Govt: Horsemeat legal in SA

Government says there are laws which regulate the slaughtering of horsemeat in South Africa. Picture: Abed Ahmed/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries said it is legal in South Africa to mix horsemeat with other products as long as it is clearly stipulated on the packaging.

Concerns about the mixing of horsemeat with other meats in Europe first emerged in January when Irish authorities found traces of the meat in beef burgers.

Since then, several retailers abroad removed thousands of so-called ‘pure beef products’ from their shelves.

The department's Thembile Sanabe said it was normal in some cultures to consume horsemeat in South Africa.

“There are also some countries where eating horsemeat is part of their culture.”

However, he said there were special processes involved when slaughtering this type of meat.

“The regulation of horse slaughtering is done by our department under the Meat Safety Act and we have a special licence for it.”