Have abandoned Irish horses entered the food chain? Ireland’s burger scandal has health implications
Did the horses that ended up in Irish meat have “clean” passports and drug pasts
Ireland’s abandoned equine issue has reached crisis level. With thousands of unwanted and unregulated horses roaming the Isle and being easily targeted by unscrupulous meat processing practitioners, it begs the question: have abandoned Irish horses entered the food chain? And, more importantly, have those horses contained bute (phenylbutazone)? Bute causes cancer in humans.
While horses are only accepted into the human food chain with "clean" passports – that is having had no prohibited medications like the horse painkiller drug bute, it is difficult to confirm that Irish horses, which have been slaughtered for human consumption, had the required “clean” passport.
Irish horses do not wear ear tags, individually identifying them, which makes their “passport” history questionable. Joseph A. Collins et al., while doing research on Irish equine welfare, claimed, “Dealers openly admitted that they did not necessarily seek horse identification documents (in contravention of the law) when sourcing horses as they could apply to a Horse Passport Issuing Authority of their choice for a new set.”)
Last year Stephen Philpott, spokesperson for the Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (USPCA) stated, "Hundreds of unwanted horses are being rounded up and sold into the food chain using false paperwork. We have been following lorry loads of horses to abattoirs in Ireland, Britain and Europe for months now. We have watched abattoirs being opened up late at night so people can deliver lorry loads of horses and have them slaughtered in the middle of the night.” And, several days ago, British MP, Mary Creagh, reported that she “..... is in receipt of evidence showing that several horses slaughtered in UK abattoirs last year tested positive for phenylbutazone, or bute. It is possible that those animals entered the human food chain."
While the issue of illegal horse meat processing needs to be addressed, it seems that the underlying deeper issue that is culminating into this crisis is Ireland’s unregulated and overpopulation of equidae. As a result of the Celtic Tiger, Ireland’s equine ownership increased to the highest horse population per capita in Europe. During the boom, the horse, along with a golf club membership, a Mercedes Benz, and a sprawling house, became a symbol of status. Thousands of horses were purchased, some as pets, and some for racing. Ordinary farm lands were acquired as stud farms, and breeders turned out thoroughbreds that fetched as much as €1 million. The number of registered foals shot up 40 per cent between the years 2000 and 2007.
However, when the global recession hit, the sale price of horses plummeted. Top-class thoroughbreds sold for as little as €300,000, and non-thoroughbreds became almost worthless. According to Seán MacConnell of the Irish Times, “Horses have become so devalued in Dublin they have been swapped for a mobile phone…..”
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I wonder if the Governor of Virginia put up similar protests on behalf of his constituents when the slave trade was outlawed everywhere else but his mGay teacher fired from Catholic school after applying for same-sex marriage license
Stevenstar , I live in Ireland and I can emphatically say that 75% of Irish people do NOT believe in gay "marriage " . The idea is regardedNelson Mandela was against IRA decommissioning its arms during 2000 talks
You're right, Fergananim, about Americans not grasping the Irish weariness with IRA activities into the late 20th century. Americans find the idea ofAn open letter in strong defence of capitalism to Pope Francis
Yes, capitalism is very good at providing an abundance of low value items such as food and electronics, just so long as the State (the nation) provide