NGOs call to stop the imports of cruelly produced horsemeat


NGOs call to stop the imports of cruelly produced horsemeat

16 July 2021
On 7 July, Eurogroup for Animals and Animal Welfare Foundation/Tierschutzbund Zürich (AWF/TSB) met with the European Commission to discuss the systematic violations of EU animal welfare and traceability requirements in the production of horsemeat imported into the EU.

Joined by Animals’ Angels US and by the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses (Australia), the NGOs presented the results of many investigations underlining the need for the EU to act and suspend horsemeat imports coming from Uruguay, Argentina, Australia and Canada. 

These investigations show that, in the production of such meat, there are systematic violations of animal welfare requirements in slaughterhouses located in these countries, as well as significant shortcomings in terms of traceability. 

Back in 2014, similar issues led to the suspension of horsemeat imports from Mexico. One could argue that the situation is even more serious with Australia, Canada, Uruguay and Argentina as in the cases of Australia and Canada, drug residues were found either in horses slaughtered or in the meat dispatched to the EU, and in the cases of Uruguay and Argentina, there were evidence that the audits were manipulated by removing or replacing horses ahead of the announced inspections. 

It is high time for the EU to ensure its imports-related requirements are respected. It’s also a question of protecting EU consumers - who are expecting a certain level of food safety and animal welfare standards - especially as, at the moment, indicating the origin of horsemeat on labels is not mandatory. 

Suspending imports and working with the partners to get animal welfare and traceability standards at the required level would be the most effective way to engage and ensure the progress are not only cosmetic changes. 

Eurogroup for Animals and AWF/TSB will continue their effort to demonstrate the need for the EU to act in this field, supported by more than 150,000 citizens (and counting - if you haven’t, feel free to sign the petition).