Baby Donkeys Rescued From Meat Trade Are Now Ambassadors for Change

by as published on One Green Planet

“Many of our donkeys have been rescued from miserable live animal markets…”

Hamish, Clover, and Darcy were tiny babies, not yet weaned, when they were taken from their mothers and sent to be sold illegally at a market in the United Kingdom. Huddled together for warmth and comfort, the little donkeys were destined for the donkey meat trade – a little known but widespread and lucrative business which operates the world over.

Thankfully, the three young donkeys, thought to be no more than ten weeks old when found, were rescued from the market by UK charity, The Flicka Foundation, which cares for and rehabilitates horses and donkeys at its sanctuary in the South West of England. The three youngsters now act as ambassadors in the organization’s fight against the trade in donkeys as food.

“Many of our donkeys have been rescued from miserable live animal markets here in the UK,” said Judy Giles, Flicka’s Director. “Sick, elderly or abandoned donkeys are bought by dealers in Europe for pennies and traveled to the UK in filthy, cramped lorries. Those that make the horrendous journey enter the UK meat markets, to be sold and cruelly shipped back to the continent for European corporate dinner plates. Thankfully, Hamish, Clover, and Darcy were rescued before it was too late, but so many millions of other donkeys are not so lucky.”

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Pig Cartel Throws Bacon at Horse Vampire Claims

as published on FG/Insight

“The National Pig Association (NPA) has countered accusations that the UK pig industry is involved in cruelty to horses on farms in South America…”

vampire-farmActivists from the German Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) said horses on farms in Uruguay, Argentina and Chile are forced to have large bore needles inserted into their jugular vein to extract a powerful hormone which is then injected into pigs to speed up their fertility cycle.

In order to get the hormone, known as pregnant mare’s serum gonadotropin (PMSG), an individual horse can have up to 10 litres of blood a week taken, leaving them at risk of anaemia, hypovolemic shock, miscarriage and death.

NPA chief executive Zoe Davies said: “We are aware that a small number of products containing PMSG are authorised for use in pigs in the UK for the induction and synchronisation of oestrus.

Good management

“However, from extensive enquiries, our understanding is that these products are used very little, if at all, in UK pig production as good management such as boar presence, sow nutrition and proper lighting means that sows naturally return to oestrus after weaning which negates the need to use them.

“It is also important to stress that, as an oestrus synchronisation product for breeding pigs, it would never be used in pigs destined for meat.

“Despite suggestions in the media that this is a story about British pigmeat, we want to make it clear the use of the product is not by any means standard practice in the UK.

“The UK pig industry prides itself on the high standards that underpin our pig production.”

The UK National Office for Animal Health said recovery of the hormone was an authorised practice around the world, but veterinary supervision was required and blood collection limits must be adhered to.

UK Lawmakers say Horsemeat Contamination Likely Fraud

Source:  U.S. Reuters story by James Davey

“Everything that touches predatory horse slaughter is rooted in crime and corruption!”

Horse MeatLONDON, July 16 (Reuters) – The contamination of meat products with horse DNA was most likely due to fraud and prosecutions should be pursued, a second British parliamentary report into the scandal said on Tuesday.

“The evidence suggests a complex network of companies trading in and mislabelling beef or beef products which is fraudulent and illegal,” said Anne McIntosh, a legislator who chairs the cross-party Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, which published the report.

Europe’s horsemeat scandal broke in January when traces of horse were found in frozen burgers sold in Irish and British supermarkets, including those run by market leader Tesco , raising questions about the safety of the European food supply chain.

“We are dismayed at the slow pace of investigations and seek assurances that prosecutions will be mounted where there is evidence of fraud or illegality,” said McIntosh.

The report was critical of retailers, arguing they should have been more vigilant against the risks of adulteration, especially where meat products were traded many times.

It recommended retailers carry out regular DNA tests on meat and meat-based ingredients which form part of processed or frozen meat products, reporting results to the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

The additional cost of this testing should be borne by retailers and not passed on to consumers, it added.

“Consumers need to know that what they buy is what the label says it is,” said McIntosh.

Britain’s grocers have responded to the scandal by increasing testing, while Tesco, for example, has pledged to be more open about its supplier base.


The FSA did not escape criticism from the report.

“There has been a lack of clarity about the responsibility of the FSA in this incident. This must be rectified,” the report said, adding the FSA must be seen to be independent of industry and given powers to compel industry and local authorities to carry out food testing.

The report did, however, conclude that the scandal, was not as extensive as originally feared. A study by the same parliamentary committee in February said the contamination discovered by that date was likely to be the “tip of the iceberg”.

The new report said testing of processed and frozen beef products sold in Britain since January found horsemeat contamination was limited to a relatively small number of products with more than 99 percent of those tested found to be free of horse DNA.

