Fatally injured racehorses not in food chain, say AIR
Horses fatally injured at Irish racecourses cannot enter the food chain as they are unfit for human consumption, the Association of Irish Racecourses said yesterday.
This followed the news that the owner of a British abattoir caught up in the horse meat scandal was contracted to remove fatally injured horses from Aintree racecourse, home of the Grand National race.
Peter Boddy’s slaughterhouse in west Yorkshire was visited by the British Food Standards Agency and police on Tuesday and production at the plant was suspended while investigations continue.
The Liverpool racecourse said it was “confident” no unfit meat had entered the food chain. “The racing industry takes every possible course of action to ensure that horses, fatally injured on a racecourse, cannot enter the food chain,” Aintree Racecourse said, adding that it followed the guidelines “to the letter”.
Association of Irish Racecourses’ chief executive Paddy Walsh said fatally injured horses were shot in the past , but lethal injections were now the main method of putting down horses at race meetings.
He said the injection made the animal unfit for consumption by animals as well as humans.
The carcasses were then sent to local rendering plants for disposal.
Of the 28,880 runners in races on Ireland’s 26 racecourses last year, seven died naturally and 73 were put down.