|European Commission launches investigation in Mexico - Belgium grocery stores react to the pressure from GAIA release|
Official inquiries at the Jerez horse slaughter plant in Mexico have been announced by the EU. After meeting with Animals' Angels in November of last year, EU officials responded to our formal complaint regarding conditions and treatment of horses at slaughter plants in Mexico.
Both the Mexican Embassy and the Mexican Ministry of the Economy received courtesy copies of the recent letter announcing the investigation. EU authorities stated that AA's complaint spurred the response.
In addition, the Mexican Department of Agriculture has been contacted and required to provide information regarding the official checks put in place at the plant verifying the adequate implementation of Council Directive 93/119/EC.
EU's concerns significant
The director goes on to state that after analyzing the Animals' Angels report, they would consider such conditions at the Jerez plant as "not equivalent" to Article 13 requirements. Practices at the plant, such as "when unfit horses are dragged on the floor causing additional pain" [documented in Animals' Angels investigation], would be clear violations of EU requirements.
Not the only challenges faced by Mexican plants
|Investigation at Texas Export Pens raises new questions|
Recent investigations at several Texas export pens reveal similar issues. The pens, located in Eagle Pass, Socorro and Del Rio, are all operated by the Texas Department of Agriculture. Problems and concerns include:
Horses are transported across the border in open roof trailers designed for cattle.
|Stanley Brothers likely to face high fines|
|Since our investigation and the Department of Transportation complaint against them, the Stanley Brothers have been inspected several times. During the last inspection, a driver, not licensed to operate a commercial vehicle, was caught driving and several other violations like missing and false log books were uncovered. These violations were so severe that the truck was ordered to shut down. Fines are still pending, but expected to be several thousand dollars. |
It is important that operators like the Stanley Brothers remain under scrutiny. Not only does AA's work address issues of humane handling, transport, and public safety. Our investigations fill in where law enforcement fails. And since these companies make their profits by violating existing laws, a continuing focus on their illegal activities can cost them thousands and close them down.