It said tests across EU member states found 4.66 percent of products tested contained over 1 percent horse DNA.

However, in separate EU-mandated tests for the presence of veterinary drug phenylbutazone (bute) in horses slaughtered for human consumption, the UK had the largest number of positive results.

The committee said a newly introduced system for testing horses for bute before they are released to the food system must continue with government and industry sharing the cost.

Click (HERE) to comment at Reuters

At Least it’s not Human: BBC Horsemeat Investigation Uncovers ‘Unidentifiable’ Meat in Lamb Takeaway

Source: Daisy Wyatt Author Biography of the UK’s Independent

“Shockingly, an Indian lamb curry was found to contain no trace of lamb – and the meat it contained was neither chicken, beef, pork, horse or goat.”
A True "Mystery Meat"

A True “Mystery Meat”

If you thought the British high street had cleaned up its act when it came to falsely advertised meat, think again.

A random sample of meat from British takeaways has been analysed on a BBC Three programme due to air tonight with alarming results.

The Horsemeat Banquet filmed a group of young diners who are disgusted at the thought of eating horse in an attempt to challenge perceptions about what we eat.

During the show other popular takeaway meat is also tested to highlight what Brits are eating on a Saturday night.

Shockingly, an Indian lamb curry was found to contain no trace of lamb – and the meat it contained was neither chicken, beef, pork, horse or goat. Rumours are rife that the unidentifiable meat could be dog, but it is confirmed not to be human.

Another nasty surprise was that Chinese beef in black bean sauce was found to contain mostly chicken blood and other chicken material, and only a little beef.

A burger was found to contain no beef meat, only bovine blood. It also had high levels of chicken blood and was made up of over 2 per cent heart.

Speaking about the unidentified lamb, the show’s nutritionist Surinder Phull said: “It’s absolutely terrifying because if it isn’t any of the meats we know, well what is it? Where’s it come from? Where was it slaughtered? Was it hygienic? Are there any bacteria it was covered with?”

The only high street fast food to test positively was a donor kebab, which was found to be made entirely from lamb.

Click (HERE) to Comment at the Independent

Carcinogen May Have Entered UK Human Food Chain in Horsemeat

and agencies
The Guardian, Thursday 24 January 2013 12.35 GMT

MP says she has evidence several horses slaughtered in UK last year tested positive for ‘bute’ or phenylbutazone

SuperiorbuteA potentially carcinogenic drug may have entered the human food chain through meat from horses slaughtered in the UK, Labour has claimed.

The shadow environment secretary, Mary Creagh, told the Commons she had evidence that several horses slaughtered in the UK last year tested positive for phenylbutazone.

Her claim comes days after the separate revelation that burgers sold by some supermarkets contained traces of horsemeat.

Creagh said: “I am in receipt of evidence showing that several horses slaughtered in UK abattoirs last year tested positive for phenylbutazone, or bute, a drug which causes cancer in humans and is banned from the human food chain. It is possible that those animals entered the human food chain.”

The agriculture minister, David Heath, said the Food Standards Agency (FSA) checked all meat to ensure it was fit for human consumption.

“The Food Standards Agency carry out checks in slaughterhouses to ensure that equine animals presented for slaughter are fit for human consumption in the same way as they do for cattle, sheep and other animals,” he said.

“In addition, the FSA carry out subsequent testing for phenylbutazone and other veterinary medicines in meat from horses slaughtered in this country. Where positive results for phenylbutazone are found, the FSA investigates and takes followup action to trace the meat.”

Creagh asked whether that meant Heath was already aware of the issue. “I’m astonished that you have not raised this and I think the public have a right to know,” she said.

Creagh said it was a “very serious development” and demanded action to ensure that “illegal and carcinogenic horse meat stops entering the human food chain”.

Responding to Creagh’s claims, the FSA said: “Horses which have been treated with phenylbutazone or ‘bute’ are not allowed to enter the food chain.

“The FSA carries out checks in slaughterhouses to ensure that horses presented for slaughter are fit for human consumption, in the same was as they do for sheep and cattle etc. The FSA also carries out regular enhanced sampling and testing for phenylbutazone in meat from horses slaughtered in the UK.

“In 2012 the FSA identified five cases where horses returned non-compliant results. None of the meat had been placed for sale on the UK market. Where the meat had been exported to other countries, the relevant food safety authorities were informed.”

The FSA added: “During the recent horsemeat incident the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) checked for the presence of phenylbutazone and the samples came back negative.”

The claim that bute could have entered the food chain follows the revelation that burgers sold by Tesco and other supermarkets contained traces of horsemeat. Ten million burgers have been taken off supermarket shelves across Ireland and the UK as a result of the scandal. Suppliers in the Netherlands and Spain have been identified as the possible sources for incorrectly labelled ingredients.

