Monday, June 13, 2011

Holland Fires Back at Slaughterhouse Sue

Horseback Magazine

John Holland of Equine Welfare Alliance responds to Sue Wallis at Horseback Magazine article. Here is the blow by blow of the disinformation with facts:

In reading the links sited by Ms. Wallis, I must come to one of the following conclusions; either she does not read the links she provides, or she thinks we will not read them, or she does not understand what she reads. It is of course possible that all three are true.

Her first link is to a two page article by an extension agent claiming there has been no known negative health effect from drug residues in US meat. This may or may not be true, but it has absolutely nothing to do whatever with American horse meat. Neither the word "equine" nor "horse" appear in the article and the meat it describes is that consumed in the US. It truly looks more like a puff piece for the promotion of US meat products than any kind of study.

Her second link is a resource page for producers concerning forbidden drugs and the withdrawal periods for permitted drugs. Interestingly, it lists two of the more popular horse medications (phenylbutazone and clenbuterol) on the forbidden page. It contains no statistics or information that would confirm Sue's point on the safety of US horse meat.

The third link is to a dead site titled "Residue control in Canada: Report on the surveillance of antibiotic and hormone residues in meat". It has a banner at the top saying it is no longer being updated, and it is about antibiotics and growth hormones used to increase production in meat animals, only two of the many dangerous types of drugs. Moreover the linked page has no mention of horse meat and there are not any statistics.

The forth link is a report on an EU mission to Mexico in 2008. The report contains references to significant drug residues found in horse meat! It goes on to criticize the entire Mexican system, and talks about the fact that new protocols are being implemented. In other words, the report disproves Sue's claims and is not the most recent one.

The correct report is Ref. Ares(2011)398056 - 11/04/2011 (April 11, 2011). It covers a mission that took place between 22 November and 3 December of 2010. This is the report that most advocates have been pointing to. Unlike the report Sue sited above, this report is entirely about horse meat. The report discusses the voluntary certification system that Mexico is now using to document drug histories.

This system is similar to the Canadian EID document except microchips are placed in the horses before they cross the border (nobody really understands what purpose they serve at that point, since the horse's history is completely unknown).

Contrary to Sue's allegations, the new report found 19 sampled horses in 2008 and 9 in 2009 were positive for prohibited substances. It does not say how many samples were taken. All of the horses were accompanied by sworn statements that they had not been given prohibited substances.

One has to wonder how Ms. Wallis can scream what liars "animal rights activists" are and then provide links showing either nothing or that she is the one who is the liar.

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