial insemination & intense farming methods, which often use genetics & growth hormone drugs, to give the best profitable products; I think the USDA & the Health & Safety dudes have plenty to occupy themselves!!!

Especially since the recent scare of horse meat contaminating meat supposed to be fit for human consumption…when it clearly isn’t& probably hasn’t been for a while! 99% of horses have drugs, wormer’s, fly repellents etc. administered within their bodies even at young ages; meaning their meat is totally unfit for human consumption!

 Horses are not intensely farmed, they do not take growth hormones to make them fatter in the rump to make better steaks…because first & foremost, THEY ARE NOT LIVESTOCK ! Horses are & always will be considered companion animals. Horses are pets, as much a  part of the family as cats & dogs; therefore they should be classed as such; PETS! I for one would no more see my horse as edible, than any of my dogs; could you eat your dog??

If there is an abundance of horses that can not be cared for, then kind euthanasia is the answer; providing a gentle, painless death, in order to prevent suffering. Horse slaughter is a death fraught with terror, pain, & suffering, which often starts before they are even loaded onto a trailer; many hours or days before they get to the slaughter plant!! 

“There is a template at the end of this news post, kindly written by Julie Jo (Facebook) along with an email address. Could everyone please copy & paste the letter & send it to the address below: please don’t let them kill our pets, horses belong in a stable…not the bloody table.”

The U.S. will be legally obligated to inspect horse-slaughtering plants if Congress doesn’t act to reinstate a ban on the killing of the animals, which would only be used in meat for export, the Department of Agriculture said.

Congress last year lifted the ban established in 2006 that prevented horse slaughter in the U.S., Michelle Saghafi, a USDA spokeswoman, said in an e-mailed statement today. While no plants are currently authorized to slaughter horses, “several companies” have asked that the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service re-establish inspections, the agency said.

“These companies must still complete necessary technical requirements and FSIS must still complete its inspector training, but at that point, the department will legally have no choice but to go forward with inspections, which is why we urge Congress to reinstate the ban,” according to the USDA statement, which did not give a time frame on when inspections would occur.

The first horse-slaughtering plant may be approved in the next two months, according to A. Blair Dunn, a lawyer for Valley Meat Co., owner of a plant in Roswell, New Mexico. The New York Times reported the possible approval earlier today.

Lawsuit Filed

Valley Meat filed a lawsuit against the USDA and FSIS in October and alleged that the USDA was violating the Federal Meat Inspection Act by failing to offer inspection for horse meat, Dunn, who is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, said in a telephone interview. The law states that the USDA must appoint inspectors to examine “all amenable species,” which include horses, before slaughter, Dunn said.

This week, the Justice Department asked for another 60 days to respond to the lawsuit, Dunn said. The request was made so “USDA can make sure all the components are in compliance in order to issue a grant of inspection,” according to Dunn. The USDA has notified Valley Meat that the company has completed all of its requirements to move forward, Dunn said.

Once approved, Valley Meat will sell the horse meat for export, Dunn said. They’d be open to selling domestically if there is a market, he said.

FSIS doesn’t allow imports of horse meat from other countries to the U.S. for human consumption, Cathy Cochran, a spokeswoman for USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, said in an e-mailed statement. Also, none of the countries or companies in the European Union that have recently recalled beef because of non-disclosed horse meat ship beef to the U.S., she said.

European Withdrawals

In Europe, retailers withdrew products such as frozen beef burgers, lasagne and meat balls from the shelves after the discovery of horse meat in products in several countries, after the initial case in Ireland in mid-January. The European Union has ordered immediate testing across the region for equine DNA in beef products and the veterinary drug phenylbutazone in horse meat.

“The meat and poultry inspection process in the U.S. puts FSIS inspectors carrying out our mandatory inspection requirements in U.S. plants every day they operate and at ports of entry inspecting products that come into our country,” Cochran said in the statement.

The agency also conducts “port-of-entry re-inspections  for imported products, and that offers evidence on how other country’s inspection systems are working, she said. In addition, there are yearly reviews of countries that export to the U.S. to make sure they are “at least equivalent” to the U.S. process, she said. FSIS also conducts on-site regulatory system audits at least once every three years in nations that ship to the U.S.

News Link:-http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-01/usda-says-horse-slaughter-plants-may-open-after-ban-lifted-1-.html

“Many Thanks to  Julie Jo for creating this template letter,  in objection to the opening of a horse slaughter plant in Roswell, New Mexico.”.

