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Canada Takes Horsemeat Safety Step

As of Sunday, owners of horses that may be sold to Canadian meat processors face some new requirements in Canada.

After Jan. 31st, all equine owners intending to sell animals directly or indirectly to Canadian meat processors must record certain information.

Horse owners who wish to keep their sale options open should record all vaccines, medications given (administered or fed) to their animals and record any occurrence of illness in their animals, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

The collection of this information will better prepare the equine industry for July 31, 2010 when it will be mandatory for all federally-inspected equine facilities to have complete records dating back six months for all domestic and imported animals presented for slaughter.

These requirements apply to owners of horses and their crosses, referred to as equine.

In order to help owners collect all of the necessary information, the CFIA is launching a new Equine Information Document (EID) that can be found in the Meat Hygiene Directive no. 2009-49.

The EID is the first step in the development of a comprehensive food safety and traceability program for the Canadian equine industry – for both domestic and international markets.

Anyone selling equine may have to provide an EID at ownership transfer. The document will require an owner-signed declaration to verify the accuracy of the information.

There are a number of medications and substances that are prohibited from being given (administered or fed) to horses that are going to be slaughtered for human consumption.

A list of these medications and substances can be found on the CFIA web site.

For the latest information about identifying and recording health information for your equine, please visit www.inspection.gc.ca or call 1-800-442-2342.

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