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
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.