Are You Eating Beef Laced with Horsemeat?

The purpose of Section 33 of the Meat Inspection Act was to prevent the mixing of horsemeat with other meats rendered, prepared, packaged, labelled and sold to the consumer market.  By repealing this section of the Act, Canada has jeopardized the food safety of its own citizens (see previous post called “Alert!  Horse Apartheid”). This is a life-altering, backwards step by the CFIA which herein caters only to abattoir owners who don’t want to follow country-wide food safety regulations, and want to butcher horses in their own way.  (For those of who read my book, Ground Manners, you’ll recall the part about “l’abattage au bout de la pelle” [slaughter at the end of a backhoe shovel]. This is where Quebec is headed by pandering to an industry which, rather than be left to its own devices, should, at all times, be monitored for food safety.)

Section 33 repealed as of October 2011 in the Meat Inspection Act of 1990 originally read thusly:

33. (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), during the time a food animal other than an equine animal is slaughtered at a registered establishment, a carcass of a food animal other than an equine animal is dressed at a registered establishment or a meat product derived from a food animal other than an equine animal is processed, packaged or labelled in a registered establishment, the registered establishment shall not at the same time contain a meat product derived from an equine animal and shall not thereafter be used for the slaughtering of an equine animal, the dressing of the carcass of an equine animal or the processing, packaging or labelling of a meat product derived from an equine animal unless

(aall meat products derived from a food animal other than an equine animal have been removed from the registered establishment;

(b) the registered establishment has facilities that are suitable for handling equine animals and for the slaughtering of equine animals; and

(c) an inspector has certified that the registered establishment meets the requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b).

(2) The meat products required by paragraph (1)(a) to be removed from a registered establishment may be kept in the registered establishment if they are locked in a separate room under the control of an inspector.

(3) Where a meat product derived from an equine animal is processed in a registered establishment, a meat product derived from a food animal other than an equine animal may, for the purpose of being combined with the meat product of an equine animal, be kept in the registered establishment.

For those who haven’t read the text of why Section 33 and other sections were repealed (see link in prior post), the reason the government did this was to accommodate small business owners of abattoirs who cannot afford to meet the requirements of the CFIA’s policies and procedures.  (Well then…why have a CFIA at all?)  Since the change further accommodates those provincial abattoirs who wish to sell their horsemeat only within their own province (versus between provinces or abroad), we can safely assume that the Canadian government did this as damage control for Quebec; that Quebec, which has the largest number of horsemeat consumers domestically, must have seen the writing on the wall, and warned Agriculture Canada that it would never comply with more regulations issuing from the European Union (EU).  Quebec sait vivre, hein?   Or, Quebec whined that its two little abattoirs were local businesses and couldn’t afford…oh never mind…it’s too absurd to contemplate when we know that those abattoirs are Bouvry-owned.  If either conjecture is true, Quebec is either a bully or cravenly reacting to what is a worldwide movement against the slaughter of animals which are not raised for human consumption for the very simple reason that they are not food animals.  Ohh…I feel a headache coming on. As soon as it’s gone, I’ll be contacting MAPAQ to see how they’re going to regulate this.  I won’t get my hopes up, though.

Stay close…more soon.

 

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