USPCA STATEMENT – 16/01/2013 The furore regarding the horsemeat content found in beef burgers comes as no surprise to the USPCA. Equine welfare in Ireland is in crisis and in recent times thousands of unwanted and abandoned horses have been gathered up and corralled across the country awaiting slaughter. Unscrupulous criminal elements have been profiting from these unfortunate animals by exploiting a hopelessly flawed horse passport scheme, lax animal export controls at ports and slaughter houses/processors willing to compromise animal welfare and public safety for a quick profit. Denial of scale and responsibility are now in full swing The Irish Government are playing it down as a glitch with mere traces of horse DNA detected in a few beef burgers. The processors are blaming foreign suppliers for sending contaminated additives Since when did 28% horsemeat content in a burger become a ‘trace’ or an ‘additive’? The authorities have to stop the spin and get real, there are many well-funded agencies charged with ensuring food standards and public health. Who cares about the horses? The USPCA has been subjected to the constant official denial of a problem that has left hundreds of horses, unfit for travel, being hauled around Ireland in pursuit of profit. Denial and inaction will no longer work, we now expect results. David Wilson USPCA Press Office
A HORSE CALLED GONORRHOEA..
you couldn’t make it up… In Ireland hookey horse passports are as common as beaten dockets. All that’s needed is a horse; Its name…. Just make one up. Species…. evident. Sex….. again evident. Year foaled…. a ‘near enough’ guess will do. Vets Stamp….. make your own. Euro23…. not a lot for a potential return of Euro600+ per horse. And a stamped addressed envelope. You can now expect your ‘all clear’ horse passport with no questions asked and with it transform an unfortunate horse, often already deemed as unfit for human consumption, into a tidy wadge of cash. Many horses that are either valueless or in suffering are being corralled in remote farmyards and packed into vehicles for transport to abattoirs in Ireland and the UK. After slaughter many are processed and find their way effortlessly into the European food chain. The USPCA has seen countless such fraudulent passports. Ludicrous names such as ‘ Gonorrhoea’ really do exist; vets stamps with the word veterinarian mis-spelt, multiple applications from known dealers are not questioned. With our colleagues in the SSPCA we have successfully curtailed the once thriving loophole through Larne / Cairnryan, but horses travelling into the Republic for slaughter or onward movement into the UK remain an issue. The USPCA’s primary concern is the treatment meted out to animals who deserve better, we will leave the human consequences with the Food Standards Agency, public health professionals and the supermarkets. Action is long overdue, denial of the problem is no longer an option, we must all ensure the current furore focuses the authorities on taking positive action that both protects consumers and many hundreds of Irish horses.