Bute-Enriched Horsemeat

Recently, Europeans have grown increasingly concerned about the safety of American-sourced horsemeat being shipped to their continent from Canada. Here are the relevant facts:

Tens of thousands of American racehorses are sent to Canadian slaughterhouses each year for the express purpose of human consumption.

American racehorses, practically all of them, receive phenylbutazone (PBZ, bute), an anti-inflammatory, as a matter of routine.

PBZ has a laundry list of grave, if not potentially fatal, effects in humans: According to an FDA newsletter from 2003, “Phenylbutazone is known to induce blood dyscrasias, including aplastic anemia, leukopenia, agranulocytosis, thrombocytopenia and deaths. In addition, phenylbutazone is a carcinogen, as determined by the National Toxicology Program.”

PBZ does not have a safe withdrawal period like some other drugs administered to food-producing animals. Dr. Ann Marini, author of a Food and Chemical Toxicology medical paper on the subject, says (Horseback, 2/8/12) that “if a horse is administered one dose of phenylbutazone, the horse cannot enter the food chain.” Ever. Accordingly, PBZ is banned for use in food-producing animals in the US, UK, EU, and Canada. In short, Dr. Marini says (Toronto Star, 7/30/11), “there’s no horse in (the U.S.) that is eligible for slaughter for human use.” Not one.

Horse meat back on the menu at 'Taxi Jaune' restaurant, Paris, France - 23 Jan 2007

Armed with this information, which has been readily available for years, how, then, can American horsemen continue to dump bute-laced meat into the food supply? To those paying attention, the answer is obvious: Men who would allow their erstwhile pet-racers to be strung up and slashed aren’t likely to lose much sleep over a Frenchman’s health. Horseracing’s moral bankruptcy, yet again.

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  1. The whole situation is disgusting. Starting with the overbreeding of all horses for money, and lots of it, to the abuse inflicted on so many of these animals while they are worked for our entertainment and money only to be discarded to endure the sad cruel journey to horrific slaughter. Nothing good comes from such human degradation, nothing.

    • Amen, Rose! However, those involved with racing need to keep those horses running with the hope that they might hit the board. Drug them and run them is the motto of those in racing.

  2. I hope the people eating horse meat choke on it-Bute is only 1 of many drugs in a horse’s system and not limited to racehorses. Stop horse slaughter now-it’s horrible, painful end to these beautiful creatures.

  3. If you don’t think the horse meat can and will end up in OUR food supply, you are naive! There is no integrity in our USDA any more than there is in the BLM. For $$ they will kill anything.

  4. And these upstanding horsemen have the total support of the Canadian govenment in dumping contaminated horsemeat on the dinner plates of Europeans.

  5. Oh Canada…you are killing future Europeans…all for the greed of the dollars that come from this inhumane slaughter..shame on Canada

  6. Funny, I sat through the Valley Meat Horse slaughter for human Consumption Hearing in Roswell NMon Oct.22. The EXPERT WITNESS in support of horsemeat FOR humans was Leonard Blach DVM owner of Mine That Bird, Kentucky Derby winner. He lives next door to Valley Meat. What do you think of that?

    • What a sorry excuse for a man and a veterinarian at that !! I bet he had an arsenal of garbage to present… Somebody better keep an eye on Mine That Bird. And of course we do really need to consume horsemeat. Personally, I believe all meat is suspect considering the so called “finishing drugs” administered prior to slaughter just so profits can be increased …Oh well, the FDA said it is safe !!!! I have so much faith in government and it’s agencies..

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