“Please copy & paste the letter into an email & send to:-  AgSec@usda.gov

To Whom It May Concern:

I have learned that you are likely to approve a horse slaughtering plant in Roswell, New Mexico in the next two months and I do not set well with this. New Mexico has served for years as a gruesome funnel for horses going to slaughter in Mexico. A horse slaughter facility in Roswell, New Mexico, will only increase the traffic of horses coming into our state for slaughter.

In the midst of drought and economic difficulty, New Mexicans have rallied around humane solutions for horses, including an emergency feed assistance program, subsidized gelding program, and a humane euthanasia program. I understand 120,000 U.S. horses/year are sent to slaughter — actually a number that we can do something about. With less breeding and more support for a basic infrastructure to support horses, America‘s horses will be provided with some basic compassion and decency, which they deserve.

I understand that the applicant for the Roswell license had previous USDA violations when they were operating as a cattle slaughterhouse. Documented evidence of egregious violations and a lack of enforcement by the USDA in U.S. slaughterhouses led to the de-funding of USDA inspections in 2007, but in the absence of a federal ban on horse slaughter, America’s wild and domestic horses continue to be shipped across federal borders where they are slaughtered just as inhumanely to this very day. If horse slaughter plants are reopened in the U.S., horses will undoubtedly suffer torturous agony on U.S. soil again.

This is evidenced by cruelty violations and lack of enforcement of the and lack of enforcement of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act that have been documented in GAO reports. U.S. undercover surveillance footage shows horses being whipped, beaten and electrically prodded and repeatedly bludgeoned, resulting in fully conscious horses being dragged, hung, bled out and dismembered alive. Established research indicates that there is no data to support the inflated number of horses reported as abandoned in the U.S. Countless unsubstantiated reports and articles are circulated by proponents which create the misconception that abandonment is out of control. It’s a crime to abandon, neglect or abuse a horse, and history clearly shows that crime rates increase during times of economic downturn.

The substantiated data shows there is an increase in horses in need that is tied to the worst economic recession since the Great Depression. Investigations have revealed some of the horses found abandoned were rejected for slaughter and were simply dumped by kill buyers. This would not have happened if slaughter was illegal. The “unmanageable surplus horses” is an artificial crisis created by the proponents to justify slaughter as “a necessary evil”, but slaughter is not driven by a surplus of horses; rather it is driven by a foreign market for horse meat.

On average, less than 1% of the 9 million horses that exist in the U.S. are “surplus or unwanted”. This tiny fraction of the horse population can easily be managed and reabsorbed back into the equine community just as it has in the past. The “surplus” of horses created by the industry can simply be kept longer, sold or traded, retrained in new disciplines, donated to retirement and rescue facilities, humanely euthanized or they can provide a public service such as equine therapy.

When the market for horsemeat dropped, and the number of horses sent to slaughter went from over 300,000 in the 1990’s to less than 50,000 in 2003, the industry was forced to take responsibility for the surplus of horses. The country was not overrun with “unwanted” horses; rather they were reabsorbed back into the equine community.

Horse owners that are unable to provide continuing care for their horses can have them humanely euthanized for the cost equal to one month’s care. Humane euthanasia clinics are often times available to horse owners that cannot afford to have a qualified veterinarian administer the lethal injection.

Slaughter creates a salvage or secondary market that enables and encourages over breeding and contributes to any excess horses in the market. U.S. horses, whether used for competition, recreation or work are treated with many substances known to be toxic to humans; substances that can be lethal when ingested by humans, and many of which have been banned from the human food chain in most countries. Horse slaughter is NOT desirable economic development. As evidenced from the past 30 years of operation in the U.S., these communities have been devastated by slaughter’s negative economic and environmental impacts. The government paid out over five million dollars in tax payer money a year to subsidize three foreign-owned horse slaughter plants in the U.S.

Horses have an established total impact on the US Gross Domestic Product of $112.1 BILLION and if “surplus’ horses are not sent to slaughter their absorption back into the equine community can instead provide a boost to the economy. Millions of dollars in losses are attributed to horse slaughter by those that have come forward from within the slaughter industry.

The majority of equine industry and community members OPPOSE horse slaughter.

