Horse News

Animals’ Angels USA Exposes the Truth of Horse Slaughter

Source: Animals’ Angels USA

Blow to Swiss Horse Meat Market Expected

TescoConsumers have a right to be apprehensive of the production practices used by meat distributors as concerns over the integrity of the industry continue to grow. The recent cases originating in the United Kingdom, where horse meat has been found in beef burgers and a variety of frozen pre-made meals, highlight the types of errors and misleading labeling that occurs throughout the world in the meat supply chain.

Shockingly, the scandal in Europe has escalated as food contaminated with horsemeat has been discovered in meals distributed to schools, meals which could potentially have been eaten by thousands of children. The food has since been pulled from the school cafeterias but the damage has been done. Officials, parents, and the general public are rightfully concerned. (Sun Article)

In addition it has recently been announced that horsemeat exported from Britain to France has tested positive for Phenylbutazone (bute), a drug that is often given to horses but is not safe for human consumption. It has just been ascertained that in 2012 there were at least two cases where “bute” was discovered in horsemeat and was not reported to the EU’s Food Standards Authority until many months after the fact. (Guardian Article)

The scandal has since grown to include at least 15 European countries. The United States may very well be next.

In a global campaign, Animals’ Angels USA (AA USA) and our European Ally Tierschutzbund Zuerich (TSB) have gathered extensive information about the horse slaughter industry.

(Warning: Graphic content that might be disturbing to viewers)

Evidence obtained through investigations conducted throughout 2012 proves that horse meat imported from Canada, Argentina and Mexico and sold in Switzerland was produced in violation of EU as well as Swiss animal welfare standards.

Additionally, we were able to prove that labels on packaged meat throughout Switzerland contain false information and that contrary to the claims of importers and distributors, the horses are not transported, cared for and slaughtered according to EU and Swiss standards.

While it is true that all slaughter plants exporting meat to the European Union must maintain an EU certification, the same cannot be said for holding facilities and transport. Most EU regulations do not apply in non-EU countries and the animal welfare laws in the production countries do not offer comparable protection for the horses. Slaughter horses face transport times of 36 hours or more, without access to food or water. Unlike in the EU, transport trailers do not provide single stalls, ventilation or water systems. The investigation found horses crammed into trailers in large groups, horses suffering in parked trailers for hours in 100 degree heat and horses being trampled to death by others.

At the feedlots, thousands of horses are kept inside barren pens at any given time without protection from the elements and with limited space to move around. Access to food or water is limited at best. Emaciated, sick or injured horses are left to die without assistance. Our investigators documented the most despicable acts of cruelty and horses forced to die a slow and inhumane death.

Even the required EU certification for slaughter plants is no guarantee for humane treatment. Horrific video footage obtained by the Canadian Horse Defense Coalition from two of the Canadian slaughter plants shows ineffective stunning with horses being shot multiple times. Despite this glaring evidence, both plants continue to export to Europe and Switzerland where the meat is sold by large scale grocery chains such as Migros.

Suppliers worked hard to keep European consumers in the dark regarding the cruelties of horse slaughter and the innate health risks involved with eating horse meat. Veterinarians in the United States have warned about the possible contamination of American horse meat for years. The fact is horses in the U.S., especially former race or performance horses, invariably have a multitude of pharmaceuticals in their system including de-wormers, hormones, and Phenylbutazone (“bute”), all of which are not safe for humans.

There have been several incidents recently where random samples of horse meat imported into the EU tested positive for drug residues. The latest FVO report from Mexico actually confirms that “the system in place for identification, the food chain information and in particular the affidavits concerning the non-treatment with certain medical substances….are presently insufficient”.

AA USA has been investigating mislabeling and falsified paperwork for several years. Realizing early on the utmost importance of educating the primary consumer, AA USA has always believed that the European Commission and the European consumers need to be made aware of how horse meat ends up on their grocery shelves.

From the very beginning, AA USA has released reports and videos in Europe in order to educate and dissuade people from eating horse meat. End the demand and the supply aspect ends as well. In 2010, these efforts by Animals’ Angels USA, in a campaign with GAIA, resulted in horse meat being removed from Belgium grocery stores. Much like the disbelief and outrage felt in the U.K. today, Belgium consumers were appalled to realize they had been misled by the marketing practices of the meat distributors.

In 2012, AA USA took the awareness campaign to a new level with the most in-depth research and investigations ever conducted. We completed 12 solid months of investigations in no less than 5 countries, with our investigation results being reviewed by three different European veterinarians.

Review the entire investigation file here…

We spent hundreds of hours of research identifying all of the large horse meat exporters, importers and distributors, analysis of their statements and comparison to investigative results, detailed examination and comparison of animal protection laws in Mexico, the US, Canada, Switzerland and the EU. Our strong dedication to this issue has a critical purpose; to not only save the horses but to also make the public aware about the contents of the products they are eating.

Our commitment to thorough investigative reporting has led to an explosive exposé that was released via Swiss television.

“Kassensturz,” a highly rated investigative reporting show concentrating on consumer issues, devoted an entire episode to our global campaign and the evidence discovered in our 2012 investigations. Kassensturz has a broad reach in Europe and undoubtedly the evidence uncovered in the report came as a shock to their audience and has a far reaching effect. This exposé, which aired on February 19, 2013, was a culmination of our year-long investigations and was an important and powerful step to not only raising consumer awareness but also promoting permanent change. As a result, retailers like Aldi, Lidl, Denner and Volg have already taken their horse meat products off the shelves. (Source: Kassensturz) Other major media outlets are expected to pick up the story as well.

