Package of horse meat, Switzerland, likely full of yummy cancerous toxins.

Toxic Irish horse meat sold on the black market in Europe

Package of horse meat, Switzerland, likely full of yummy cancerous toxins.
Buyer beware. Package of horse meat, Switzerland, probably full of yummy cancerous toxins.

Many horse lovers say, let people hellbent on eating horse meat suffer the consequences.

This what they typically refer to.

Horses are not traditional food animals. Except in very rare cases horses are not raised for slaughter for human consumption. Therefore horse meat contains toxic residues from drugs widely given to horses throughout their lives.

One such drug is phenylbutazone, commonly called bute.

Bute is a banned substance. Meat from a horse who has been administered bute in his or her lifetime is, according to EU regulations, never allowed to enter the human food chain. There is no withdrawal period; these residues do not “cook out”; they are potentially carcinogenic.

Yet, in an article by the Belfast Telegraph, they report that Irish horse meat is ending up in European restaurants. The meat comes from ponies to former racehorses.

Horse slaughter is a predatory business, and kill buyers who supply the slaughterhouses stop at nothing to get their hands on as many horses as they can. Just like anywhere else this sort of trading goes on, the selling of horses to slaughter is highly lucrative.

“Animal investigators have said criminal gangs, who advertise on the internet for unwanted horses, are shipping the Irish horse meat across the channel making millions out of the dangerous operation.”, the article states.

These gangs know nothing about the history of these horses, or the types of drugs they have been given.

Particularly alarming is this statement in reference to bute, as told to the Daily Mirror:

“This drug has been found to cause leukaemia in children.”

Since the article states that gangs are “shipping the Irish horse meat”, this heavily implies it is sold on the black market, available to anyone who wants to buy it including restaurants, and the horses are slaughtered by backyard butchers.

5 thoughts on “Toxic Irish horse meat sold on the black market in Europe”

  1. My husband is in Ireland and following this story and contacted me just a short while ago saying this is indeed going on. However it is being carried out – not by Irish gangs – but by a segment of the non-Irish population living there.

    I myself know for a fact that buying horses for the slaughterhouse is a lucrative business, but have never heard of anyone making “millions”. I felt that was a gross exaggeration. -Ed.


  2. i am not going to get into a debate about the actual slaughtering of horses but having read the 2 page article in yesterdays daily mirror, indeed they have published several similar investigation articles as have the belfast telegraph and irish sunday times, i am outraged at the accusations and total rubbish these papers can publish.
    i live in south armagh and buy alot of horses that would otherwise head for the slaughterhouses.
    the papers published that 2 men were arrested on 1st may in cairnryan port carrying cannabis in a horselorry. that is the only part of the whole article that is true.
    they then state that the lorry had slaughter horses travelling from the roi to eng. there were infact 2 horses coming to ni from eng, a hunter and a harness horse. they then provide a detailed account of how vets, police and authorities discovered tens of thousands of pounds in cash hidden inside the horses????
    as for the chief uspca inspector….. gloryhunting, shouldnt the uspca be provideing us with fact?
    i certainly have never seen or heard of horses being sold for 5 to 15 pounds and i dont know of any criminal gangs or infact anyone in ireland earning millions illegally dealing in slaughterhorses or any backstreet butchers. there are definatly huge problems with passports and microchips that need addressing but the absolute rubbish the irish papers are writing is definatly only for the general public to be aghast at. i didnt read a word of truth,
    so irish papers…and the uspca, lets have a proper investigation with names, evidence and financial facts


    1. To South Armage……..Bottom line there are NO HORSES that ever deserve to go to slaughter AT ALL. We in America don’t eat our companion animals…I my self would choose other options for the end of life rather than slaughter!


    2. American horses – whether from the black market or from “legitimate” sources – don’t even have passports or microchips. None of our horses are regulated in any way. They are non-food animals here and many, many of their medications and other widely used products contain substances that are very dangerous for humans to consume. That article got it right about bute. Even minute amounts of residue can cause aplastic anemia in children.

      Bute is one of the most widely prescribed meds in equine veterinary practice here. I can’t imagine a horse not having had at least a gram or two during their ENTIRE lifetime.

      Personally, I think people that eat horses at all are nuts. There is NO guarantee of their safety. Besides, Americans consider their horses to be companions, friends and family members.


  3. Bottom line anyone that eats horse meat knows they are companion animals….Sorry to value the horse more than the human…. they get what they deserve….In this case ignorance does not apply…….To bad we can’t give the kill buyers and the IT’S that do the slaughter a huge dose of BUTE!!!!!!!I’m with the many people who beleive these people deserve what they get maybe if they get sick enought they’ll stop eating our precious four-legged friends……..Keep in mind we love our horses !!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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