Horse slaughter benefits a relatively small number of powerful stakeholders within the U.S. equine industry that stand to profit from the exploitation of irresponsible excess breeding practices.

You will see in the video below exactly what happens to these slaughter horses:-

Viewer Discretion Is Advised

I trust that upon examination of the above facts you will find it in the best interest of the USDA and the state of New Mexico to not approve of this.

Yours faithfully

Your Name & Country

 Please – take the time to read the following facts about horse slaughter, don’t be fooled into thinking horses will die of starvation; if horse slaughter plants don’t re-open!! Satisfy your own knowledge, please, read the facts below from the HSUS:- 

Link:- http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/horse_slaughter/facts/facts_horse_slaughter.html

Urgent New Information On The Oklahoma Horse Slaughter Issue

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“Please note, I have just copied this from my email, as a horse owner myself; I don’t want this to happen. So please read the information below then sign the signature where it says “please click here to spread the word” then copy & send to all your friends.”

“We don’t amalgamate with cows, pigs or sheep nor do we ride any, they are livestock! I hate the fact that they are killed too being a vegetarian (nearly vegan) Horses are pet’s, therefore should be classed as such & given the same rights. They make a big impact in the lives of those who love them.”

URGENT NEW INFORMATION ON THE OKLAHOMA HORSE SLAUGHTER ISSUE

To all our Shambala Supporters!!!!!

Last week, the Legislature of the State of Oklahoma voted to lift its ban on slaughtering horses for shipment to Europe and elsewhere. It awaits Governor Mary Fallin‘s signature to become law.

With the horsemeat scandal in 13 European countries raging (and growing), this seems like the ultimate example of bad timing. Yet, the Oklahoma legislature claims that the slaughter of wild mustangs and horses is necessary — “humane euthanasia,” they call it — but you can bet it is solely a money-motivated scheme. The truth is that those who lobbied for this law include people who own mineral rights on land with gas, oil, and in some cases, uranium. They want to see their land clear of these beautiful animals so that government regulations do not interfere in their questionable practices. No horses = no federal investigators.

These “concerned” landowners trot out images of feeble, sickly horses with their rib cages poking through their hides to make you think these pathetic “poster children” are better off slaughtered so that they can feed people in Europe and Asia. But think about it. If you were one of those “gourmands” hungry for horsemeat, would seeing such old, bony horses have you sharpening your steak knife? Of course not. Young, healthy horses are what they want.

For the past two years, Vickery Eckhoff, a writer for Forbes Magazine has been doing an excellent series of exposés on the fraudulent practices of those greedy landowners and lobbyists. She documented that 90 percent of the horses going to slaughter are “healthy and sound.” This includes thoroughbreds, even some winners of several venerable horse races, that have outgrown their usefulness. She also cited a study showing that under four percent of the horses sold for slaughter were older than age 10.

Since horse slaughterhouses in the U.S. were banned until last year, U.S. horses traveled 24 hours or more, without food, water or rest, in livestock trucks designed for cattle, to Mexican or Canadian slaughter plants, using slaughter methods also designed for cattle. Horses cannot stand up straight in these conditions. It is pure torture. Now plans are underway to start slaughtering these magnificent creatures in the State of Oklahoma.

The Roar Foundation/The Shambala Preserve, the American Humane Society, the ASPCA, the Doris Day Animal League, Saving Americas Horses, Wild For Life Foundation and virtually every other animal rescue and relief organization stand in solidarity against this needless torture and slaughter.

Please click here to spread the word. Tell 25 friends about it, or 10, or even just one.

Governor Fallin’s office is taking count of calls received pro or con on the horse slaughter issue. It just takes 1 minute to call and tell the receptionist that you’re calling to voice your opposition to the repeal of the horse slaughter ban, that horse slaughter is inhumane and unnecessary. Governor Mary Fallin’s office number is 405-521-2342 during normal business hours. Or call and leave a message on the Governor’s voice mail at 405-522-8857. If the voicemails are full, keep calling. You can also email the Governor by visiting her website.

This is about as sad and heinous a situation I’ve come across. Please be a part of the growing outrage against the slaughter of horses to be sold for human consumption by making these urgent, life and cruelty saving calls and e-mails to Governor Mary Fallin. (Numbers above)

With love and undying concern for the animals to whom we are responsible.

YOUR VOICE COUNTS, thank you for using it…..

 

Tippi Hedren
President
The Roar Foundation

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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