(NEW YORK) — American horses are being rejected by Canadian slaughterhouses, according to the Equine Welfare Alliance. The blockage of U.S. horses reportedly stems from a directive from the European Union, which buys much of Canada’s exported horsemeat. E.U. health officials found that American horsemeat samples had been tainted by steroids and carcinogens, and reportedly asked Canadian suppliers to stop buying American horses.
The embargo happened quickly and without much communication with American horse providers. In fact, some auctions already had horses en route to Canada by the time they were made aware of the changes.
The United States forced all horse slaughterhouses closed in 2007. Since then, the number of horses exported to Canada and Mexico has dramatically risen. More than 120,000 horses were exported to America’s neighbors in 2011.
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