A horse slaughterhouse in Quebec closed its doors this past week. The Les Viandes de la Petite Nation (LPN) slaughterhouse shut its doors as a result of the new European Union regulations requiring all horses slaughtered for human consumption be held for 180 days prior to slaughter.
The regulations, which came into effect on March 1, 2017, are finally being enforced. Horses destined for slaughter must be kept in a feedlot for six months and strictly controlled.
Horses from the United States were often purchased and shipped overnight to the Canadian slaughterhouse for processing the next day, ignoring the possibility of highly toxic medications and dangerous health conditions of the animal.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) must provide certificates before horsemeat can be exported. Those certificates will only be issued after the horses have been held in a secure feedlot for six months.
While Mexican slaughterhouses no longer sell to the EU, the number of horses being slaughtered in Mexico has stayed the same. It is believed that the horsemeat is being funneled through other countries, relabeled and sold back into the EU.