Another grave concern is the health risk inherent in eating horsemeat. The FVO, the EU authority responsible for the inspection of the slaughter plants, has repeatedly informed the EU Commission that the systems in place regarding identification and medical treatment of horses are insufficient to guarantee EU standards. Particularly with regard to Canada, the USA, Mexico, Argentina and Uruguay, the FVO has raised concerns about traceability and the risk of drug residues in horsemeat.
The animal welfare advocates and EU officials discussed the conditions for horses destined to be sold as horsemeat for European tables, EU certification of these slaughterhouses, how animal transport regulations of exporting countries differ from those of the European Union, and emphasized that there is a lack of monitoring plans in exporting countries to ensure that these horses are treated humanely until their deaths.
"Since a great percentage of the horsemeat sold in Europe is ultimately sourced from the U.S., it's imperative that the EU lawmakers have relevant evidentiary material in order to make educated decisions on this issue. Animals' Angels is the only U.S. group ever invited to meet with the EU Commission on the issue of horse slaughter," said Meadows. "We, and our European partners, will continue to do all we can to stop the slaughter of horses, by ending the importation of horsemeat into Europe."