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Foreign Correspondent: Race To The Bottom, The Horse Meat Trade

World  (tags: Ireland, Food, crime, ethics, horse meat, government, politics )

- 2100 days ago -
When Ireland's Food Standards Authority announced that it had found beef products sold by popular food brands contaminated with horse meat, it was the start of a scandal that spread around Europe and to parts of Asia.


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Kit B (276)
Sunday September 22, 2013, 8:25 am
Photo Credit: pub mtholyoke .ed

**Please do watch the video for best understanding this problem.

When Ireland’s Food Standards Authority announced that it had found beef products sold by popular food brands contaminated with horsemeat, it was the start of a scandal that spread around Europe and to parts of Asia.

“We found with one product that about one third horse DNA in it which was just, you know an incredible finding. And we double checked and we triple checked because we understood that if we were to go out public with such a story, it was going to have quite an effect.” Alan Reilly, CEO, Food Standards Authority

Many Europeans are happy to eat horse and in some countries it’s considered a bit of delicacy, but consumers in the UK and Ireland were upset and angry.

What many didn’t realise, though, is where a lot of the horsemeat was coming from, and why.

“Nobody cared and that’s the bottom line in this whole story, nobody cared. Nobody bothered asking the question, where are all the Irish horses going?” Stephen Philpott, Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

One man, animal rights activist Stephen Philpott knew the answer because for the previous couple of years he’d been running a surveillance operation on gangs smuggling thousands of unwanted Irish horses across the border for illegal slaughter.

He’s uncovered a criminal conspiracy that’s netted millions, and seriously undermined consumer confidence in processed food.

Tragically, the abandoned horses are an unexpected and little reported consequence of the global financial crisis. As Campbell finds, when Ireland’s economy was booming and the housing bubble was at its biggest, every Irish builder bought a horse and joined a racing syndicate.

When the bubble burst, the animals were the first thing to go – dumped and left to fend for themselves in parks, fields and by the side of the road.

It wasn’t long before criminal gangs got in on the action. One whistleblower who is now in fear of his life tells Campbell horses too weak to travel were routinely drugged to make sure they arrived at the abattoir still alive – where they were then killed and their meat illegally entered the food chain.

By: Eric Campbell | Foreign Corespondent News Report |


Kit B (276)
Sunday September 22, 2013, 8:27 am

I watched this last evening on TV and was repulsed, angry, upset and frustrated that I felt so impotent to do something. That is why I'm sharing this here. I do hope some one at Care 2 knows how we can help.

JL A (281)
Sunday September 22, 2013, 8:54 am
Thanks Kit--I share your hopes.

Arielle S (313)
Sunday September 22, 2013, 11:11 am
It's stuff like this that makes me glad I don't have charge of the red buttons....

Fiona Ogilvie (562)
Sunday September 22, 2013, 1:14 pm
Gagging. Ugh.

. (0)
Sunday September 22, 2013, 1:49 pm
I ate horse meat once back in the late 50s. It wasn't bad but it was definitely different than anything I had ever tasted. Yep horse meat today is big business. What are the Irish going to do about it?

Kit B (276)
Sunday September 22, 2013, 1:54 pm

Watch the report and find out, Michael. The problem is much bigger than just Ireland, but there is a reason that horses were taken in Ireland. I don't want to know what it tastes like.

Sheila D (194)
Sunday September 22, 2013, 2:36 pm
Remind me to never buy any meat in EU, and especially in Asia...they include other unmentionable meats. Agree with your hope that something can be done about this widespread problem. Just think we, in America, will soon have horsemeat...wonder if it'll make into our ground beef. Sorry can't give Kit and Arielle stars...wouldn't it be nice to be able to push those red buttons?? Wishful thinking, again.

marie T (163)
Sunday September 22, 2013, 4:45 pm
Oh Yuk My friend ate meatballs in Ikeya and they admitted horse meat but people are funny all is forgiven Ikeya is heaving again .
Years ago I would never eat red meat in France as I knew they ate horse meat I think they still do

Twyla Sparks (208)
Sunday September 22, 2013, 7:00 pm
I just don't know how people can condone this. Its sick

Past Member (0)
Sunday September 22, 2013, 11:00 pm

Patricia H. (440)
Monday September 23, 2013, 1:01 am
sadly noted

Jaime Alves (52)
Monday September 23, 2013, 6:00 am

Carmen S (611)
Monday September 23, 2013, 6:55 pm
Thanks Kit, hope something can be done.

Sandra K. Walker (92)
Friday September 27, 2013, 10:36 am
Read and was sick to see horse burger.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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