Horse slaughter and rampant violations continue despite EU ban on Mexican horse meat

Horses held in export pens before being transported for slaughter. © Kathy Milani/The HSUS

It was understood that it would take some time for the flow of horse meat from Mexico to the EU to come to a halt. Explanation should be given by meat importers on why two shipments made it into the EU after the ban on horse meat took effect. Where there is profit to be made, underhanded importers will do their best to find ways around the ban. Hopefully the European Union and other countries will keep up the pressure to stop the import of horse meat. The question is – what will the American breeders do when the kill buyers that buy their excess stock actually start being turned away? Over breeding racehorses to try and get the cream of the crop is a disgusting habit when the ones who do not make money are treated as something to toss into a meat grinder. Not all horses sent to the slaughter houses come from this practice but too many do. ~ HfH

From: PR Newswire

Horses held in export pens before being transported for slaughter. © Kathy Milani/The HSUS

Horses held in export pens before being transported for slaughter. © Kathy Milani/The HSUS

CHICAGO, March 9, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Equine Welfare Alliance and Wild Horse Freedom Federation (EWA & WHFF) today released the second part of a two month investigation into the Mexican horse meat trade following a ban imposed on the meat by the European Union (EU). The ban that became effective January 15th, was imposed following Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) audits that found the meat unsafe for human consumption due to drug residues.

As if to emphasize the need for the EU ban, tests on Mexican horse meat found Ractophine on January 14th, then Isoxsuprine hydrochloride and Zilpaterol hydrochloride a few days later.

The two part investigation consisted of observation of the Eagle Pass border crossing in Texas where many horses are exported to slaughter in Mexico, and an exhaustive search of US, Mexican, EU and international trade records.

Before the ban, 87% of the horses slaughtered in four EU approved plants in Mexico (105,406 in 2014) came from the US, and 78% of the meat from those horses was exported to the EU. Given these numbers, the flow of US horses to slaughter in Mexico was expected to dwindle after the deadline.

The investigators at the export pens found and reported multiple violations of the Commercial Transportation of Equines to Slaughter regulations [9CFR88]. Specifically, violations of the mandatory 6 hour offload rest period for the horses were noted. The investigators also observed one violation of a rejected blind horse, and they filmed a donkey being trampled in the back of a livestock trailer as it departed the pens.

The APHIS inspector, who is responsible for enforcing compliance with 9CFR88 was filmed arriving at the Eagle Pass pens in a vehicle registered to El Retiro Livestock, a registered owner-shipper, over whom the inspector should have been exercising compliance authority.

Analysis of the data collected indicated that the four European multi-national corporations that control the plants were able to juggle their shipments so that their plants in other countries, which were still EU approved, picked up the EU trade while the Mexican plants took over their former accounts.

While the exports of horse meat from Mexico to the EU were largely curtailed after the deadline, EWA investigators detected two shipments of horsemeat to the EU that were shipped after the January 15th deadline. The shipments were reported to pertinent EU authorities but no explanation was received to date.

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AUTHOR: Amber Barnes
14 Comments
  • STOP THE CRUELTY!

    March 10, 2015
  • Marc

    Ah …..
    so all europeans are horseeaters ……

    March 10, 2015
    • Posted by Habitat for Horses

      No one said all Europeans are horse meat eaters.

      March 11, 2015
      • Daniel Cordero

        Ditto. I can account for that. The article merely stated that 78% of Mexican horsemeat exports were shipped to EU countries, namely Belgium, Netherlands and France, although the later is way behind the first two ones that get the bulk of the exports. Not surprising, taking into account the top horsemeat distribution companies are Belgian and Dutch.

        March 11, 2015
  • ashley schiano

    Stop the MURDERS!!!!!

    March 10, 2015
  • cheryl bush

    TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS WILL NOT BE TOLERATED! BOW DOWN TO COMPASSION NOW!!!

    March 11, 2015
  • There is neither the will, nor the resources to monitor the Borders. NAFTA is the cause here, however, we have the TPP coming shortly and China is part of this agreement and they WANT OUR THOROUGHBREDS.

    I cannot think of a more abusive culture for animals of any kind. They are already getting the PMU Mares and the Jockey Club has already sent some horses to China. Google it.

    CD

    March 11, 2015
  • Daniel Cordero

    Horsemeat exports to China weren’t particularly important. In fact, historic data shows it really wasn’t a traditional customer for Mexican or Canadian horsemeat. I agree though that China is no safe place for horses.

