The European Commission’s Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) conducted an announced audit into the horse slaughter industry in Brazil last year and found grave concerns regarding not just drug residues, but animal welfare during transport as well. This goes to confirm what we have documented numerous times in our investigations: horse slaughter is the same the world over — it is a cruel and predatory business with a serious lack of traceability.
The FVO reported that, as we expected, Brazil’s 2014 and 2015 residue monitoring plans cannot provide guarantees to meet EU food safety standards.
- "The design and implementation of the 2014 and 2015 residue monitoring plans for equidae cannot demonstrate equivalent guarantees as provided for in Council Directive 96/23/EC, in order to remain listed in the Annex to Commission Decision 2011/163/EU. The rearing conditions of the majority of equidae used for production of meat that are in pasture land all their lives and subject to minimum veterinary treatments could be a mitigating factor."
Regarding animal welfare, the FVO audit noted:
- “While animal welfare requirements were met during slaughter, serious animal welfare concerns are raised as the procedures in place did not ensure that weak animals are not delivered to the slaughterhouse.”
- “…the data available on the percentage of animals arriving dead or extremely weak points to serious animal welfare problems prior to or during transport…”
We’re glad to at least see that animal welfare issues were addressed and reported on during this audit. Animals' Angels continues to urge the EU Commission to ban the import of horse meat products.
You can read the full 2015 FVO Audit here.