It looks like the end of horse slaughter for meat to be exported to Europe has come to an end…for now. The EU made a mandate back in March 2012 that states: Treated animals can enter the food chain if the treatment is documented in the equine passport and a default withdrawal period of 6 months is observed before slaughter. What that means is that all horses must have full documentation of ownership and medication dates, just to name a few requirements. There are other factors as well, another excerpt from the mandate: Non-EU countries exporting meat from equidae must implement a residue monitoring plan satisfying the requirements of Directive 96/23(chapter 4). The provisions for wild game apply to equidae caught in the wild and immediately sent for slaughter. They foresee the submission of an annual residue monitoring plan restricted to the analysis of environmental contaminants e.g. heavy metals.
This comes after too many horse meat samples being tested at import into Europe. They are showing that wormers, pain medications and other drugs that stay in the horse’s system are way too high for human consumption……..well duh. The European market falsely believes that American horse meat is raised on large lush pastures with tender care, much like that phony “happy cows” ad on TV in the western USA.
In order to for horse meat to be exported to Europe the horses will need to be medication, wormer and other banned substances free for a period of 6 months or more before slaughter. So feed lots will now need to keep the horses fed and injury free for 6 months. That drives up the cost of the horse and lowers the profit margin – or might eliminate the profit margin entirely.
Right now the Canadian slaughter houses are turning horses away and rumor has it that the Mexican slaughter houses are doing the same thing.
To find out more, here is the link to the EU mandate in PDF. European Food Imports read pages 15 – 18 for the equine requirements.