French animal right’s group “L214” is leading the way to stop horsemeat consumption in Europe. Their reports on the cruelty these animals must deal with before being killed, as well as proof of drugs known to be harmful to humans found in their meat, are an excellent tool in the fight to stop horse slaughter. Education and then legislation is our best hope in bringing about a future where horse slaughter is a thing of the past. ~ HfH
A French animal rights’ group claimed on Thursday that horsemeat imported to France from North and South America comes from animals treated with a dangerous drug that’s banned from human consumption.
Horses from the United States, Canada and other countries in the region whose meat is sold in France for human consumption pose a health risk and are often cruelly treated, a leading animal rights group said on Thursday.
L214, which derives its name from an article in a 1976 French law that stipulates that animals have to be kept properly and in healthy conditions, said the conclusions followed a wide-reaching, two-year investigation launched in 2012.
Horses from the US, Canada, Mexico, Uruguay and Argentina destined for human consumption were found to be emaciated, sick, injured or had been administered strong doses of anti-inflammatory medicines, according to the findings.
Using secret cameras, the probes were conducted at horse auctions, in export enclosures, at veterinary checkpoints, feedlots and abattoirs.
In a video posted on L214’s website, horses are seen with open gashes, dislocated or broken legs, and left without treatment in feedlots.
Some are visibly dead and in a state of decomposition, in enclosures or in transport trucks, with other horses squeezed around them.
“Apart from the unacceptable treatment of the horses, the use of phenylbutazone or other dangerous substances banned in the European Union is common,” said L214’s Brigitte Gothiere.
The drug, commonly referred to as bute, is used to alleviate pain in horses that are not destined for human consumption. It was originally also given to humans to treat rheumatoid arthritis and gout but was found to cause irreversible liver damage when combined even in small doses with other human painkillers.
The drug is no longer approved for human use in the European Union and United States.