Every time I look at USDA regulations, I am amazed that these people are in a position that is suppose to safeguard the U.S. food supply as well as the food supply of some other foreign countries.
It is ALL bluster when it comes to the USDA’s responsibilities to regulate our meat supply.
Almost every regulation regarding animals intended for human consumption is at the ‘discretion’ of the Secretary of Agriculture and is ‘performance’ based.
Performance to ship!
Horses are not regulated food animals in the U.S. and the USDA has a system that allows APHIS Veterinarians to endorse a Health Certificate created by an attending Veterinarian – both Veterinarians know that U.S. horses are unregulated food animals, exported for slaughter and human consumption. Unregulated U.S. horses processed into horsemeat could be imported back into the United States!
This is unconscionable!
The Veterinarians claim they are just endorsing the animals ‘health’ – not their drug history or wholesomeness as a food animal. The Health certificate is basically a snapshot of the animals ‘health appearance’ – that they are not ‘noticeably’ sick and may be able to stand long enough to arrive at the slaughter facility. These Veterinarians that sign and endorse the health certificates do so knowing these unregulated horses are entering commerce and a human food chain. The Veterinarians know what is and isn’t a food animal. They are after all, educated in such matters. You could pump a horse full of drugs and off it goes! Then there is the illegal and extralabel drugs used on U.S. horses…. So few are tested for drug residues, that the odds of the adulterated horse being detected is slim to none. The U.S. does not have any requirements or keep any documentation concerning a horses drug history. Veterinarians in the U.S. are typically only required to keep medical histories of animals they tend, for two years. The average age of horses exported for slaughter has been reported to be around 11 years old. Medical histories on horses in the U.S. usually do not transfer from one owner to another and the typical U.S. horse owner doesn’t keep any written records of a horses medical history.
• Vet history = 2 years;
• Avg age of horse exported for slaughter = 11;
• Majority of U.S. horse owners keep no records.
The Veterinarians that sign the health certificates KNOW that the horses are not regulated food animals and the medical histories are unknown. They should not be entering a human food supply chain.
It is not ‘OK’ to knowingly allow contamination of a food supply. Can they really think this is ok? Would they feed it to their children? They might as well be serving it up themselves. They wouldn’t ship without the endorsement.
It is past time to stop blustering about how ‘safe’ our food supply chain is and start actually protecting the humans that are unknowingly eating unregulated U.S. horsemeat under U.S. endorsement.
It is our USDA and Veterinarians endorsing TERRORISM of a human food chain!