Horse News

Horse Eaters in EU Complain of Brazilian Horse Flesh Laced with Naproxen

“Sorry, can’t get upset over humans eating the flesh of companion animals and complaining about what sort of chemicals are in it.  Horse carcasses from the U.S. are toxic to humans and now Brazil has drugs in meat not intended for human consumption.  Just what are the poor European horse eaters to do?  (I have an idea, it has something to do with that mysterious place where the sun never shines.)” ~ R.T.

By Oscar Rousseau as published on

A discovery of Brazilian horsemeat laced with naproxen in Belgium has sparked calls for tough controls over EU imports of horsemeat.

naproxenThe identification of naproxen, a substance banned in EU foodstuffs, in horsemeat imports shipped from Brazil to Belgium has sparked fresh food safety concerns, raised by the Humane Society International (HSI).

The body has been strongly critical of the EU’s imports of horsemeat from Brazil after evidence emerged of animal welfare abuse in South America. This latest discovery has led HSI to, in its own words, “sound the alert bell” about the food safety issues linked to Brazilian horsemeat.

Total ban

Following the identification of naproxen, HSI has called on the European Commission to toughen controls. The body wants to see mandatory testing for the presence of outlawed substances implemented for all Brazilian exports of horsemeat to the EU. It stopped short of calling for a total ban on imports.

“For years, we have consistently warned about the threat that the export of horsemeat from non-EU countries poses to EU consumerism,” said Joanna Swabe, EU executive director of HSI.

“The detection of naproxen in Brazilian horsemeat demonstrates yet again that the Brazilian authorities are unable to ensure compliance with EU import requirements and that urgent action is needed to protect both animals and consumers.”

HSI believes that mandatory testing of horsemeat will prevent unauthorised substances in meat making its way to EU consumers. A similar system was applied to Mexico in 2006 and HSI said this helped address the concerns of the European Commission’s former Food and Veterinary office.

However, HSI’s latest call for tougher controls failed to mention that Brussels has recently announced plans to tighten controls on non-EU horsemeat imports.

New rules

In September 2016, the European Commission announced new measures that would require horsemeat that comes from outside the Eurozone to have a minimum six-month residency in the country of slaughter. These new rules come into play on 31 March 2017.

The new traceability rules are likely to cause problems for Canada, as the majority of horses it slaughters come from the US.

Rule changes came about after an audit, published earlier in 2016, identified serious shortcomings in Brazil’s horsemeat supply chain. The EU’s Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) audit raised “serious concerns” over welfare abuse, after a horse died en route to an abattoir.

The report also noted that Brazil’s 2014 and 2015 residue monitoring plan could not demonstrate a level of equivalence to EU food safety standards – a prerequisite for meat trade with Europe.

The European Commission notified that horsemeat tainted with naproxen had been discovered on 19 December 2016. The meat, however, seems to have been sampled on 28 October 2016.

14 replies »

  1. Great article..I tried to submit comment but response was kind of weird. Its coming to pass. More toxic meat surfacing. Don’t forget the marches tomorrow in DC and cities all over the country. I will be in Chicago with one of my horse signs along with the others trying to save our rights, health care and a merid of other things. Beginning today the White House to me is vacant! I hope the European horse and equine eaters are happy. Although.check our meat imports I think despite all the concern some of our meat comes from bizarre places. So why do the Welfare Ranchers need our public lands? Is it because they are selling their cattle to another market? But the Europeans have been warned over and over again about eating US horse and equine meat! I guess they don’t believe us!

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Although.check our meat imports” >> Average 90 tons of equine meat are imported from Canada each month. What do they do with that? Ask Nebraska Packing.

      “So why do the Welfare Ranchers need our public lands?” Because it is a corporatist elite that have seized a resource belonging to all for their exclusive benefit, maintaining a 19th century economy and assorted institutions, traditions and way of life, which is pretty much anachronic in the worst sort of way. It doesn’t have to do with whether they export it or not, which they do, even if other countries are blocked from exporting their own beef to US. It is all about eliminating competence and messing up with the rules to always favor them. That’s why I said sometimes that the best thing we could do is opening the border to meat from other countries and destroy their bottom line.


