Fallen Grand National horses may be slaughtered in the UK.

More than a thousand racehorses a year sent to UK abattoirs

Fallen Grand National may be hauled off to be slaughtered when injuries are too severe. Graphic by Vivian.
Fallen Grand National racehorses may be hauled off to slaughter when injuries are too severe. Graphic by Vivian.

by CAHAL MILMO
Cross-posted from The Independent

The monitoring and tracking of horse numbers in Britain and Ireland is so lax that tens of thousands of animals may have been exported illegally and entered the food chain, experts have warned.

Officials at Aintree have been forced to deny that fatally injured horses could have entered the food chain

The Independent has also established that more than 1,100 racehorses were slaughtered in abattoirs in Britain in 2011, raising the risk that unscrupulous meat trade middlemen have diverted thoroughbreds for human consumption.

Officials at Aintree racecourse, home of the Grand National, have been forced to deny that fatally injured horses could have entered the food chain after it emerged that the owner of a Yorkshire abattoir raided and closed down this week on suspicion of supplying horsemeat to a Welsh processing plant has a contract to remove destroyed animals from the course. There is no evidence that the horses collected from Aintree entered the food chain.

Up to 7,000 unauthorised horse passports have been in circulation since 2008

Up to 7,000 unauthorised horse passports have been in circulation since 2008 after documents continued to be issued in the name of an organisation – The Spotted Horse and Pony Organisation – after it had its licence withdrawn. About 75 different organisations are authorised by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to grant the passports, which critics say makes the system chaotic and vulnerable to fraud.

Animal welfare campaigners said that up to 70,000 horses have been exported from the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland, some of them with records showing they are unfit for human consumption wiped clean with falsified documents.

One of Britain’s leading public health experts said that ministers were wrong to state that horsemeat poses no risk to human health.

Professor Hugh Pennington said that the potential involvement of back-street or poorly run abattoirs in supplying illegal horsemeat raised the danger of contamination by bacteria such as salmonella in processed food products:

“There are issues at the bottom end of the market with meat going under the radar, like the horse meat has been doing.”

bute found in eight out of 206 carcasses tested

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has sought to quell concern about the presence of a veterinary drug – phenylbutazone, or “bute” – in horsemeat that may have entered the food chain after it revealed that bute had been found in eight out of 206 carcasses tested in a seven-day period this month. Read more at independent.co.uk >>

5 thoughts on “More than a thousand racehorses a year sent to UK abattoirs”

  1. A nasty, fraud ridden business throughout the world. These horses are not raised to be food, so those involved from US into Mex & Can to Ire to UK to Romania to France, there are food processing problems and this meat is not safe for Humans.

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    1. 99% of horses are not raised for food. Very few places. The whole horse slaughter industry is corrupt. The so-called “EU food safety net” is also riddled with fraud. A total joke. I have been saying this for years.

      What is it with horse slaughter and food regulations?

      It is the over-breeding by unscrupulous sporting organizations coupled with the fact that horses live upwards of 30 years. What to do with the “has-beens” after 2, 3, or 4 years? Disposible = disgusting. All about money in the end and the incestuous involvement with big business and government – business as usual.

      I really think the entire “food industry”, especially the meat industry is spiraling out of control – so much antibiotics, disease and filth that it will collapse some day at the expense of the very people it sustains. Thankfully I am not part of the meat component.

      And the appetite of these ignorant people who will consume it regardless of the fact it is laced with prohibited drugs. But people are inherently stupid so what can you expect?

      Sorry for the harsh words but I really can’t think of any other reason. It simply disgusts me.

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