A discussion paper has been posted on the CHDC website:
What the New European Union Requirements for Imported Equine Meat Will Mean to North America’s Horse Industry (posted on the CHDC website):
This paper discusses Canada’s planned compliance with the new European Commission (EC) measures for countries that export equine meat to Europe, and the impact they will have on North America’s horses. While the new rules are a positive step towards a necessary identification system for our horses, there are several major deficiencies with the measures Canada plans to implement. Most notably, there are several medications not permitted for equines slaughtered for food, including Phenylbutazone or “Bute” – the horse industry’s most widely used analgesic and anti-inflammatory medication. So commonly used, this drug alone precludes virtually all race and professional sport horses, as well as most pleasure horses, from entering the human food chain. Canada’s $90 million horsemeat and live slaughter horse industry is at a turning point. The 2009 announcement from the EC concerning drug residues in slaughter horses (details below) will have an immediate impact on all aspects of the horse industry when it goes into effect at the end of July. It has been a long-term concern for horse welfare proponents, since horses ingest and are administered veterinary medical agents not intended for food animals, that horsemeat is unsafe for human consumption. For this reason, these new EC regulations are seen as beneficial concerning protection of the human food chain. However, these new rules only address the concerns of the consumer, and don’t take the welfare of the horses affected into account. This paper will discuss the new regulations, as well as address the concerns of the horse welfare community related to the required quarantine of horses and the withdrawal of veterinary medical products for horses destined for slaughter. We will also discuss the obvious deficiencies and likely conditions that will develop as this new program evolves.