  2. I hope they choke on it; and stop importing horse meat from Canada and Brazil. We all know that some of those horses came from our country, were trucked over the border to Canada, to be slaughtered there. That does not mean that I do not grieve for every horse who is slaughtered in any country. The scum that do this to any horse should choke on that too. Blessed are the merciful, the compassionate and the brave people who continue to respond to this horror with actions against the slaughter of horses for human consumption or otherwise. Horses are not livestock. They are companion animals; and should registered as companion animals so they can be protected, as I hope every companion animal is.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. YES!!!! And I bet they find more toxic substances than Naproxen in horse meat! This bodes well for our efforts to #EndHorseSlaughter by passing the Safe Act HR113!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My favorite blog(other than this one) is by Anna Blake – the one I received today is:
    “Climate Change: Not Just Bad for Polar Bears” – really worth reading AND there is a link to an Australian study “The Impact of Climate Change on Horses & Horse Industries”. Very interesting!


  5. Wild horse meat is not risk free. They can carry the same parasite that causes trichinosis. First found to be present in pig guts by Dr. James Leidy in the 1800’s, this finding saved 10’s of 1,000’s of lives. Since few Americans have a diet that includes horse meat, this detail is not commonly known.


  6. On climate change on horses and the horse industry. The modern horse originated in N America 55 to 60 million years ago. Horse ancestors first appeared when N. America was a tropical swamp covered by shallow salt water seas from N. Canada, almost to the gulf of Mexico. We were located almost at the equator and had just separated continentally from Europe five million years before. Equus emerged around five million years ago; the modern horse is the most recent edition to the Equus genera. Scientists find that during cold periods horses get larger, and during hot periods animals become smaller. This is consistent with other mammals.

    Polar bears do not become extinct when the northern hemisphere is warmest. They are genetic variations of the brown bear, so they merely become brown again until the climate supports more snow and ice when the gene for color is triggered again. This detail was provided by the author of How to Clone a Mammoth who has been involved in studies that also included horse.


  7. I hope horse meat eaters all get sick and choke on it! Horses are to be loved as our companions. They do not belong on anyones dinner plate!!!


  8. Can we feed all of our wild horses, and the domestic ones too, some Naproxen periodically? And maybe a few other banned substances? Publicize this worldwide, and maybe no other country will want anything to do with American horses. We could dart the wild ones with it instead of PZP. I agree with everyone else on here who commented about hoping all of these horse eaters choke on it.


    • It doesn’t work that way. They would be slaughtered anyways, because there is a chain of documentations that says it is OK, as bogus as it may be, like in the case of Brazil, Canada, Mexico, whatever.

      It is not a question of what you give or not (in fact they already count on that, they just play with probabilities). It is all about paper trail and official, government-provided sanctioning.


  9. After monitoring import and export stats for two years and watching closely how they silently turned a blind eye on the findings of their own FVO inspectors, frankly, what on earth they expected?

    Basically, Brazil -pretty much like Canada- has been allowed to keep exporting equine meat to the EU despite the multiple extremely negative reports by EU auditors since the horsemeat distributors need the average 100 tons they get from Brazil to offset the loss of Mexico. The very same reports resulted in the shut down of Mexico, but in the case of Canada first, and then Brazil and Argentina, they just let it be in a flagrant case of double standards. This is yet another case of scientific evidence and expertise being rejected because of political pressure on behalf of certain economical interests.

    And to make it worse, EU is negotiating lifting the ban on Mexican (which turns to be US) meat. It all depends on what the new USDA secretary does regarding sanctioning of documents provided by killer buyers.

    People think that the new EU rules will cause problems in Canada, Brazil or even the US, but they are sorely mistaken. Deep within they are tailored to make a way around the ban on one of the most common -and most dangerous- drugs.


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