Horse Meat Recalled Due to Illegal Drugs


Canada – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued several recalls of horse meat produced by the Viande Richelieu Meat company and Metro Richelieu Inc.  The meat has been recalled from Canada, Austria and France after investigators found the meat was contaminated with drugs.

Investigators found Phenylbutazone (bute) in the meat, which causes serious disorders in humans, such as aplastic anaemia.  Remnants of bute in horse meat has long been known to cause aplastic anaemia, particularly in children, and there are no safe levels established.

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Horse Meat In Human Food Chain Causes Health Concerns

Source: WBZ-TV Chief Correspondent Joe Shortsleeve

“We ought to stop this practice and protect these horses, and protect the American people, and other consumers around the world,”

BOSTON (CBS) – The practice of slaughtering race horses is considered inhumane by animal rights groups. There is also a growing health concern for people, as horse meat shows up in the human food chain.

A retired race horse often doesn’t have many options according to Tawnee Preisner of Horse Plus Rescue. “If they’re lucky, they go to a person who wants them and who will retrain them, but most of the time they go to slaughter,” she says.

That can mean a long and grueling trip to Canada or Mexico, because the last slaughter facility in the United States closed six years ago.

“The way in which they are transported to slaughter is inhumane,” according to Dr. Nicholas Dodman of the Tufts Veterinary School. “There are rules for example that they should not be transported in double-decker transporters and not crushed in, and none of those rules are policed.”

By one estimate, 160,000 American horses shared this fate last year, ending up in the human food chain.

Steven O’Toole, General Manager of the Plainridge Track in Plainville, told WBZ no horse leaves his premises for any type of slaughter situation. He added that Massachusetts race tracks were the first to prohibit trainers from sending horses to slaughter.

Although Plainridge has stiff penalties if they find a horse was auctioned to a so called “Kill Buyer,” O’Toole admits it’s not foolproof. “At some point a horse that races with us might end up in a slaughter situation because some will fall through the cracks.”

Nationally, preventing slaughter is even harder to police. A track employee from out West wouldn’t reveal her identity as she said, “It happens quite frequently. . . I think people just want to get rid of the horse anyway they can, and if they can make some money on it, all the better.”

There’s also a real health concern here. Race horses can be given all kinds of drugs in their lifetime, and that is not something that you want going from stable to table.

Dr. Dodman has studied the presence of drugs like phenylbutazone, or ‘bute’, in horsemeat. “It does bad things to your bone marrow. You really don’t want to consume it. The FDA knows that. They banned it for human consumption, and it is banned for use in animals intended for human consumption, but it is used like water in horses.”

In a global economy, Dr. Dodman worries that meat slaughtered in Canada or Mexico could circle back to the United States, particularly because it is cheaper than beef…(CONTINUED)

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Video: Phenylbutazone, Equines and Human Health

2013 American Equine Summit ~ Ann M. Marini, Ph.D., M.D.

We will be featuring key presentations, everyday during this upcoming week.  The information contained within each is invaluable in fighting the horse-eaters and their propaganda.  Direct YouTube link for this presentation is:

Hold Your Horses

by James

Bute is banned by the FDA for use on animals destined to become food”

The whole M. Wells Horse Tartaregate got me looking into the matter of horse meat in greater depth and intensity. I’m now writing a piece on it for a national publication and will hope to share it soon.

I think it’s terrific that Chef Dufour bowed to pressure from animal advocates and scratched plans to add raw horse meat to his MoMA PS 1 menu. But, the more I looked into the ethics and legality of serving horse meat, the more I found myself sidetracked by the remarkable threat horse meat poses to public health. All those hip adventure eaters who attended the Mooga Booga food festival last May in Brooklyn and ate one of Dufour’s now legendary horse-meat-foie-gras-pork-fat-grilled cheese sandwiches (he sold 5000) might be in for a shock to learn that their knee-weakening soupcon of horse flesh was a chemically infused carcinogenic chunk of flesh that makes pink slime look as innocent as an apple.

Think about the supply chain. Much of the horse meat produced by Canadian slaughterhouses (where Dufour sourced) and exported globally comes from discarded American race horses. Spent American race horses are understood by the industry to be more of an industrial byproduct than a source of food. The horse “product” was nurtured to run around a track and win bets made by fat cats and hucksters, not to become part of a heart attack inducing sandwich sold to slobbering epicureans at a food orgy.

Raising an animal to be a product that runs in circles for money means treating its body like a pharmaceutical landfill. Race horses are systematically injected with chemical cocktails potent enough to, as John Hershey once said of James Agee’s alcohol use, “stun a rhinoceros.” This laundry list of chemicals includes the carcinogenic phenylbutazone, or “bute.” Bute is banned by the FDA for use on animals destined to become food. It is, in a word, deadly. And it bioaccumulates in horse flesh.

Many commentators have declared Tartargate over. I’d hold your horses on that one. Last June a slaughterhouse company called Equine United announced plans to open a horse slaughterhouse in Missouri. It declared that it would slaughter horses “humanely” and distribute the products globally and domestically. Most interestingly, United Equine assured us all that the USDA would be regulating the safety of the meat produced. When a reporter I know called the USDA to ask how it would regulate the use of bute, the representative had no idea what bute was. She had to spell it for him.

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