Europe raises horse welfare concerns in new EU horsemeat import rules

EU to tighten up import rules following traceability issues with Canadian horsemeat

The European Commission is set to adopt long-awaited requirements to more strictly regulate the import of horsemeat from non-EU countries following the latest audit finding that Canadian horsemeat may not meet EU food safety standards. Humane Society International/Europe says that whilst tackling the issue of traceability of horsemeat is important, the new rules risk compromising horse welfare by potentially keeping large numbers of horses on feedlots for long periods of time. HSI wants to see an EU import moratorium on meat from these horses instead.

The European Commission identified traceability issues with the horses during its audits of Canadian horse slaughter plants. HSI has repeatedly highlighted risks to EU consumer safety from the fact that the majority of horses slaughtered in Canada originate from the U.S., where the use of veterinary drugs banned for use in food-producing animals is rife and there is no mandatory veterinary record-keeping. The new EU rules mean that from 31 March 2017, horses destined for slaughter in non-EU countries but for export to the EU, must undergo a minimum six-month residency requirement. This decision is likely to impact the horse slaughter industry in Canada and several South American countries, where horses for slaughter may be sourced from neighbouring countries.

Original article in here.