As we wrote about in our post “Why Not Horse Meat?” on March 5th, 2013, there are risks to consuming horse meat. Thankfully, it has now hit the headlines in the Toronto Star. They tracked the killing of a horse that should never have entered the human food chain.
The facts are clear. People are falsifying documents that are to ensure human food safety. A prevailing “it’s not my problem” attitude shadows these money driven decisions. Fraudulent actions are putting people at risk. It is a blatant conflict of interest to expect accurate reporting when accuracy will limit the potential sale and profit of the sale of that horse (admitting to drug administration would eliminate potential sales to ‘kill buyers’, drastically limit the pool of potential buyers and severely impact the potential for their price to be driven up by bidders). Fewer potential buyers limits demand and therefore lowers price.
Something that should be noted is that people submitting horses to auctions may not be aware of the drug administration history of the horse. The owner may not have owned the horse very long (as in the case of the dealer in the Toronto Star article). As well, the owner may not be aware of medications administered to their horse. Horses under the care of boarding facilities, with trainers or working with others may be dosed with drugs without the owners knowledge or consent. Taking it a step further, the documentation seems to assume a certain level of medical knowledge of horse owners. While many do, for The Canadian Food Inspection Agency to be so heavily dependent on lay-person, owner knowledge is concerning. While some will actively be deceptive, others will honestly have no idea of how to accurately answer the questions.
More disturbing is the fact that Europe has banned horse meat from the US (assuming the article is correct). Recognizing the inability to adhere to their regulations regarding drug residue, it has been deemed as unsafe. However those same horses are simply shipped north of the border to be slaughtered in Canada. Now with the label of “Canadian horse meat”, it’s accepted into Europe’s human food chain.
It is respectfully suggested that Europe’s prevailing agencies ban Canadian horse meat immediately. In fact, ALL countries should ban horse meat from Canada if they value the safety of their citizens.
Humane treatment of horses and emotional attachments aside, Canadian horse meat is clearly dangerous.