Horsemeat scandal: UK official claims bute may have entered food chain

by | 02.14.2013 | 7:43am

A British government official said early Thursday that three horse carcasses that had tested positive for the equine drug phenylbutazone may have entered the food chain in France in the last few weeks.

Environment minister David Heath told the House of Commons that eight carcasses from British abattoirs had tested positive for bute, and that “three may have entered the food chain in France. The remaining five have not gone into the food chain.”

Heath said that the Findus food products found to contain horsemeat had all tested negative for bute.

  • William Webb

    Good!
    Spread the word to Europeans that horse meat from North America is likely loaded with such a variety of drugs that consumption may cause diners  to grow a third ear. Frighten the consumer and demand will disappear.

    H. William Webb

    • nu-fan

      And, then, figure out what the U.S. is going to do with so many unwanted horses, whether former racing ones or others.  That will be the next hurdle to overcome if U.S. horses are banned from slaughter for consumption.  Maybe, some will go to dog food but that industry has also stepped up their efforts to have products free from anything that might be harmful to pets.  The U.S., U.K., and many other countries have a population that have become serious advocates for the safety of their pets.  Just have to look at the increase in sales of higher priced premium brands.   

  • William Webb

    Good!
    Spread the word to Europeans that horse meat from North America is likely loaded with such a variety of drugs that consumption may cause diners  to grow a third ear. Frighten the consumer and demand will disappear.

    H. William Webb

  • ziggypop

    Of course it has! We have been talking about this for years and years.

    Perfect example…Backstreet Bully.

  • ziggypop

    Of course it has! We have been talking about this for years and years.

    Perfect example…Backstreet Bully.

  • Gail0625

    You think!!!!   They should test for other drugs too.  We, in the states, have been screaming this for years.  There isn’t a horse that I know of in the US that hasn’t had bute and other drugs that are not for human consumption.  Where have these people been?

    • nu-fan

      But, except for websites devoted to horses and horseracing (such as this one), I never, before, had heard of the issue of horses and drugs.  The mainstream media hasn’t covered it as far as I’ve been aware.  This morning, however, my local NBC news coverage did do a short report on it.  Television is where a lot of people, at least, the general population, gets their information.  It will be interesting to see what, if any, impact this kind of news coverage will do to address the issue of drugs and horseracing.

  • Gail0625

    You think!!!!   They should test for other drugs too.  We, in the states, have been screaming this for years.  There isn’t a horse that I know of in the US that hasn’t had bute and other drugs that are not for human consumption.  Where have these people been?

  • Roisin

    Dare I pose the question of wheather there could be an element of ulterior motive  behind some of the push for drug free horses ?

    • nu-fan

      Roisin:  You’ve got my curiosity going with your question.  Any hint of what you are thinking of?  

      • Roisin

        Some horses enter the slaughter pipeline soon after they leave the track. Any positive test could result in a ban or at least slow down the transport of the horses. That would mean loss of money not to mention the problem of what do with the horses.
         Many such horses are from the low level claiming ranks and are likely to have drugs in their systems.

        • nu-fan

          Thank you.  This makes sense.

    • Thevoiceoftruth69

      Even if horses run drug free on raceday the chances of a horse not receiving bute in its lifetime are remote.   Bute is an effective medication that has and will always have a role in equine health maintenance.   99% of non-racing people who own horses have some bute laying around.  You can take that to the bank.

      • Roisin

        Yes, that is true and even some of the topical products I use have warn they are not for use on horses intended for human consumption.

        The bottom line is, horses have always had a different role in our history and are not raised as a human food source.

        Those that promote slaughter and the horsemeat market need to do some serious thinking besides making money. 

  • Roisin

    Dare I pose the question of wheather there could be an element of ulterior motive  behind some of the push for drug free horses ?

  • nu-fan

    Roisin:  You’ve got my curiosity going with your question.  Any hint of what you are thinking of?  

  • Francis Bush

    Individuals with arthritis who ate the bute ought to be feeling better. Something good may have come out of this afterall.

  • Francis Bush

    Individuals with arthritis who ate the bute ought to be feeling better. Something good may have come out of this afterall.

  • nu-fan

    But, except for websites devoted to horses and horseracing (such as this one), I never, before, had heard of the issue of horses and drugs.  The mainstream media hasn’t covered it as far as I’ve been aware.  This morning, however, my local NBC news coverage did do a short report on it.  Television is where a lot of people, at least, the general population, gets their information.  It will be interesting to see what, if any, impact this kind of news coverage will do to address the issue of drugs and horseracing.

  • nu-fan

    And, then, figure out what the U.S. is going to do with so many unwanted horses, whether former racing ones or others.  That will be the next hurdle to overcome if U.S. horses are banned from slaughter for consumption.  Maybe, some will go to dog food but that industry has also stepped up their efforts to have products free from anything that might be harmful to pets.  The U.S., U.K., and many other countries have a population that have become serious advocates for the safety of their pets.  Just have to look at the increase in sales of higher priced premium brands.   

