Equine Rescue

Founder of Habitat for Horses speaks out on EU ban of US horse meat

Europeans focus on food safety issue: no more poisoned American Horse Meat

August 6, 2009 — Hitchcock, Texas — For decades, the gourmet diners of Europe and Japan have eaten American horse meat poisoned by chemical contamination.  The horse flesh exporting by unscrupulous producers and horse slaughter plants will come to an end in April of 2010.   The new rules enacted by the European Union will mandate chemical free horse meat entering those countries.

Jerry Finch, President and Founder of Habitat for Horses

Jerry Finch, President and Founder of Habitat for Horses

American horses are routinely given powerful chemicals prohibited for human consumption such as wormers, Phenylbutazone (Bute), and a host of other deadly medications which are life giving to a horse but cause serious medical issues when ingested by humans.  Like DDT, banned for similar reasons, some of these compounds such as Bute remain in a horse’s body long after administered. Studies indicate medical issues such as birth defects, anemia, and cancer are brought on when these dangerous chemicals are consumed by humans.

The ban was quietly announced by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in late July. It quickly exploded across the Internet as news of it made its way to anti-slaughter websites and finally to mainstream equine media worldwide. With the new ban in place, the slaughter of horses exposed to these drugs will stop and the production of commercially available horse meat will grind to a halt.

“We have known of the dangers of chemicals in American horsemeat for years, but our warnings have often fallen on deaf ears,” said Jerry Finch, founder of Habitat for Horses, the nation’s largest all breed equine rescue organization.

“Thankfully, agencies in the European Union responsible for health safety realized that there is virtually no testing for dangerous chemicals in American horses being sold for food,” he said. “Foreign governments will inadvertently bring the slaughter of American horses to a halt while the American government, with their failure to pass legislation, has simply ignored the health of the European people.”

Finch says that the same EU rules will halt the export of American horses slaughtered in Mexico for European consumption.

Habitat for Horses (HfH) is a not-for-profit equine protection agency committed to the prevention, rescue and rehabilitation of neglected and abused horses. The largest organization of its kind in North America, HfH operates a rehabilitation ranch in Hitchcock, Texas, as well as a growing network of foster homes throughout the United States.

Contact: Valerie Kennedy, Director of Public Relations, Habitat for Horses, Inc, 312-371-4933

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3 replies »

  1. What a lovely, moving video and the music was super and appropriate! What was it? Those horses tugged at one’s heart strings and a Youtube video of this quality should really help the Cause. The work you do is invaluable and the horses saved look happy and relaxed! The horses do indeed need us and we must not let them down!


  2. This is such wonderful news and so long overdue. Thank God the EU has seen fit to protect it’s population from this meat. THEY saved our horses. I only wish they would have listened years ago when we were are yelling about this very issue. Better late than never.


  3. Let’s not forget about the “law of unintended consequences.” This ban is in place not for humane reasons, but to ensure that the horse meat sold in the European Union countries is not contaminated by medications.

    And what about the horses in Europe, Canada and elsewhere? Do we only care about American horses?

    As long as the demand for horse meat exists, horses will be vulnerable to being killed for their flesh. The EU ban is not good news for horses.


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