Bijdrage verzoekschriftencommissie over het importeren van paardenvlees
Anja Hazekamp (PvdD): Yes, thank you.
I want to thank the petitioners for addressing this important issue. Over the past years, there were a lot of horsemeat scandals. They were not only threatening public health, but they were also a disaster for the animals in hold. Meat of horses from outside the European Union – which is sold in Europe – is often derived from pet-horses and racing horses. They are treated with medicines that are not allowed in the food chain.
These animals are transported alive for several days before they arrive in the slaughterhouses. Many of them get sick, are hurt or die during these transports. Above all, the European standards are ignored in these slaughterhouses. Eating meat of these animals is a risk for food safety. Especially the consumption of horses is a risk. We often don’t know the origin of these horses and there is a great risk that they have been treated with medicines we don’t want in our meals.
I have a few questions for the Commission regarding the US horses transported to Canada. Can the Commission indicate when the proposed six months mandatory residence will be implemented? And wouldn’t it be better if it not only involved Canada but also other countries? So all countries where the animals are slaughtered?
And how does the Commission intend to solve the problem of Canadian meat of horses treated in the US with strictly prohibited substances for food change for which no maximum limit can be established?
My final question: we were confronted with a lot of horsemeat scandals, not only from outside of the European Union, but also in Europe itself. So, does the Commission agree that health and wellbeing of humans but especially the health and welfare of horses will benefit most if we don’t import horse meat at all and forbid the sale in Europe of horse meat whatever origin there is?