Fears that fake 'beef' could be from donkeys
A law banning horses from Romanian roads may be responsible for the fraudulent surge of horse meat entering the European beef market, a French politician has said.
Horse-drawn carts were a common form of transport for centuries in Romania, but hundreds of thousands of the animals are feared to have been sent to the abattoir after a change in road rules.
The law, which was passed six years ago but only enforced recently, also banned carts drawn by donkeys, leading to speculation among food-industry officials in France that some of the 'horse meat' that has turned up on shelves may, in fact, turn out to be donkey meat.
"Horses have been banned from Romanian roads and millions of animals have been sent to the slaughterhouse," said Jose Bove, a veteran campaigner for small farmers, who is now vice-president of the European Parliament agriculture committee.