The European Fee has rejected pleas to droop horsemeat imports from Argentina for meals security and animal welfare causes.
Some Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) referred to as for the ban in a written query in December. Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Well being and Meals Security, replied on behalf of the EU Fee in March.
The Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals mentioned a documentary by the Animal Welfare Basis (AWF) in Germany and Tierschutzbund Zürich (TSB) in Switzerland revealed that the security of horsemeat imported from Argentina is in danger, as unidentified or untagged and stolen horses with cast paperwork are getting into the meals chain by meeting facilities and slaughterhouses.
“The sanitary and phytosanitary requirements which might be being utilized are worrying, as sick and injured horses, pregnant mares and horses with an unknown drug historical past are getting into the meals chain uncontrolled. Official EU audits have confirmed that there are traceability points. Latest investigations, included on this documentary, show that up to date Argentinian legal guidelines on traceability and animal welfare haven’t modified this case,” they mentioned.
Kyriakides mentioned the Fee is conscious of the allegations on horsemeat manufacturing in Argentina. There was a DG Sante audit on bovine and ovine recent meat within the nation in 2020.
“The Fee takes actions to make sure that the union laws is revered and the import necessities for horsemeat are fulfilled. These actions are taken consistent with union laws and, within the case of third international locations, additionally consistent with the union’s worldwide obligations throughout the World Commerce Group,” she wrote.
“The Fee bases its actions on official controls and on the outcomes of its audits, together with audits in Argentina and different international locations. When audits have recognized shortcomings, they’ve resulted in suggestions for corrective actions, together with on traceability.
“The Fee fastidiously assess the actions taken by the international locations to handle the suggestions. Within the case of Argentina, suggestions involved the development of official controls in horse assortment centres, appropriate enforcement of nationwide laws on veterinary medicines and a correct implementation of autopsy inspection.”
Figures from advocacy teams state round 17,000 tons of horsemeat is imported yearly to the EU and Switzerland. Argentina is the most important exporter of horsemeat to the EU with 9,830 tons in 2019, in accordance with AWF.
Argentina vs. Mexico
Anja Hazekamp, president of the Intergroup for the Welfare and Conservation of Animals, mentioned the commerce and slaughter of horses of unclear origin is inflicting animal welfare points in addition to well being and meals security dangers.
“Horsemeat finally ends up indistinguishable in processed merchandise, usually offered in snack bars and cafeterias, so shoppers could even be unaware of what they’re really consuming. There aren’t any excuses for the European Fee to look the opposite method any longer. The import of horsemeat from abroad must be instantly stopped,” she mentioned.
An EU suspension on horsemeat from Mexico got here into power in 2015 following findings of an audit.
MEPs additionally requested why the EU’s actions relating to Argentinian and Mexican horsemeat had been completely different.
Kyriakides mentioned in Mexico, the audits discovered that horses handled with unauthorised veterinary medicinal merchandise had been slaughtered for human consumption and additional export to the EU.
“This was confirmed by the outcomes of assessments carried out at EU borders. As a consequence, the EU took measures to ban imports of horsemeat from Mexico. Actions taken by Mexico to handle the recognized shortcomings will probably be fastidiously assessed earlier than such exports can resume.”
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