Click here to watch the Kassensturz episode…

However, this is only the first step on the long road to change. Over the next six months, AA USA and its European partners will broaden the campaign to include more and more countries. Additionally, our work against horse slaughter in the US is far from done. Pro-slaughter advocates push hard for the return of horse slaughter to the U.S. Already states like Oklahoma are pushing through legislation to legalize horse slaughter.

However, the outrage caused by our investigations has had an impact on other states such as New Mexico whose citizens and legislators have fought the advent of horse slaughter plants.

So while the challenges we face in ending horse slaughter still exist and new plants in the U.S. are being considered, the momentum against this cruel industry has never been stronger.  The EU horse meat scandal, proof of falsified documents, as well as our own reports of staggering cruelty and abuse all go hand in hand to become one unified force.

 We are calling upon all of our readers and horse lovers nationwide to use these tools to pressure law makers, now more than ever, for a complete ban on horse slaughter.  As with any issue of this magnitude, there is strength in numbers and the public needs to have their voice heard.  Share our investigations so the public and our legislators can see the truth – share your conviction to end horse slaughter.

AA USA can be counted on to continue to uncover the facts and expose the truth.  We have built a strong reputation over the years as the leader in investigative reporting.  Based on a track record of dependability and unbiased coverage, our reports are used by authorities nationwide to initiate improvement and secure charges when appropriate.  Our investigations are essential to raising awareness and lobbying for change not just in the U.S. but also in Europe.  Thanks to our supporters, we continue to be a strong force against horse slaughter.

14 replies »

  1. What can any caring, intelligent human say? This horror and criminal activity defies words.

    They only thing I can say is that advocates will not stop until this criminal enterprise is stopped….permanently and unconditionally.

    I hope all of us have started to think about how to help and accommodate equines that will be grossly abused during this scandal. The equines are going to need practical, responsible and compassionate support as the kill factories and scum KBs start dumping, abandoning and abusing the equines in the pipeline. Let’s not forget the garbage owners and horse thieves that will do the same.

    They, the equines (wild and domestic) are going to need more angels….and very soon.


    • I don’t know, the EU has been at their investigation for 5 weeks now and the latest that I’ve read the damn Belgians are saying not to worry about eating it, that it’s safe..blah blah blah.. They obviously don’t care about the effects on humans or on the animals themselves. At least as long as they’re making their profits…


  2. I cannot watch the videos!! The extreme cruelty, neglect, inhumane treatment of these magnificent creatures, is “cruelty beyond words!!!!!”Continue to expose!!!!!! “They who are performing these horrendous acts, will be paid back by God…


    • After one video or photo, most decent humans don’t need to watch more. These documentation are for the liars and obstructors denying the cruelty and criminal nature of human consumption horse slaughter (HCHS…yes that includes burros and mules, wild and domestic). It is also to shame and discredit the $ueys, Doinks, Kings, Blunts (Blount?), Kingstons, et al….also to get the White Houses attention.


  3. I can read the commentaries but can’t watch the videos, although I fully support AA. Those who commit these cruelties to our equines and other animals will be paid back after they’re punished under the law. The laws have to change too.


  4. I’ve seen the videos so many times but turret still enrage me that humans can be so calloused and all in the name of the almighty damned dollar. It’s all about the concern for three animals or the safety of three humans eating these animals. I hope every one of these horse meat eaters suffers a fate worse than what they have caused the horses to suffer. It’s not like they haven’t been warned.


    • Terri:

      I’m starting to think this isn’t just about a dollar. I’m beginning to believe there are some REALLY sick humans in the world that also happen to be in charge.

      But you’re right….money is a motivator.


  5. Animal Angels are doing a great job at exposing these pigs. Thank you Animal Angels for your investigative uncover work. It is not easy to see the cruelty to these horses, whereever they might come from.


  6. Like I have said before why don’t more of you go to the Newspapers in these countries and tell them what your saying here? It might encourage more of the population to dump horse meat if they know that at least some of the population in the US wants it stopped. I know most of the voters don’t know about any of this. i only saw this mentioned one time on Fox News with a sentence running in their ticker tape for about 3 seconds. I have left comments on at least five newspapers and one in Germany. A large portion of the populations in these countries can speak English because that’s the language of business.


  7. Interesting how many advocates haven’t commented on this thread….too tough? And you don’t even have to watch the videos.

    Hmmmm…..what you gonna do when the killers start dumping their equines left and right after HCHS is either stalled or stopped?

    Talk about can’t “watch it”.


  8. I too find it painful and disturbing to watch. I only have to look at one of pictures and know what is to come for those poor animals. What is more disturbing and sick is that we all know that this continues to go on and currently we are not able to help them. I told my friends that there will come a day just as it happened the one day when it was thought the slaughter pipeline was shut down. We must be ready..what will happen to them all..where will we put them? We must start putting a plan together. The bottom line is as horse people we should be there and start helping people who are in tough times. In my area there is a group who was formed to provide help for people in tough situations. I told my friends that there will come a day just as it happened the one day when it was thought the slaughter pipeline was shut down. We must be ready..what will happen to them all..where will we put them? We must start putting a plan together. The bottom line is as horse people we should be there and start helping people who are in tough times. In my area there is a group who was formed to provide help for people in tough situations. I agree, we should all take the time and connect with these foreign newspapers and let them know how we feel and what is goiing on.


  9. I am sorry I cannot continue to watch these videos, I am torn to pieces when I do .!!!!!!!!!! But I realize that they must be seen………………. I have emailed them to all I know !!!!!!!!!!!!!


  10. What can I do to help? I would love to get involved with this organization. Please Email me information. Thank you and continue to spread the word….


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