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Food Safety
Horse passports: FVE calls for a European register

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THE Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) has called for the creation of a European register for horse passports to reduce the risk of horses that have been excluded from slaughter for human consumption being reintroduced into the food chain.

In a statement on February 14, the FVE noted that, at present, there is no reliable guarantee that a horse's passport stays with the animal for the whole of its life. A central EU register for horse passports would, it suggested, prevent a duplicate passport being issued for the same horse.

The FVE said it was unacceptable that phenylbutazone had been found in some horses that had been slaughtered for human consumption: ‘It demonstrates that mechanisms to prevent the introduction of meat contaminated with forbidden substances in the food chain must be strengthened.’ It called for a thorough investigation into how phenylbutazone ended up in the horsemeat and said that all stakeholders should take coordinated action to prevent it occurring again.

Consumers had been ‘grossly misled’ by the fraudulent presentation of horsemeat as beef, the FVE said. It denounced what it described as a massive fraud, and called for more effective controls on food at all steps along the food chain.

Emphasising that proper resourcing of official controls by member states is crucial to …

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