Animals' Angels
Email Alert
February 2009
Animals' Angels
phone: 410-848-3153
fax: 410-848-0213
- Tainted horsemeat shipped to Europe ?
- New horse slaughter plant in Mexico obtains approval from European Union 
- Animals' Angels latest investigation in Mexico

Mexican plant obtains approval from the European Union to slaughter horses for the European market

 Bad news for our horses: A third horse slaughter plant operating under the name
"Empacadora De Carnes Unidad Ganadera, S.A. De C.V." has been added to the list of EU approved plants in Mexico. The plant, which is located in Aguascalientes, will share the market with the two already existing plants in Jerez and Fresnillo. The request to be approved for horse slaughter by the EU was filed on July 25, 2008; One month later the plant, which slaughters swine and cattle since 1997, received the approval.
Mexico is one of the main suppliers of horsemeat to Belgium and the Netherlands. In 2008, the Jerez plant, which is owned by the Dutch company Visser & Van Walsum, shipped more than 4 Million pounds of horsemeat to Rotterdam. The Belgium company Multimeat N.V imported more than 9 Million pounds from the Fresnillo plant.

Animals' Angels investigators document the transport of American horses to slaughter plant in Mexico 

 Animals' Angels investigators followed three trucks, loaded with horses doomed for slaughter, from the US border to the slaughter plant in Jerez, Mexico. (Distance: 805 Miles)
horse trucks in Mexico  
Nobody checked the condition of the horses during the 18 hour trip. The horses on the open trailer appeared to be in severe distress. They were crammed in too tight, with no protection from the elements. They were constantly hitting their heads on the low metal pipes across the top of the trailer. Some held their heads low during the entire journey.
 horse with head down on open deck trailer

European Commission inspection in Mexico reveals that the national measures in place to control drug residues in horse meat are insufficient  

Inspectors from the Food and Veterinary office of the European Commission visited Mexico from February 13-21, 2008. Among other places, they inspected one of the horse slaughter plants that is exporting meat to the European Union. 

Several shortcomings in the application of residues control were identified. Their findings included:
- Hormones and beta-agonists are authorized for growth promotion in inter alia horses.(meat of which is currently exported to the EU)
- The National Residue Control Plan does not test for nitroimidazoles, although essential to include for equine.  There is no testing for phenylbutazone, ampicillin, dexamethason and other highly relevant residues.
- The two horse slaughter plants exporting to the EU have implemented a voluntary system of sales declarations. The owner/shipper has to confirm that the animal has not been treated with any substance listed in Annex I to Council Directive 96/23/EC. However, the system is not applied to any horse imported from the US for immediate slaughter.
Sonja Meadows
Executive Director
Animals' Angels Inc.
Animals' Angels is a 501 (c)(3) non profit organization incorporated in Maryland. All donations are greatly appreciated and tax deductible. 
Thank you!