Confirmed by Equine Welfare Alliance: US Horsemeat Banned in EU

images-11 / Equine Welfare Alliance / March 21, 2013

horse-meat-cartoon-chappatte-495x366CHICAGO, MARCH 20, 2013 — /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Since Congress lifted the ban on USDA inspections of horse meat, several small shuttered cattle slaughter plants have clamored for the USDA to provide horse meat inspections. Ricardo De Los Santos of Valley Meats, a New Mexico plant, went as far as to sue the USDA for not providing the service. The attorney for Valley Meats has announced it will be opening in three weeks.

Unfortunately for those wishing to bring horse slaughter back to the US, they will have to do so without the ability to sell to the EU, the main market for US horse meat. The Equine Welfare Alliance has received confirmation from EU authorities that “by virtue of Commission decision 2011/163/EU the US is not authorized to export horsemeat to the EU.”

The decision was made in 2011, when the USDA neglected to comply with new regulations requiring submittal of a drug residue control program. Approval of such an application requires extensive review as well as audits and can take up to several years to complete.

The EU authority (SANCO) went on to say “Our Directorate General, up to now, does not record a recent residue monitoring plan on horse meat submitted by USDA.”  In other words, the process has yet to begin.

The scandal over horse meat being substituted for beef in a myriad of products, as well as the finding of the banned drug phenylbutazone in some of those products has further dimmed the prospects for a lifting of the ban.

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, in an interview with Reuters, said sequestration could cause sporadic food shortages if inspectors aren’t available to examine meat, poultry and egg products. Obviously, providing inspectors for horse meat would further exacerbate the need to protect US consumers. Vilsack shocked many today when he was quoted as saying he hoped that Congress could come up with an alternative to horse slaughter.

EWA’s John Holland explains the bleak prospects for private horse slaughter plants in the US, saying “these plants will have no access to the markets even if the EU ban is lifted because the distribution is controlled by a few multi-nationals, and those expecting to contract with these companies should heed the story of Natural Valley Farms (SK Canada) which lost millions trying to do so.”

EWA is a dues free, all volunteer 501(c)(4) umbrella organization representing over 270 member organizations and 1,000 individual members worldwide in 18 countries. CONTACT:  John Holland,  540-268-5693 SOURCE Equine Welfare Alliance

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AUTHOR: Jerry Finch
  • Yvonne Mangan

    Thank God for that.

    March 21, 2013
  • Praise God! Hopefully this action will cause Congress to see how wasteful and dangerous it would be to allow the greedy to have their way with overbreeding, dumping and slaughtering horses. We have to become a nation that protects horses and their like. If a horse no longer can preform the job it was bred for, someone else can enjoy the horse. There are better ways. Thanks for keeping us informed!!

    March 21, 2013
  • Lana Marie

    FANTASTIC NEWS….did I miss something, when does this take effect?

    March 21, 2013
  • Linda Jackson

    Why was the EU public not informed that they were eating Mr Ed meatballs? Because it was an unsavory event; they found out after it was illegally added to their foods. Fox did a survey, asking Americans if they would bring horse-steak home and eat it. The (Murdock) news syndicate is underplaying the public response. You can call the switchboard at 1-855-686-6927 to express dissappointment; connect to your senator’s office.

    March 21, 2013
  • THis is GREAT news I would think!!!! YES! It is a step forward to stop the Horse Slaughter plants!!! NOW for heaven sakes can Congress still not produce this Bill H.R. 1094 and vote it in and stop ALL slaughter????? I am hopeful… 🙂

    March 21, 2013
  • Julia Bamford

    This is great news,no market,the”buck”starts here!

    March 21, 2013
  • Daryl

    I would like to think this is a help but I wonder if it will make any difference at all?
    I hope it will, these animals need a break from all this night mare they are living. I use to want to be wild horse , not now, but I would like to see them in person before they are all gone, love the pic’s of them that are posted.

    March 21, 2013
  • Deborah Beare

    Contact your legislators. The HSUS provides a link at When you make contact say “I would like you to please co-sponsor and support H. R. 1094/S. 541, the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act to protect our nations horses and keep the food supply safe for consumers.” Thank you for taking action to protect these innocent sentient creatures who cannot protect themselves.

    March 21, 2013
  • Deborah Beare

    If the above link to the United States Humane Society does not work, try Then it will show pictures of horses and click on the “protect horses – shut down slaughter.” It will direct you to enter your zip code and give links to each state’s legislators and a sample message. Thanks, and please share!

    March 21, 2013
  • sherriey

    it says that this decision was made in 2011.
    sooooo….am i being dense? why then have they been purchasing our horsemeat all of 2012 and up to now in 2013? did i not read this right? or do i not understand it?
    i’m lost!

    March 21, 2013
  • Glad to hear it! Horses are not raised as food animals in the USA. They are raised as sporting and companion animals. As such, they receive medications, supplements, and topical treatments that are specifically labeled, not intended for food animals. Some of these drugs have no withdrawal period, which makes the animal never safe to eat.

    Protect our food supply; Ban Horse Slaughter for Human Consumption!

    March 23, 2013
  • Chrissi

    Well we will see if they follow through or if its just an empty statement! I know my horses are definitely not safe for human consumption but then again is Americans have been saying that all along!

    March 23, 2013