Five years ago, in Southern Tuscany a well known equestrian center had thirteen horses stolen in the middle of the night. The stable manager woke up in the morning to feed the horses, and simply found every single box and field empty. Gone without a traced
These horses were not meat horses. They were warmblood showjumpers, arabian trail horses, purebred haflingers for childrens pony camps… and they almost certainly ended up butchered at a clandestine equine butcher.
Two years ago there was a scandal in Italy when it was discovered that noted vets were signing off and creating false passports for racehorses that were never to meant to be killed for human consumption, as well as many other riding horses that had ended up in dealers hands also ‘privy of their passports’. These horses ended up on the commercial meat trade. Ended up in peoples supermarket trolleys and on their dinner plates. These horses were probably full of performance enhancing drugs, bute etc, and aside from the moral implications of slaughtering horses that should never have gone down that one way road – they were not fit to be consumed by animal or human.
The United Kingdom as well as France, Sweden, and Holland have confirmed that horsemeat is present or likely to be present in products that have been sold as containing 100% beef.
A sickening discovery for those that love horses and would never dream of eating their flesh by choice, and on a bigger scale, a wakeup call for all of us that buy meat products without thinking it may have been tampered with. If you buy beef, then you expect beef. You dont expect to find pork or horsemeat in these products. It has been doscovered that in prisoners ‘halal meat’ that there are traces of pork – outrageous in a religious sense, and something that has justly caused outrage throughout Europe and further afield.
Jamie Doward at The Observer stated “experts within the horse slaughter industry have told the Observer there is evidence that both Polish and Italian mafia gangs are running multimillion-pound scams to substitute horsemeat for beef during food production.”
“Coffee, water, fruit, bread, milk, meat, cheese, and even biscuits are all products of organized crime,” says author and journalist Roberto Saviano, who lives under police protection after receiving death threats from the Neapolitan Camorra, one of Italy’s Naples-based organized-crime syndicates.
According to a January 2012 parliament report the Mafia in Italy “controls agricultural and food businesses worth 12.5 billion euros ($16 billion) a year, or 5.6 percent of all criminal operations in the country” as reported by Reuters: “organised crime has spread its involvement through the entire food chain from acquisition of farmland to production, from transport to supermarkets.” http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/07/29/italy-s-mob-extends-its-reach-into-daily-life.html
In Italy people are not outraged by the slaughter of horses. In this country it is part of the cultural norm, and sad as it is for any horselover – it must be accepted. But to have horses stolen, carted from far away countries, and subjected to horrific treatment before their death. This affects even the hardest horsemeat consumer. Now the fact that this meat is also present in products that are marketed as having 100% bovine meat – well that opens up a new dillema, and thankfully, finally.. people are starting to get upset about it.
Tagged: 100% beef horsemeat, 100% horsemeat, clandestine equine butcher, horse meat organized crime, horse slaughter, horses stolen for meat, immediate testing" of meat products, international criminal conspiracy