Fifty MEPs have called on the European Commission to immediately stop the import of Argentinian horse meat.
Meat from stolen and non-earmarked horses appears to end up in the food chain via Argentinian slaughterhouses on a large scale. This is shown by new research from the Animal Welfare Foundation and the Swiss Tierschutzbund Zurich.
Official EU controls confirm the lack of traceability of origin and food safety. Europe imports about ten million kilos of horse meat from Argentina every year. Most of it goes to the Netherlands. Horse meat is often used in meat sticks, goulash and other ready-to-eat products.
The 50 MEPs point out that Europe stopped the import of Mexican horsemeat in 2014 after similar findings. The European Commission is not acting consistently and should also stop the import of Argentinian horsemeat, as they say there are similar conditions.
“Horse meat is really hidden in a lot of snacks. Consumers often do not even know that frikandellen or bitterballen in the supermarket or cafeteria are filled with horse meat, until they study all the ingredients, ”said Dutch MEP Anja Hazekamp.
“It is irresponsible that we allow horse meat from stolen and untraceable animals. This poses risks to food safety. In addition, horses are stolen structurally, even from private owners and shelters, after which the animals are sold to slaughterhouses with false papers. Europe must not participate in this organized crime ”.