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That ‘efficiency of the market’ in helping us all develop an [unwanted] taste for horsemeat… January 16, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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…mmm… tasty!

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1. LeftAtTheCross - January 16, 2013

Story here that the authorities knew months ago that horses were entering the food chain illegally (apologies but the original story is behind the Sunday Times pay wall):

“Sunday Times Article, 6 May 2012:

Drugs seized in swoop on Irish horse shipment

BYLINE: John Mooney

A CONSIGNMENT of cannabis worth (EURO)600,000 (£485,000) and a four-figure sum in cash were seized by police in Scotland last week after a truck transporting Irish horses was stopped en route to an abattoir in England.
Fake horse passports and accompanying microchips were also seized by police. Two men from Northern Ireland were arrested.
It is understood that large rolls of cash were concealed inside the horses. The animals were later scanned using specialist equipment to see if they had been forced to ingest other materials.
The seizure follows an investigation by the Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Uspca) into the illegal trade in horses for the meat industry.
The investigation, which is continuing, discovered horses are being sold by criminal gangs to abattoirs in Ireland and Britain using forged paperwork.
All horses which enter the food chain are required to have a passport and to be implanted with a microchip to ensure the meat does not contain harmful chemicals.
The discovery that illegal drugs are being transported in shipments of live horses is likely to increase pressure on the authorities on both sides of the border to take action. The scale of the smuggling ring’s operation suggests an illegal trade in horses is continuing to boom and that some officials working in abattoirs may have been complicit.
Stephen Philpott, the chief executive of the Uspca, said the seizure exposed the types of individuals involved in the trade.
“We have been following lorry loads of horses to abattoirs in Ireland, Britain and Europe for months now. We have watched abattoirs being opened up late at night so people can deliver lorry loads of horses and have them slaughtered in the middle of the night,” he said.
“The Irish authorities are doing nothing to stop this trade. I would urge countries who are importing horse meat from Ireland and Northern Ireland to enforce an immediate ban as the meat they are importing is not fit for human consumption. Hundreds of unwanted horses are being rounded up and sold into the food chain using false paperwork.”
The demand for horse meat in France, Italy, Belgium and Holland is believed to be fuelling the trade. Since the economic downturn in 2008 more and more Irish horses, including thoroughbreds, have been abandoned by owners who can no longer afford to keep them.
There are tens of thousands of unwanted equines in Ireland, according to industry sources. Some are thoroughbreds once owned by syndicates of businessmen and racing enthusiasts who abandoned the animals due to the high cost of keeping and training them.
A spokeswoman for Ireland’s Department of Agriculture confirmed that a number of allegations had been received and were being investigated. “The minister and department are fully aware of the need to maintain vigilance in relation to official controls in this area,” she said.
The department has never prosecuted an abattoir for slaughtering an unregistered horse for human consumption.”

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2. LeftAtTheCross - January 16, 2013

“There is no public health risk from the beef burgers containing horse meat, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has said.”

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2013/0116/breaking23.html

It is dishonest and premature to make this statement. The article above notes that horses entering abattoirs have in some instances been used to internally transport drugs, for example. Does Gilmore know for certain that these horses have neither illegal drugs nor other substances in their blood/muscle which could be harmful to humans? These animals were not bred for human consumption and their diet and medication would not be regulated by the same standards which apply to cattle, sheep, pigs etc.

This is simply a shameful knee-jerk reaction to protect the Irish meat experting industry.

I’ve never (knowingly) eaten horse meat myself. I can’t say that I’d be particularly averse to trying it either. Out of curiosity, has anyone here eaten horse? How does it compare to beef or lamb?

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Michael Carley - January 16, 2013

Very meaty and needs long, slow cooking. Think shin of beef only more so.

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LeftAtTheCross - January 16, 2013

Thanks Michael, I’ll give it a miss so, I can’t cook beef as it is. I’m not sure the kids would be open to eating horse either. friends of ours cooked us a capybara stew years ago and the kids are still traumatised by the thoughts of eating a rodent. I was a vegetarian for a good few years in my 20’s and having gone back on the meat long since I wouldn’t really hold any objection to eating one dead animal over another. As the Smiths said, meat is murder, you’re either ok with that or you’re not.

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LeftAtTheCross - January 16, 2013

Just noticed that one of the meat plants mentioned in the IT article, Silvercrest Foods, is part of the ABP Foods group, owned by one of Irelan’d richest men, Larry Goodman.

http://www.farmersjournal.ie/site/farming-Larry-Goodman-s-AIBP-to-rebrand-13853.html

Old dogs and new tricks?

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John Cunningham - January 16, 2013

Once, back in mu carnivore day, I tried to pass off horsemeat as beef. Circumstances were as follows: on holiday in France, my accomplice-in-life asked me to buy some mince at the butchers'; saw some at a market and made my purchase; walking away, noticed ‘Boucherie chevaline’ sign on stall; decided ‘what the hell, there can’t much difference between cow and horse’, but said nothing to accomplice who used it to make chilli con carné. Anyway, I found the strong flavour overpowered even the chilli, and I was unable to finish it. Accomplice and our 2 offspring wolfed it down and didn’t notice anything. Moral of the story?

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Jim Monaghan - January 16, 2013

Avoid divorce and do not show her this.

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3. Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - January 16, 2013

Aldi horse burgers are nice, but I prefer My Lidl Pony

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4. Dr.Nightdub - January 16, 2013

Gives a whole new meaning to the term “drugs mule”…

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5. RosencrantzisDead - January 16, 2013

It is the awful puns that this fiasco has engendered that really gets my back up. I’ve bombarded with them all bloody morning.

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6. doctorfive - January 16, 2013

Tesco share price hammered today.

sniff

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7. Tawdy - January 16, 2013

I think the only real problem here ( as envisaged ) by the government is how do we contain this ” accidental ” situation?

Of course I also think that the only accident is that the food processers have been caught out!

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Dr.Nightdub - January 16, 2013

I’m not so sure Tawdy. After the foot-and-mouth episode a few years back, I thought the farming / food industry had put a lot of effort into the whole business of provenance, traceability, etc down to naming the individual farmer who supplies their meat.

Now it could be that I simply swallowed the spin and more fool me, but as LATC points out above, the involvement of an ABP-owned company can only revive memories of past goings-on. Plus which, the offending products all appear to be supermarkets’ own-brand products where there’s enormous pressure to keep costs down and presumably greater temptation to cut corners to do so.

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WorldbyStorm - January 16, 2013

I thought most of those meats were Irish sourced. Certainly that’s the impression one gets from a lot of the promotional material. Makes one wonder about the sourcing.

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8. Tomboktu - January 17, 2013

I would be more worried by the presence of pig meat in the beef burgers. It is a serious taboo in some religions to eat pig meat, and that ban is observed by many who are not particularly devout or observant of the official requirements of their religion.

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