EU Extends Meat Export Ban Date By One Month

Due to United States measures to improve the monitoring program to test for unauthorized substances in fresh meat and meat products, the European Union's import ban of hormone-free beef or any other meat or meat product will not be imposed before March 15. The previous declaration made the ban effective February 15. The residue testing program requires a strict monitoring of live animals and animal products for substances having an anabolic effect, unauthorized substances, and for certain veterinary drugs and contaminants.

The European Food and Veterinary Inspection Office made the observation between January 21 and February 4 that testing methods of laboratories used by the U.S. need to be improved. In response, the U.S. has assured that it will make an immediate effort to improve the weaknesses of the testing processes. Laboratories outside of the U.S. will be contracted to perform the residue testing until the analytical methods of the U.S. labs have been upgraded.

The decision for the ban stems from the status of shipments of U.S. beef, which was guaranteed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to be free of growth hormones. Shipments were tested independently by the EU and found to contain the unauthorized substances. As a result, the EU banned all meats from the U.S. The slaughter horse industry is affected as a bystander in this political war between the USDA and the EU, though reportedly, at least two of the three U.S. slaughter facilities are still operating. In the meantime, it is expected that Fort Macleod in Alberta, Canada, will begin to receive a greater flow of horses bound for slaughter.

About the Author

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief, received a B.A. in Journalism and Equestrian Studies from Averett College in Danville, Virginia. A Pony Club and 4-H graduate, her background is in eventing, and she is schooling her recently retired Thoroughbred racehorse, Happy, toward a career in that discipline. She also enjoys traveling, photography, cycling, and cooking in her free time.

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