The horse slaughter industry has grown quickly, as a result of the closing of all US plants in 2007. Like Americans, the majority of Canadians do not agree that horses should be slaughtered for human consumption in other countries (64% according to a 2004 national poll). Yet this industry continues to thrive. The US has not yet passed legislation to ban the export of horses for slaughter, despite shutting down all their plants. The number of horses destined to slaughter in the US has not decreased - sadly the horses are now shipped to slaughter to Canada and Mexico. It is an international business that is driven by the demand for horse meat. There is a misconception that slaughter is a solution to an unwanted horse problem. This concept is reinforced by people and businesses that benefit from treating horses as a disposable commodity.
Horses have not traditionally been raised for human consumption in Canada. In our country, horses are considered sport and companion animals. Many Canadians believe that this industry must be abolished on humane grounds. 64% of Canadians do not support it.
• There are now 7 federally licensed horse slaughter plants in Canada (4 more than in 2006).
• Horses are shipped in crowded trailers over long distances, and often arrive injured, sometimes fatally.
• The CHDC and has documented evidence of horse neglect and abuse, as well as severe suffering as a result of poor slaughter practices at the Saskatchewan plant (see our website).
• The Federal Health of Animals Act is not enforced, which would protect sick, pregnant and unfit horses, and prohibit overcrowding.
• The Recommended Code of Practice for Care and Handling of Farm Animals: Transportation of Horses is not enforced.
• The CFIA has weak rules protecting slaughter bound horses. They can be transported for up to 36 hours and double decker trailers are still allowed.
I'd like to open a discussion on horse slaughter, so people can ask questions and form opinions based on facts. Knowing that people may have strong opinions on this subject, let's remember to stay professional in our responses. Thanks!