American Horse Meat Too Toxic for Europe

Contaminated by doping

Ryan O'Hanlon

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The days of Europeans eating American racehorses could be coming to an end. Retired and damaged American racehorses are routinely shipped to Canada and Mexico, where horse slaughter is legal, to be sold for consumption in Europe and elsewhere. (Horsemeat remains a delicacy in Europe, particularly in Paris, among older generations.) But European officials have notified Mexican and Canadian slaughterhouses that the meat may be too toxic for human consumption—and some slaughterhouses have already started turning away American racehorse meat.

The move highlights a growing illegal drug-use problem in horseracing, a byproduct of which is tainted and toxic meat. While horses sent to Canada or Mexico are required by law to be kept free of certain drugs for six months before slaughter, European Commission officials maintain that that information can easily be falsified. Around 10 to 15 percent of the 138,000 horses sent for slaughter in 2010 were estimated to be racehorses.

Via New York Times

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