  • Mando02

    owners,trainers and breeders have to be responsible for the horse. The spin machine continues to spew out horses are starving,owners turning them loose etc… These kind of actions are punishable by laws! A very inhumane end when a horse enters the slaughter pipeline. http://www.kaufmanzoning.net

    Puerto Rico has a program that will euth race horses that cannot be placed.

  • nu-fan

    Of course those who owned and bred these horses should be held responsible but have they been held accountable?  From what I’ve seen, locally, there isn’t much in punishment that is handed down.  It seems that this problem is dumped onto the few wonderful people who can and do rescue them.  But, are there enough who are capable of doing so?  While euthanizing is more acceptable than slaughtering, shouldn’t the root of the problem be addressed?  Too many unwanted horses.  Why? 

    • RedShoesGirl

      why? too many people trying to breed the next secretariat or zenyatta. every horse that has won a couple of grade 1 or 2 races is being promoted as a stud or quality broodmare by those interested in the bottom line. breeders large and small do not care about the number of horses being born every year, many of them unsuitable for racing. where do those foals go?

      • nu-fan

        Agreed!

    • Mando02

      I respect and admire the countless number of people that step up to rescue,rehab and train a OTB.This issue is getting addressed slowly with programs for OTB’s.

      I may be speculating but many breeders in all breeds of equines have cut back due to the hay supply and the grain commodities sure shot up when the fed did QE 2! or3???   It is getting cost prohibative to raise foals for some,although yes some will keep on ,no plan and no way to sustain the mare and foal! We will always see animal abuse,been going on forever.Some just cannot understand what responsible means! When you raise or take in a domestic animal ,you are their world.

      Time will tell with this issue(horse slaughter) .With the awareness,(finally!) of bute and other drugs that are given and not just for racing! Hopefully our horses will soon be safe from the awful trade of horsemeat!

  • nu-fan

    Of course those who owned and bred these horses should be held responsible but have they been held accountable?  From what I’ve seen, locally, there isn’t much in punishment that is handed down.  It seems that this problem is dumped onto the few wonderful people who can and do rescue them.  But, are there enough who are capable of doing so?  While euthanizing is more acceptable than slaughtering, shouldn’t the root of the problem be addressed?  Too many unwanted horses.  Why? 

  • Thevoiceoftruth69

    Even if horses run drug free on raceday the chances of a horse not receiving bute in its lifetime are remote.   Bute is an effective medication that has and will always have a role in equine health maintenance.   99% of non-racing people who own horses have some bute laying around.  You can take that to the bank.

  • RedShoesGirl

    why? too many people trying to breed the next secretariat or zenyatta. every horse that has won a couple of grade 1 or 2 races is being promoted as a stud or quality broodmare by those interested in the bottom line. breeders large and small do not care about the number of horses being born every year, many of them unsuitable for racing. where do those foals go?

  • Roisin

    Yes, that is true and even some of the topical products I use have warn they are not for use on horses intended for human consumption.

    The bottom line is, horses have always had a different role in our history and are not raised as a human food source.

    Those that promote slaughter and the horsemeat market need to do some serious thinking besides making money. 

  • Meyer1127

    Ag-Gag Laws Help Agribusiness Hide Health Risks in Your Food.And they are working overtime to bring back horse slaughter houses in the U.S. so they can mix it all together like Europe with no way to regulate it from the outside.No employee can say anything,no watch dog groups can go inside..Just great.The United States is really watching out of us aren’t they?

  • Meyer1127

    Ag-Gag Laws Help Agribusiness Hide Health Risks in Your Food.And they are working overtime to bring back horse slaughter houses in the U.S. so they can mix it all together like Europe with no way to regulate it from the outside.No employee can say anything,no watch dog groups can go inside..Just great.The United States is really watching out of us aren’t they?

  • Mando02

    I respect and admire the countless number of people that step up to rescue,rehab and train a OTB.This issue is getting addressed slowly with programs for OTB’s.

    I may be speculating but many breeders in all breeds of equines have cut back due to the hay supply and the grain commodities sure shot up when the fed did QE 2! or3???   It is getting cost prohibative to raise foals for some,although yes some will keep on ,no plan and no way to sustain the mare and foal! We will always see animal abuse,been going on forever.Some just cannot understand what responsible means! When you raise or take in a domestic animal ,you are their world.

    Time will tell with this issue(horse slaughter) .With the awareness,(finally!) of bute and other drugs that are given and not just for racing! Hopefully our horses will soon be safe from the awful trade of horsemeat!

  • Roisin

    Some horses enter the slaughter pipeline soon after they leave the track. Any positive test could result in a ban or at least slow down the transport of the horses. That would mean loss of money not to mention the problem of what do with the horses.
     Many such horses are from the low level claiming ranks and are likely to have drugs in their systems.

  • nu-fan

    Agreed!

  • nu-fan

    Thank you.  This makes sense.

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