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

 

Shipment Of Animals Suffering – BULGARIAN / TURKISH BORDER – JUNE 2012

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” I’M POSTING THIS SO EVERY BODY CAN SEE THAT ANIMALS ARE STILL SUFFERING TERRIBLY ON THEIR WAY TO THE SLAUGHTER HOUSE…IT IS NOT HARD TO IMPLEMENT THE CHANGES NEEDED…SO WHY ARE THE ANIMALS STILL SUFFERING????  Thank God their are people who do care, even if it is only a little water they give…to those who are suffering…it is life!!” 

Eyes on Animals is a farm-animal, inspection-based organization working in Europe with its headquarters in the Netherlands. Eyes on Animals´ teams conduct both announced and unannounced visits to livestock markets, farms and slaughterhouses and inspects and trails international livestock trucks to oversee that current animal welfare legislation is respected and enforced. There is an urgent need for our work considering the extremely high number of animals that are bred, fattened, traded, transported and slaughtered. Government supervision is often understaffed and official inspectors have their hands tied when it comes to crossing borders. Clearly, Eyes on Animals plays an important role in reducing the suffering of farm animals throughout Europe. The work of the organization focuses on the following main aims:

  • to witness if current european animal protection legislation for transport, sale, slaughter and at farms is being adhered to by the industry.
  • to oversee that the animal protection legislation is being effectively enforced by the authorities.
  • to judge if fines are effective in preventing industry from repeating a violation.
  • to stimulate industry players in taking steps to improve animal welfare and applauding those that do.
  • to draw the attention of the authority to loopholes in the animal welfare legislation

Transport

All farmed animals are transported at least once in their lifetime. Journeys can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few weeks. Transport is known to be one of the most stressful experiences for animals. They are moved from a familiar territory to a new one and are held often under very crowded conditions. They get separated from each other and mixed with unfamiliar animals, which can lead to stress and fighting.

Sometimes there is no water and feed available or the animals cannot reach it. Animals that wish to lie down during the journey are at risk of being trampled by the others. Sometimes conditions on board are very cold or very hot, leading to animals dying from hypothermia and suffocation.

There are laws in place to prevent these types of problems, but there is very little official inspection during the journey to check if these laws are respected. Eyes on Animals regularly trails and checks livestock transport consignments to see if the welfare of the animals is respected during transit

Link:http://www.eyesonanimals.com/

Investigation into animal transport to Turkey in June 2012- Judge for yourself, do you see any improvements!

Published on 14 Jul 2012 by 

In juni 2012 voerden Eyes on Animals en Animal Welfare Foundation weer inspecties uit aan de grens tussen de EU (Bulgarije) en Turkije. In deze film ziet U onze bevindingen. Naast enkele verbeteringen is er nog heel veel mis en lijden dieren ernstig

“Absolutely fuming mad…this is heartbreaking, one can not imagine their stress, their thirst…just because they are going to be killed for human consumption does not mean they have to suffer whilst still alive.  This just isn’t good enough…more must be done to make sure all animals are transported in appropriate wagons for animals height etc. Water must be available at all times, not just when they stop! Good handling of animals, especially stressed ones etc. They must also have proper breaks, out of the wagons to feed & rest etc.”

“WHAT IS SO BLOODY HARD ABOUT CARRYING OUT THE ABOVE? WHY ARE THEY STILL DENIED THEIR BASIC RIGHTS LIKE WATER? ANIMALS ARE STILL SUFFERING ON THEIR WAY TO THEIR DEATHS…FOR HUMAN DINNER PLATES!”

” IT’S NOT MUCH TO ASK THAT THEY ARE GIVEN FOOD, WATER, RESPECT & A BIT OF KINDNESS BEFORE THEY DIE…IS IT???”

Thanks to fellow animal warrior @Strayways for the lead.

 

 

Netherlands: compromise on ritual slaughter

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After years of heated argument and increased polarization, the parties sat down in front of invited journalists to sign a carefully agreed covenant. The Jewish and Muslim representatives shook hands and, relieved, signed their names to the document.

A new covenant aims to allow Jews and Muslims to continue to perform ritual slaughter of animals while answering the broadly supported call to prevent animal suffering.

In this case, Jews and Muslims were on the same side. The covenant they signed, along with Deputy Minister of Agriculture Henk Bleker, is a compromise that will allow Jews and Muslims in the Netherlands to continue the practice of ritual slaughter.

Strictly observant Muslims and Jews believe they can only eat meat from animals which have been slaughtered according to strict rules. For instance, the animals cannot be stunned prior to the slaughter, and they must be killed by having their neck cut with a knife. Defenders of animal rights believe animals slaughtered in this way suffer unduly.

Ban
Earlier this year, the lower house of the parliament passed by a wide majority a law introduced by the Animal Rights Party (PvdD) that would have banned ritual slaughter in the Netherlands outright. Passage of the law was seen as a milestone in the burgeoning animal rights movement. But this week, the Senate was set to reject the proposed law.

That a majority in the Senate are against the ban was met with great relief in the Muslim and Jewish communities. But it did not solve the issue. Since the law had passed the lower house by such a wide margin, the Senate’s imminent rejection is seen as obstructionist, an uncommon interference by a body of the government which is not directly elected. It would have thwarted the public will. The Deputy Minister of Agriculture promised to find a compromise which would satisfy the objections of the Senate (that the ban infringed on the right to religious freedom) while meeting the will of the lower house to limit the suffering of animals.

Off The Hook

The struggle to protect their rights as religious minorities has also brought the Jewish and the Muslim community closer together. Both have been pleased with the cooperation. Assuming the ritual slaughter compromise holds, religious communities of all stripes would be encouraged to join together in protecting their rights as minorities in a broadly secular society

Read more:-http://secular-europe-campaign.org/2012/06/netherlands-compromise-on-ritual-slaughter/

Dutch groups agree on ritual animal slaughter reforms

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THE HAGUE – Dutch Agriculture Deputy Minister Henk Bleker signed an agreement with religious leaders Tuesday to make ritual slaughter more humane, including stunning animals after 40 seconds.

“The agreement states that animals have to be unconscious 40 seconds after a cut to the neck has been performed,” Bleker’s ministry said in a statement, adding: “if not the case, the animal has to be stunned.”

The agreement also insisted the cut “had to be done with one fluid uninterrupted movement.

Plans by the Dutch Lower House for a law requiring animals to be stunned before halaal or kosher slaughter suffered a setback late last year when parliament’s Upper House, which has the final say, gave it the thumbs down, urging a compromise solution.

Bleker then met Dutch Muslim and Jewish representatives for a solution.

He said Tuesday’s accord was “a good balance … between religious freedom and the improvement of the welfare of animals.”

A scientific advice committee has also been set up to answer any questions about the agreement, which comes into force on Wednesday.

Dutch law requires animals to be stunned before butchering but makes an exception for ritual halaal and kosher slaughter.

In June last year, the Dutch Lower House voted in favour of an amended proposal by the country’s Party for the Animals (PvdD), which holds two seats in the 150-seat Lower House, for a law that all animals should be stunned.

The plan drew outrage from both the Muslim and Jewish communities, whose representatives insisted ritual slaughter respected the animals’ welfare and that those doing the slaughtering were expertly trained.

More than two million animals – mainly sheep and chickens – are ritually slaughtered in the Netherlands every year, according to the PvdD. Muslim groups dispute the figure, saying it is closer to 250,000

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Dutch+groups+agree+ritual+animal+slaughter+reforms/6733267/story.html#ixzz1x8NedxFR

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