Calls for change to horse slaughter rules
Legendary racehorse trainer Ted Walsh has appealed for changes to be made to European slaughter rules for horses.
Under current legislation, Irish horses cannot be slaughtered for human consumption if certain medications have been administered at any stage of their lives.
However, meat from horses slaughtered outside Europe can be imported for human consumption, as long as the animal did not receive medication in the last six months prior to slaughter.
Mr Walsh and Ted Farrell from Kilkenny horse slaughter facility B&F Meats met with the Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on Thursday to appeal for a derogation for Ireland from the European rules.
Mr Farrell said he was simply looking for a levelling of the playing field on horse meat consumption rules.
"At the moment, any foal getting a passport over the age of six months has its passport stamped not fit for human consumption," he explained. "But there is no basis for this, medically or otherwise."
Although some medications such as the flu and tetanus vaccines are allowable, other medications on the prohibited list are commonly used to treat horses.
Phenylbutazone, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug more commonly known as bute, and Buscopan, a colic medication are just two of the drugs that preclude a horse from the human food chain.