    As for the TTIP, there has been much speculation about what that will amount to. However, based on the little information that has been leaked, there is nothing that would preempt a federal or even the state bans on horse slaughter. Controlling the borders will be more difficult but basically, if a country decides to ban the export of certain commodity (I hate to use that word when applied to equines) it can do so:

    «Article 2
    Objectives
    The objectives of this chapter are to:
    1. Facilitate trade between the Parties to the greatest extent possible while preserving each Party’s right to protect animal or plant life or health in its territory and respecting each Party’s regulatory systems, risk assessment, risk management and policy development processes;»

    TTIP is more about setting equivalences in food safety regulations which might result in USDA adopting EU regulations for certain commodities in a case by case basis. However, it will make more difficult to get something like the EU ban on Mexican horsemeat if, with the connivance of both parties, an equivalence framework based on dubious honor systems (e.g. Canadian EIDs) is adopted to allow the paper trail to dilute the responsibility of importers and competent authorities. The fact that EU moved on to ban Mexican horsemeat imports shows they are not moving in this direction. For those interested in knowing more about this, as pertains to animal welfare and food safety regulations -collectively known as SPS-, you can find the corresponding leaked chapter here:

    http://www.iatp.org/files/2014.07_TTIP_SPS_Chapter_0.pdf

    March 11, 2015
    • I did not state that the Chinese want our horses to eat. They want them for racing. They are more likely to want the dogs and cats in the Shelters than horses. China, and many Asian countries, eat dogs and cats and there are even slaughterhouses in South Korea. The treatment of these domestic companion animals is sickening and heartbreaking.

      March 12, 2015
      • Daniel Cordero

        If they are capable to do that to dogs and cats I cannot think what will happen to those thoroughbreds that fail to meet expectations in that land.

        Also, I have read the TTIP SPS draft again I noticed there is a lot of important stuff that is left to be addressed in several “annexes” that are not provided. In fact the text that was leaked looks like more of a general guideline. This is worrisome.

        March 12, 2015
  • Lisa

    Daniel Cordero, they eat them also, they ate a KY Derby winner in Japan, 2 million dollar Ferdinand was a dud in the stud so he became stir fry

    March 12, 2015
    • Ferdinand was slaughtered in Japan and he was turned into Sushi. He was advertised as ‘Eat an American Champion’. Japanese men are the ONLY people allowed to eat Horse Sushi. Horses are still Live Shipped by Air out of Seattle to Japan. The Japanese prefer the Thoroughbreds.

      For an allegedly ‘advanced’ Culture they are brutal to animals they would never keep as pets or those that fail as Ferdinand did. He was gorgeous Horse and his Japanese Groom loved him.

      CD

      March 13, 2015
  • Here is a website in Korea that explains why they eat dogs and cats. The majority of the adults engage in eating these animals as well as horses, ponies, and all Equidae.

    http://koreandogs.org/

    They have some extremely graphic photos on the site and I have 2 of their videos as well as the Vietnamese Dog Killers.

    The main Organization for China is ‘DuoDuo’ and it is run by a Chinese American in California. She has convinced the Government to stop testing on Dogs and Cats for drugs that we, and the rest of the First World have had for years.

    I have been rescuing Horses for 20 years, I also rescue Dogs, Cats, and Wolves that are dumped at the Dog Pound. If they get a Wolf, or Wolf Hybrid, they call me first.

    This entire issue of being part of an ever expanding World is not good for animals of any kind. Pick your causes and get involved.

    France has ‘Avazz’ which has millions of members and they do a lot. The petitions are always translated into English and Spanish so it is easy to understand what you are reading.

    Twitter has lots of members from these Countries as that application is easy for the young people to use whereas the Facebook site allows the postings of Animal Torture. Zuckerberg could not care less and the site stinks!

    CD

    March 13, 2015
  • MS

    This is so abhorrent and horrific, it’s beyond the pale! What will it take for the world to stop eating horses, dogs and cats?! What a savage mentality! Let’s keep fighting until laws are created to protect horses, dogs and cats — Let’s keep fighting until laws protecting horses, cats and dogs are strictly enforced — Let’s obliterate, destroy, annihilate the market that buys horse meat, dog meat and cat meat — And, of course, let’s eradicate, extinguish, destroy the killer-buyers and the rest of the middle-men who contribute to this unconscionable and brutal industry! At every turn, I’ll keep pressing!

    March 13, 2015