In the aftermath of the revelations last week the former president of the association of public analysts, Dr Duncan Campbell, told the Guardian that it raised question about the safety of meat.

Campbell, who is now the chief public analyst for West Yorkshire, said: “All we know is it is not a beefburger. What is it? We don’t know. Until we know what the source is of the ‘horse’ or ‘something derived from horse’ that has been found in the beef products, we cannot be sure there is no food safety risk.”

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Horse Meat Supplier still Operating in the Netherlands with Authorities Refusing to Name and Shame the Dutch Company

By Keith Gladdis and Claire Ellicott of MailOnline

Of the 13 samples of burger analyzed, nine tested positive for horse DNA
Shocking: Tests carried out at Silvercrest in Ireland have confirmed that a powder imported from Holland caused the contamination

Shocking: Tests carried out at Silvercrest in Ireland have confirmed that a powder imported from Holland caused the contamination

The Dutch meat supplier believed to be responsible for contaminating British burgers with horse meat was still operating last night despite being under investigation.

New DNA tests on burgers made at the Silvercrest processing plant in Ireland have confirmed that an imported protein powder used as a filler to help bulk out the burgers caused the contamination.

It is understood that the supplier of the powder is based in the Netherlands, where authorities have confirmed an investigation is under way.

The same supplier provided the ingredient – usually made from the unwanted parts of a cattle carcass – to another affected company in Ireland called Liffey Meats and the Dalepak processing plant in North Yorkshire.

The Silvercrest factory which makes burgers for outlets including Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, the Co-op and Burger King has temporarily ceased production after two thirds of burgers tested by officials were found to contain horse meat.


But the Dutch authorities last night said the suspected supplier of the powdered protein filler was still in operation because there was no risk to public health.

The Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Agency also refused to name the processor under investigation until a problem was proven or a product recall notice was issued.

A spokesman said: ‘The Irish food safety authority has been in touch and they will take part in an investigation into what happened. There are one or more companies that will be investigated.’

The Irish agriculture minister Simon Coveney yesterday said his department would soon be able to identify the supplier of the filler used in Tesco beefburgers which contained 29% horse meat.

He said: ‘We are close (to knowing the source). We have our suspicions but what’s required now is proof. When we have full facts then we will be able to draw conclusions and name names.’

Horse steaks used to be popular in the Netherlands but its consumption has grown out of fashion in the last 20 years.

However the country remains a major processor of horse meat imported from abroad, largely south America.

And horse meat has been used to bulk out more expensive meat in Dutch snack products in the past.
In 2007 checks on popular Dutch snacks such as bitterballen, meatballs made from a mix of beef and veal, found horsemeat in almost a third (32%) of those tested.

And in 2008 a Dutch consumer affairs programme found horse was still used by many producers of frikandellen, a deep fried hot dog.

Same supplier: Fast food giant Burger King UK was drawn into the row today as it uses the same supplier as supermarkets where burgers were found to contain horse meat

Same supplier: Fast food giant Burger King UK was drawn into the row today as it uses the same supplier as supermarkets where burgers were found to contain horse meat

Initially it was thought a supplier from Spain, where 12,900 tonnes of horse meat were produced last year, could have been another possible source of the outbreak.

But the body which represents beef producers in Spain said they have only supplied cuts of meat to ABP Foods, the company that owns both Silvercrest and Dalepak, and the not powdered beef protein filler blamed for the contamination.

Work was halted at the Silvercrest factory after tests on burgers produced between January 3 and 14.

Of the 13 samples of burger analysed, nine tested positive for horse DNA.

Mr Coveney said the horse meat was found only in very cheap burgers.

He said: ‘When you have a food industry that is driving down costs all the time well then suppliers will look to get the cheapest product.’

Mr Coveney also admitted he ‘did not know’ how long horse meat may have been used in the burgers.

British farming leaders yesterday demanded immediate action by UK supermarkets to improve their sourcing and labelling of food in the wake of the horse meat burger scandal.

The National Farmers Union (NFU) warned that consumer confidence in the UK food industry had been ‘severely undermined’.

NFU president Peter Kendall said the integrity of UK-produced meat was being compromised by the use of cheaper imports which did not meet the same stringent monitoring systems.

He said retailers must take immediate action to address the integrity of their suppliers and ensure that UK products are easily distinguishable and clearly labelled, so customers can make a conscious decision on the food they buy.

Tesco has apologised for selling burgers containing horse meat.

Aldi, Lidl and Iceland have also withdrawn burgers from sale after they were found to contain horse meat.

