Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Butcher Seeks 2 Turn American Horses into Asian "Cash Cow"

Sen Ed Butcher of Montana has been negotiating with Asian investors interested in locating horse processing plants in Montana. He believes the new EU rules will boost investor interest in Montana plant development.


Medications and US Horsemeat

Thanks to Diana P for passing this important paper along.


Fact Sheet: Medications and US Horsemeat

Veterinarians for Equine Welfare (VEW) welcomes the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's new policy regarding equine health and medical treatments, but also remains cautious about its actual implementation and impact.

The policy recently announced by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) with assistance from the Veterinary Drug Directorate (VDD) of Health Canada was in response to stricter requirements recently mandated by the European Union. The new policy states that, "it will be mandatory for all CFIA inspected facilities in Canada engaged in the slaughter of equines for edible purposes to have complete records for all animals (domestic and imported) presented for slaughter. These records will include unique identification for each animal, as well as a record of medical treatments administered to the animal for the six-month period preceding slaughter."

It is the united opinion of the VEW that it is beyond the scope of our profession to comment on the culinary practices of any person or country; however, consumer safety of meat produced in our country is very much a responsibility that veterinarians must carefully consider.

Horses, unlike traditional food animals in the United States, are not raised or medicated during their lifetime with the intent of one day becoming human food. Because American horses are not "intended" for the human food chain, throughout their lives they will often have received medications that are banned by the FDA for use at any time during the life of food animals. Click here for list of drugs prohibited for use in horses slaughtered for human consumption.

Approved use of medications in food animals is specifically contingent upon observation of recommended withdrawal times. Withdrawal times have been experimentally determined in traditional food animals; however, withdrawal times for these drugs have not been established in horses. Thus, medications that are FDA approved for use in traditional food animals come with specific withdrawal schedules printed on the packaging, while the same medications, purchased for horses do not include the requisite withdrawal schedule, but simply state "NOT FOR USE IN HORSES INTENDED FOR FOOD".

Unlike the United States, European Union and United Kingdom member countries have a distinct safety policy with regard to horses entering the food chain. All EU/UK horses must carry "equine passports" in which the animal is declared to be either "eligible for slaughter as human food ", or "not eligible for slaughter for human food".

Any EU or UK horse, which has ever received a medication that is banned for use in food producing animals, is forever prohibited from entering the food chain. All food animal approved medications that are prescribed and administered to horses in the EU or UK have strict withdrawal schedules printed on the packaging and all such medications must also be recorded on the equine passport. The EU/UK system is designed specifically to ensure the health and safety of humans that consume horsemeat. In contrast, even with the new CFIA policy American horses treated with medications that are absolutely prohibited by the EU will still be entering the food chain.

It is the strong position of VEW members that absent any formal regulation or structure by the United States with regard to medications and food safety withdrawal schedules for equines entering the food chain, horsemeat derived from any U.S. horse can never be regarded as safe for human consumption.

Furthermore, VEW member veterinarians strongly object to the AVMA and AAEP position in favor of horse slaughter for human consumption. For the AVMA and AAEP to condone the human consumption of meat derived from equines that have not been raised or medicated in a manner consistent with food safety regulations is, in our opinion, unethical, disingenuous, and dangerous.

Click here to view the entire CFIA policy and list of drugs covered. To read VEW's statement regarding our strong opposition to slaughtering horses for human consumption please visit www.vetsforequinewelfare.org.

Click on title above for original article with clickable links;


Monday, February 8, 2010

Horse meat faces ban in Italy

Horse meat, one of Italy's most popular culinary delicacies, is under threat from a cross party proposal to ban its sale.

By Nick Pisa in Rome
Published: 6:20AM GMT 08 Feb 2010

Italy is the largest consumer of horsemeat in Europe with more than 48,000 metric tonnes eaten every year and it is a common dish among youngsters because of its high iron content.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation 213,000 horses are slaughtered in Italy every year but now politicians from all parties are considering banning its slaughter and sale.

Francesca Martini, a minster with the Italian health ministry and a member of the ruling Right-wing coalition, has put forward the bill, arguing that the "dignity of horses should be respected".

The motion is already on the desk of the Italian parliament's culture commission and has won considerably cross party support with opposition centre-Left MPs also backing it.

Among those leading the call for a ban is Italy's agriculture minister Luca Zaia who says horses should not be eaten and instead "considered just like cats and dogs".

Mr Zaia said:"I have always been against the slaughter and consumption of horse meat. Horses are fine animals and should be treated as such, they should not be eaten."

His support has angered people who live in his home region of Veneto, which covers Venice and Verona, where horse meat is a culinary delicacy and features in several dishes.

Horse meat is used in a stew called pastissada (typical of Verona), served as horse or colt steaks, as carpaccio, or made into bresaola.

Horse fat is used in recipes such as "pezzetti di cavallo" (pieces of horsemeat) and another favourite dish is horse in a bed of rocket, dressed with olive oil and fresh lemon juice.

