Report Courtesy of Animals Angels
Effective Traceability of Drug Residues QuestionableThe Food and Veterinary Office carried out a mission in Mexico from November 22nd to December 3rd, 2010. The objective was to follow up on previous visits and to check if import requirements for horse meat into the European Union are being followed. The inspectors visited four slaughter plants, three collecting center and one US export pen.
Animals’ Angels received the inspection report today and we are currently reviewing the details. While the FVO concluded that the overall conditions had improved, multiple areas of concern remain – especially in regards to the current traceability of horses imported from the US.
Findings of the Mission Team included:
EU approved slaughter plants: Two out of five establishments visited did not comply with EU requirements due to deficiencies in slaughter hygiene and water quality as well as the presence of untraceable carcasses. Non-traceable carcasses were in contact with EU eligible meat. No export certificates will be issued until issues are resolved
Reliability & authenticity of sworn statements made by former horse owners on veterinary medical treatments are not verified, even with the presence of positive results. 19 samples in 2008, 9 samples in 2009 and 6 samples in 2010 tested positive for residues of substances, the use of which is prohibited in the EU. All of these horses were covered by a declaration stating that no treatment was administered to the animal. USDA does not take any responsibility with regards to the origin of the animals and to the authenticity of the sworn statement.
Data presented to the Mission team showed that between January and October 2010, 5336 US horses in 631 consignments were rejected at the border due to advanced pregnancy, health problems or injuries. 62 560 horses were shipped to slaughter in Mexico during that time period. When the mission team visited one of the US export pens, 12 of the 30 animals present were rejected.