Is there an unregulated trade in horsemeat in Northern Ireland?

Now, here’s a thing. Mary Creagh has set some ferocious cats amongst the local pigeons [You do mean harses don’t ya? – Ed]. She alone of politicians with any local interest, has been listening to the concerns of the USPCA:

“The Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals have clear evidence of an illegal trade of unfit horses from Ireland to the UK for meat, with horses being re-passported to meet demands for horse meat in mainland Europe.

“It says that there are currently 70,000 horses unaccounted for in Northern Ireland. Unwanted horses are being sold for €10 and being sold on for meat for €500 – a lucrative trade. It is very convenient to blame the Poles and the Romanians but so far neither country have found any problems with their beef abattoirs.”

No problems here says our Minster for Agriculture (who actually now has got at least two different problems). As the rather more active southern Minister has already said
“Somebody is selling rogue product and somebody knows about it and is responsible.

The problem is even he may not be properly accounting for the real situation on the ground. As discovered by Labour Tommy Brougham TD the number of horses going to Irish abattoirs has gone through the roof since the recession began.

Horses slaughtered


In response to another question from Deputy Broughan, Minister Coveney admitted that his department had not been keeping a tally on the horse population… Which raises the question of who has been keeping an eye on the situation in Northern Ireland? None of them, says the USPCA.

The devil here is as ever going to lie in the detail…

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  • 6crealist

    Do some of us owe Willie Frazer an apology?

  • Alias

    There was a fourfold increase in the number of horses slaughtered between 2009 and 2011. Surely that should have prompted the Irish department to ask why and where the meat was going?

  • Harry Flashman

    From 2,002 in 2008 to 12,575 three years later? And in local authority plants they were going from killing less than one horse a week to almost 50 a day? They had to have been working overtime and taking on extra staff.

    Horse slaughtering suddenly became a boom industry in the middle of Ireland’s worst ever recession and nobody noticed?

    Alarm bells clearly weren’t ringing somewhere.

  • Is Michelle O’Neill channeling Frankie Howard?

    “Neigh, neigh and thrice neigh! There is no problem.”

  • iluvni

    iluvni (profile)
    15 January 2013 at 10:25 pm

    Lets hope the Northern Ireland agriculture minister is quickly on the ball to ensure our local farmers arent affected as word spreads around the globe.

    I’ve heard her once, giving a woeful ‘something must be done’ interview on the tv..
    Why is O’neill remaining rather quiet…whats holding her back?

  • “The devil here is as ever going to lie in the detail…”

    Mary Creagh has changed her story:

    Labour MP Ms Creagh said the comment, made in the House of Commons on Monday, was a “slip of the tongue”.

    The figure, attributed to the Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, actually refers to the whole island of Ireland.

    Ms Creagh made the clarification after she was challenged by DUP MP Ian Paisley during a debate on the horsemeat scandal in the Commons on Tuesday.

    He said: “That this is not the case, that is was indeed the Republic of Ireland, not Northern Ireland that the evidence relates to and that the USPCA is a very responsible organisation and did not actually make the claims about NI but made them about the Republic.

  • USPCA – The Truth About Irish Horsemeat

    Equine welfare in Ireland is in crisis and in recent times thousands of unwanted and abandoned horses have been gathered up and corralled across the country awaiting slaughter.

    Unscrupulous criminal elements have been profiting from these unfortunate animals by exploiting a hopelessly flawed horse passport scheme, lax animal export controls at ports and slaughter houses/processors willing to compromise animal welfare and public safety for a quick profit.

    Denial of scale and responsibility are now in full swing .. 16.01.2013