January 2015 Issue - page 1

Vol. 22 No.1
Our 22nd Year
1993-2015
January 2015
Inside...
Pennsylvania Public Riding Stable directory ….
pg. 24
FBI will soon collect data on animal cruelty
charges … pg. 30
Dave Palone sets world record for harness
racing wins … pg. 8
Eleven year old steeplechaser wins $100,000
Colonial Cup … pg. 10
... and much more!
PRSRT STD
U.S. POSTAGE
PAID
PERMIT 280
LANC., PA 17604
by Suzanne Bush
The European Union has
banned the import of horse meat,
meat products and meat prepa-
rations from Mexico. The ban
will take effect on January 15,
2015, according to Aikaterina
Apostola, the Press and Media
Officer for Health at the Europe-
an Commission. Shipments of all
these products that had already
commenced will be accepted in
the EU until March 1, 2015. Be-
sides the impact on the Mexican
abattoirs and all the businesses
and employees that rely on the
abattoirs, this development will
have a substantial impact on the
United States. According to the
Animal Welfare Institute, more
than 160,000 horses are shipped
annually from the United States
to abattoirs in Canada and Mex-
ico. The destination for most of
those horses is Mexico.
Inadequate Documentation
and Animal
Welfare Concerns
In an email response to
questions, Apostola explained
that “The measure has been
taken after repeated negative
outcomes of the audits carried
out by the Food and Veterinary
Office (FVO) of the Commis-
sion’s Health and Consumers Di-
rectorate General in Mexico, the
last of them in June 2014.” That
audit revealed that corrective
actions Mexican officials had
previously committed to adopt-
ing had yet to be acted upon.
“The 2014 audit confirms,”
according to Apostola, “that the
reliability of the guarantees on
horse identification, traceability
and medicinal treatment history
remain very weak.”
The audits found numer-
ous deficiencies in the Mexican
abattoirs, and in the places where
horses were collected prior to
The European Union Bans Horsemeat fromMexico. NowWhat?
shipment to the abattoirs. The
audit report enumerated these
deficiencies, many of which were
contested by Mexican authorities.
For one thing, horses arriving
at the abattoirs from within Mex-
ico and from the United States
must have documents detailing
their veterinary histories and
declarations of non-use of banned
substances. But the so-called
“Competent Authority” (CA),
which is responsible for certifying
the authenticity of each animal’s
documents, has no way to verify
them. The auditors found substan-
tial evidence that many horses
had documentation that was
unreliable.
Michael Scannell, Director
of Food and Veterinary Office at
the EU, explained that the issue
of horse meat presents several
complications for EU inspectors.
“Any third party country wishing
to export equine meat to the EU
has to fulfill certain requirements.
Horse meat isn’t a particularly
large category of animal products
and you don’t find many slaugh-
terhouses that specialize in the
species,” he explained at a recent
European Parliament Intergroup
Meeting. Further, he said, “This
particular commodity is compli-
cated by the fact that it comes
from horses which are dual use.
Horses are not necessarily seen
as food producing animals.” Be-
cause horses enter the food chain
after working as show or race
horses, or pleasure or sport hors-
es, they’ve had vastly different
lives than animals that are raised
specifically for their meat. And
horses are routinely treated with
medications and other substances
that are not welcome in the food
chain.
Scannell says that the import
of horse meat from third par-
ty countries (non EU member
countries) is contingent on those
countries’ achieving EU bench-
marks for animal health, food
safety and requirements at point
of import.
In addition to the Mexican
abattoirs’ deficiencies related
to unreliable documentation of
horses’ veterinary histories—
which goes directly to the heart
of the food safety benchmark—
the audit found that many horses
suffered debilitating injuries
during transport to the abattoirs.
According to the report, “In one
slaughterhouse, for a randomly
chosen 10 day period in May
2014, the records showed a sig-
nificant number of livers rejected
due to trauma in horses of US
origin.” In addition, “records in
two slaughterhouses indicated
that horses of US origin were
regularly found dead in slaugh-
terhouse pens due to trauma or
pneumonia shortly after arrival.”
US Collection Centers
for Horses Faulted
Horses bound for the
abattoirs in Mexico are held at
collection centers in the US,
where routine veterinary checks
are completed and documenta-
tion is supposed to be assem-
bled. The audit team found
that at one of these collection
centers, numerous basic horse
care requirements were violated.
There were no contact lists for
either USDA veterinarians or
other veterinarians who could be
called in case of an emergency.
The veterinary first-aid kit on
the premises was dirty and the
medications therein were out of
date. Two horses that had been
rejected were clearly injured but
were left in a paddock in full sun
without veterinary care for at
(Continued on page 6)
Horses destined for Europe’s dinner tables are often funneled through the New Holland Auction
in Lancaster County, PA. The European Union, citing unverifiable documentation of veterinary
histories and medicinal traceability and a lack of compassionate and humane care, has banned the
import of horse meat from Mexico beginning January 15.
Guide to Stables, Trainers
& Camps … pgs. 18-23
1 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,...32
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