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Four mares rescued from slaughter - a new life thanks to IHP


False passports to sell meat of animals not categorised as intended for the food chain

“The severe lack of transparency in the food supply chain is something we have been reporting over and over for years.  No-one at present has full control over what goes on in abbatoirs: we need a properly functioning registration system”.

Volterra (Pisa), 7 January 2021 - IHP welcomes Louisiane, Lys, Jacinthe and Heroine, the four mares saved from slaughter thanks to action by IHP and the Parma NAS (Carabinieri), and taken into care, and a new life at the Rescue Centre at Tignano, Volterra.

The four mares had already endured an exhausting journey to Italy from France, passing through the various hands of dealers and traders, when they arrived for slaughter at Correggio (Reggio Emilia). But here, thanks to the owner of the abattoir and the meticulousness of the ASL vet present, certain question marks arose regarding the authenticity of the mares’ passports. The Parma division of the NAS was called in, and following various checks and investigations it emerged that the four mares were registered in France as not intended for slaughter for meat, and that therefore the passports had been falsified so that they could be slaughtered for meat.   The horses were legally seized by the local Novara courts, which opened a file on the case against the passport forgers, and subsequently turned over the four horses into the care of IHP.

“This time it went well” – commented IHP President, Sonny Richichi –, “but unfortunately in so many other cases there is no happy ending.  We have been reporting the common practice of falsifying documents, changing them from Not Intended for the Food Chain, to its opposite, thus turning rejects from the racecourse or other equestrian sports into steaks.  If we are to have a fully functioning and manageable means of checking this industry we must have a proper and transparent registry system, something which at present simply does not exist, thereby handing an easy time to illegal operators.”

Each and every horse should have, from the moment of its birth, a passport directly linked to a microchip which contains the data necessary for ID – this is already the case for dogs – plus the declaration that the horse is not intended for slaughter for meat should not be open to being changed: once declared it should remain the same for the rest of that animal’s natural life.  Unlike what happens now, when illegal means are employed to jettison animals deemed no longer useful or productive.

“A new life of freedom and wellbeing starts here for Louisiane, Lys, Jacintheand Heroine,” says Richichi, “and I applaud the health authorities of Emilia Romagna, the Parma NAS, and the staff of IHP tackling the labyrinthine bureaucracy necessary for the formal rehoming at the Rescue Centre. We clearly and loudly ask the Italian authorities to finally institute a proper and transparent register so that the appropriate controls can be put in place to ensure the welfare of animals, and also the health of consumers who at present risk eating the meat of animals treated with all manner of drugs and substances which are used in the racing and other equestrian sport industries, and which are considered unsuitable for human consumption”. 






Correggio: four horses facing slaughter now saved (August 2020)