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.