Also in Veneto, horsemeat sausages called "salsiccia di equino'' or salami, and thin strips of horse meat called "sfilacci'' are sold and it has 8 per cent of the country's national consumption.

According to figures from the Italian health department the average national consumption is around a kilo of horsemeat per year per person.

Italian newspaper websites carrying the report were flooded with comments from angry readers in areas such as Veneto where horsemeat is popular.

One person in Venice wrote: "Why is the government trying to abolish something that is buried in the roots of Italian culture? If it is banned it will just be driven underground and there will be a thriving black market."

While another in Verona said: "Horse meat is part of the culinary culture of my city. Politicians are always talking about the loss of traditions but they are quite happy to get rid of this one when it suits them."

However the proposal was welcomed by the Italian federation for equine sports and animal cruelty charities who said it was "legislation that had been long overdue".

Horse meat has been a delicacy in Italy since the Roman times although during the Middle Ages Pope Gregory III did describe its consumption as "abominable" but his calls for it to be shunned were ignored by hungry peasants.

In 1928 a law was introduced by Benito Mussolini's Fascist government that only specialist horse butchers could sell equine meat and they could not stock other cuts.

In order to meet the high demand for horse meat in Italy more than 20,000 horses are imported from Poland and Eastern Europe every year.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Canadian equine owners must start recording horse health data

Feb 4, 2010

Nepean, Ontario, Canada -- The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has advised that, as of Jan. 31, equine owners who plan to sell their horses either directly or indirectly to Canadian meat processors should record all vaccines and medications given to the horses as well as any illnesses. This includes medications given in feed.
These records will help prepare for the July 31, 2010, mandate that all federally inspected equine facilities have complete records dating back six months for all domestic and imported animals presented for slaughter.

Many medications and substances cannot be administered to animals that will be slaughtered for human consumption. A complete list can be found here.

To help collect this information, equine owners will find a new Equine Information Document (EID) as part of the Meat Hygiene Directive No. 2009-49. An EID may have to be provided by the owner when selling a horse.

For more information on this effort, visit the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s Web site at www.inspection.gc.ca.

Click on title above to go to original article w/ working links;

Thursday, February 4, 2010

What’s it Going to Take to Save America’s Horses?

WFLF and AAHS Call On Congress To Step Up For Our American Horses.

In a continuing joint effort, Americans Against Horse Slaughter and WFLF Humanion Films (WFLF Humanion Films and Americans Against Horse Slaughter ) are calling on Congress to expedite passage of HR503, The Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act which would end the slaughter of equines, both domestic and wild and halt the export of our horses to Canada and Mexico for slaughter.

During the past Presidential election, then, Senator Obama pledged to support animal rights issues. “I think how we treat our animals reflects how we treat each other and it's very important that we have a president who is mindful of the cruelty that is perpetrated on animals." Senator Obama said.

With strong track records on animal protection issues, both President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden co sponsored past legislation to end horse slaughter.

The BLM’s round of the Calico wild horses has become known as one of the most cruel and unwarranted wild horse roundups our country has ever witnessed. Hundreds of thousands of calls to the President by concerned citizens continue to go unanswered.

Concurrently, our young and healthy horses (race horses, show horses, ponies and wild horses) continue to be transported across our borders to Canada and Mexico to be slaughtered for the sole purpose of wealthy dinner plates overseas. The transport is cruel and inhumane as horses are shipped for days in crowded trucks going without food, water or rest.

The passing of federal legislation to end the cruel horse slaughter activities in America is long overdue. With support from the majority of the American people, we have to ask, “What’s it Going to take Mr. President, to Save America’s Horses?”

See the WFLF video clip presenting this question to the President!


Please take a minute to see if your U.S. Representative is already a cosponsor of H.R. 503 and if your two U.S. Senators are co sponsors of S727. If your Representative and Senators are not yet cosponsors, please make a call and ask them to cosponsor the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act.

To reach your federal legislators, please call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121, or for your convenience, you can use this toll-free number 800-828-0498 and ask for a legislator by name (or ask for extension, last 5 numbers of legislator's office phone)

WFLF Humanion Films is in production on the feature documentary film entitled “Saving America's Horses - A Nation Betrayed”. The mission of the film is for the protection of all equines from slaughter.

Humanion Films is the film label under Wild for Life Foundation (WFLF), a California nonprofit public benefit corporation organized for the purpose of protecting animals from cruelty and protecting wildlife from extinction.

Americans Against Horse Slaughter is a non funded grassroots movement comprised of constituents from all 50 States. Their only mission is to end horse slaughter and the transport of horses to slaughter through the passing of Federal legislation


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

United Organizations of Horse Slaughter

Rep. Slaughterhouse Sues gang

UOH Facebook;


Karen Craighead, Look-and-Think-alike-Friend of Slaughterhouse Sue

Click on title above to go to the "official" UOH Website;