David Duquette, Equine Program Director for Protect the Harvest, is concerned the EU ban will have unintended consequences for American horses:
Rather than stemming the flow of America horses to processing plants in Mexico, Duquette believes the ban will simply increase supply of horsemeat for sale in other markets.
“All this means is that Mexican horse meat won’t be sold to the EU,” he opined. “Buyers can still purchase horses for processing in Mexico for the Russian and the Chinese markets, which are both much bigger markets.”
He also believes the ban will have welfare consequences for American horses intended for processing in Mexico: “The (Russian and Chinese) markets don’t have the same animal welfare regulations the EU has, and the ban will just eliminate all the welfare regulations the EU has. The ban will hurt the horses anti-slaughter groups are trying to help.”
The EU ban is effective immediately.
In addition, the ban is conditional. The European Union prepared a detailed list of recommendations (changes) that need to be addressed [Read Full Report]. Given time, the recommendations will addressed, changes will be implemented and the plants will reopen.
Note: the difference between Mexican and Canadian slaughter is that Mexico takes everything – old, sick, thin, and lame. There is very little oversight and many instances of poor conditions for horses awaiting slaughter. Canada only accepts young, healthy horses. Canada inspects horse’s paper work and condition. The care in Canada is better (acceptable given the nature of the facility). Many killbuyers deliver horses to both Canada and Mexico. They make the decision on which horses go where depending on their visible inspection at the auction or in their own killpens.