Sainsbury’s, Asda and the Co-op later withdrew some frozen products but stressed that the move was ‘purely precautionary’ and they had not been found to be selling contaminated food.

Ten million burgers have been taken off supermarket shelves across Ireland and the UK as a result of the scandal.

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UK Burger Factory at a Standstill after MORE Horse Meat is Found in Food Chain

By Sean Poulter, Keith Gladdis and Suzannah Hills of MailOnline

More than ten million burgers removed from sale

Food Chain?Premier Inn has become the latest company to remove thousands of beef burgers from its restaurants over fears they may be contaminated with horse meat as its supplier suspends operations.

The firm at the centre of the horse meat scandal – Irish company ABP – has failed to give the UK hotel chain assurances that their stock has not been contaminated.

It comes as burger supplier announced a temporary closure at its Silvercrest processing plant in Co Monaghan after new tests confirmed the contamination was rife.

A Premier Inn spokesman said: ‘We take the quality of our food very seriously. We asked our supplier, Silvercrest, to give us assurances that the beefburger product supplied to us was not affected by this issue.’After they initially gave us this assurance they have subsequently told us they cannot now give us this guarantee. As a precautionary measure, we therefore immediately took the decision to remove their products from our menus.

‘As we use two beefburger suppliers we have been able to quickly replace all our Silvercrest stock through our alternative provider.’

ABP said fresh tests from burgers produced in the last two weeks confirmed a European processing company – believed to be in Spain or the Netherlands – as the source of contamination.

The unnamed company supplied a meat bulking protein powder that was used in burgers made for supermarkets in Britain and Ireland.

ABP also used the ingredient in the Yorkshire factory run by its Dalepak subsidiary.

Last night the company said: ‘To date, ABP Food Group investigations have centred around two third party EU suppliers.’Following receipt of this evening’s Irish Department of Agriculture results, we believe that we have established the source of the contaminated material to one of these suppliers.

‘However, because equine DNA has been found in finished products tested this week, we have decided that the responsible course of action is to suspend all production at the Silvercrest plant in County Monaghan with immediate effect.

‘This week’s production has not been released from the plant.’

The company also supplies Burger King but last night insisted there was no chance of the fast food chain’s products being contaminated as they are made and stored separately at the plant.

It said: ‘We would like to reiterate that all Burger King products produced by us are stored separately and manufactured on an independent line.

10,000,000 Burgers PulledThere is no evidence of any contamination of raw material used for the manufacture of any Burger King products.’

Irish agriculture minister Simon Coveney said an investigation will continue to establish conclusively the source of the equine DNA.

In Britain, watchdogs are under pressure to test all supermarket frozen beefburgers for the presence of horse meat amid fears of an official cover-up.

The demand came after it emerged that a raft of big brand burgers and grills sold under the Ross, Dalepak, Flamehouse and Thomas Adams names are being withdrawn.

More than ten million burgers have been removed from sale, including more than 100,000 made at the Yorkshire factory of Dalepak, which supplied Iceland.

Labour says comprehensive food tests are needed to let families know how far horse meat contamination has spread into the food supply. The Government has put the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in charge of handling Britain’s response to the scandal, which was uncovered in Ireland.

However, the official watchdog has made efforts to limit the scope of its investigation.

As a result, families may never know the full extent of the contamination of burgers and other beef ready meals using suspect ingredients.

Tesco and Iceland have been selling burgers in the UK that came from batches found to be contaminated with horse meat in tests by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.

Supermarket giant Tesco has placed full-page adverts in a number of national newspapers apologising to customers for selling beefburgers containing horsemeat.

Aldi, Lidl and Iceland have also withdrawn frozen beefburgers from their shelves after they were found to be contaminated with horsemeat.

Although manufacturers Silvercrest and Dalepak also made cheap frozen burgers for other retailers such as Asda, Sainsbury’s and the Co-op, Britain’s FSA said yesterday morning that it had no intention of testing the burgers of these other stores, which were on shelves until they were withdrawn earlier this week.

Even so, Sainsbury’s, Asda and the Co-op have withdrawn some frozen products but stressed that the move was ‘purely precautionary’ and they had not been found to be selling contaminated food.

FSA officials said there was no food safety risk and, therefore, no reason to test.

Later, however, it said: ‘If the FSA investigations being undertaken at the moment reveal that we need to look at additional food products then we will not hesitate to take action which may include further testing.’

Environment minister David Heath defended the Government’s handling of the crisis, telling MPs that UK standards are ‘very high’.

  • A charity said the destruction of ten million burgers would be ‘pure waste’. Dan Crossley of the Food Ethics Council suggested they could be offered free to consumers willing to eat them if it could be shown they were safe.
It's Not Just Burgers
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