published on News of the Horse
“In 2015, 44,730 horses were exported to Canada from the United States for slaughter…”
The European Union has issued new guidelines for the Canadian horse slaughter industry that many believe will devastate the industry. Starting March, 2017, all horses must remain in Canada at a feedlot for 6 months prior to being slaughtered if the meat is to be sold to Europe. The EU states the holding time is crucial as North American horses receive drugs not approved for use in meat destined for humans.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed the ruling with reporters. “(CFIA) received a letter from the European Commission on Sept. 28, 2016, advising Canada that the European Union is implementing six months residency requirements. Effective Feb. 28, 2017, the CFIA will only provide certificates for the export of horse meat to the European Union that meet the EU’s new six month residency requirement.”
The Canadian government has been working with the industry since receiving notification of the new requirements. “The government understands the serious impact the EU measure of a 180-day holding period will have on exports. In 2015, Canada exported $36.8 million of horse meat to the EU,” the CFIA told reporters.
In 2015, 44,730 horses were exported to Canada from the United States for slaughter. By contrast, nearly 85,000 were shipped to Mexico for slaughter. Animal welfare activists worry that with the Canadian horse slaughter industry under such tight restrictions by the EU, more horses will be shipped to Mexico, where the slaughter industry is largely unregulated and less humane than Canada.