If you are not already aware, NDP MP Alex Atamanenko has re-introduced a new bill to stop horse slaughter in Canada. Private Members' Bill C-322 was introduced on October 5, 2011.
It is imperative that we support MP Atamanenko in order that Bill C-322 may be considered for Second Reading in the House. Following are Supporter Instructions links and Petition links, both in English and French. To understand how a Private Members' Bill becomes law, please read here: http://www.defendhorsescanada.org/legislation.html
Canadian citizens need to communicate with Members of Parliament on this important bill. The following will link you to your MP and a letter you may use, courtesy of Humane Society International:
Supporter Instructions - English:
Supporter Instructions - French:
BILINGUAL ANTI-HORSE SLAUGHTER POSTCARDS AVAILABLE:
Quebec horse advocates, Cynthia and Karen, have printed up postcards so that constituents can advise their MPs across Canada that they are in favour of Bill C-322.
You can either download the images (back and front) and have them printed at your local printer, or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your postal address and number of postcards needed, and she will send you the cards for distribution.
If you choose to print them yourself, please respect the photographer's copyrights by ensuring to show her name (Deb Harper) on the inside text of the postcard. These have already been sent out to a number of organizations in Canada and the US and we hope they will have an impact on Canadian parliamentarians. Remember that postage to MPs (Ottawa address) is free of charge while the House is in session.
Please go to the CHDC blog to download the postcard images: http://canadianhorsedefencecoalition.wordpress.com/2011/10/26/bilingual-anti-horse-slaughter-postcards-available/
NEW WEBSITE and HORSE PROTECTION INITIATIVES
Our new website is up and is currently being updated:
Of particular interest, is our Horse Protection Initiatives program to help facilitate adoptions and offers euthanasia assistance up to $250 as funds allow. Please go to our website to read more:
Please help us help the horses!
Your Friends at the CHDC
In October 2008, it was announced by then Ontario Equestrian Federation (OEF) Vice-President Gary Yaghdjian, in his article, The Truth About Horse Slaughter in Canada: http://www.horse.on.ca/files/October_2008_WHOA!.pdf , "With the advent of animal activist activity here in Canada, the OEF has been networking with its sister federations and provincial Farm Animal Councils to form the Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada (HWAC)": http://www.horsewelfare.ca/index.php .
The HWAC has a vague agenda, but when you look closely at its listed Partners, and the activities of the group, it becomes apparent that their mandate is anything but the welfare of horses. When it first appeared on the scene in 2008, we saw HWAC's message: "Promoting the humane handling of horses throughout all their life stages". However, their slick website once researched, reveals much more than horse welfare concerns.
From the HWAC's Designated Regional Spokesperson list: http://www.horsewelfare.ca/contact we see the close links with the OEF and the AEF:
Ontario - Gary Yaghdjian (OEF Past President) Tel 905-649-1342 Cell 905-424-0078
Jack De Wit (OEF Board Member) Tel 905-424-4666
Bill DesBarres (Alberta Equestrian Federation (AEF), Chair Breeds & Industry, and HWAC President) Tel 403-526-1070 Cell 403-529-7237
HWAC's agenda becomes more clear when you read this page http://www.horsewelfare.ca/about including:
Horses are the only food producing livestock species not 0-rated for GST.
Annual exports of horse meat exceed $60 million.
70% of the annual sector production is processed for export and domestic markets.
16% of the world’s population consumes horse meat.
Europe, Asia, South America, Australia and Canada consume horse meat.
Horse meat is low in fat, and a good source of protein and iron.
Cultural factors (religious, economic) influence public attitudes towards eating horse meat.
The CHDC has exposed the dirty underbelly of Canada's horse slaughter industry, under two separate investigative reports in 2008 (Natural Valley Farms in SK) and in 2010 (Bouvry Exports in Alberta and Richelieu Meats in Quebec). Exposure at both plants revealed cruel handling, unsafe kill floor conditions, and improper stunning practices resulting in immense suffering of horses. In both cases, some horse federations and/or HWAC denied the film evidence was authentic. Instead of acknowledging and acting on this evidence, the kneejerk reaction of these industry groups was to deny it ever happened. But happening it was, and still is, as long as horse slaughter exists in Canada.
To further expand on this, the CHDC wrote a revealing paper earlier in 2010 asking the question, "Did you know that your provincial horse federation supports and endorses the slaughter of North American horses?" called What You Didn’t Know about Canada’s Horse Federations: http://www.defendhorsescanada.org/pdf/didyouknow.pdf.
In this document, the relationship is revealed between HWAC and the U.S. based United Organizations of the Horse http://www.unitedorgsofthehorse.org/ .
From their website: “The United Organizations of the Horse (UOH) was formed to address two key issues:
1. To restore humane and regulated horse slaughter in the U.S.; and
2. To control the overpopulation of wild and feral horses on federal, state, tribal, and private lands.”
There is another pro-slaughter horse group closely linked to the UOH. They are the United Horsemen's Front (UHF) http://www.unitedhorsemensfront.org/. From their website: "The United Horsemen's Front promotes horse welfare and the health of the horse industry by providing accurate, timely information about the unintended consequences of the ban on equine processing in the United States. The United Horsemen's Front seeks to unify our country's horsemen and -women in our common goal: achieving humane and realistic solutions to the unwanted horse problem from the perspective of experienced horse people who have the best interest of the horse at heart."
The United Organizations of the Horse and the United Horsemen's Front are promoting and creating means to slaughter not only America's domestic horses, but also their wild mustangs.
Now these groups have a pro-slaughter conference planned for January 2010 in Las Vegas they've called the "Summit of the Horse":
http://www.united-horsemen.org/summit-of-the-horse/ . From their website, the summit is: "A gathering of men and women who make their living with horses, and those who care deeply about ecological balance on healthy lands. A summit of concerned citizens who understand what is necessary to keep the land, the horses, the people, the cultures, and the economies vibrant and healthy." “Now is the time for all of those who care deeply about the land and the horse, to come together as ethical and moral horse people, and find ways to address ignorance and a lack of understanding by activists and policy makers.”
Summit sessions will include: "Control Excess Wild & Feral Horses: Deal with Unwanted, Abandoned, and Neglected Horses on all Lands", also "Restore Humane & Regulated Horse Processing: Resurrect the Horse Industry and Normalize the Equine Economy", and "Healthy Lands/Healthy Horses - Restoring ecological balance to federal lands, controlling excess and unwanted feral horses on state, tribal, and private lands."
The Summit of the Horse and its organizers do not hide their agenda - it's straight forward in its attempt to rally like-minded people and groups to restore horse slaughter in the U.S., and control the wild mustang population. That much cannot be said of the HWAC in Canada, whose agenda is more hidden behind "horse welfare" messaging such as "promoting the humane handling of horses throughout all their life stages". But make no mistake about it - they are all tightly connected with a similar mission, and quite incredibly, Canada's provincial horse federations are interwoven amongst these fringe pro-slaughter groups.
To expand on this reality check, I encourage you to read R.T. Fitch's blog "Straight from the Horse's Heart":
- "Slaughterhouse" Sue Wallis Public Sticks Bloody Foot in Mouth http://rtfitch.wordpress.com/2010/12/16/slaughterhouse-sue-wallis-publicly-sticks-bloody-foot-in-mouth/
- "Summit of Horse Slaughter Promoters" Grasping at Straws http://rtfitch.wordpress.com/2010/12/13/%e2%80%9csummit-of-horse-slaughter%e2%80%9d-promoters-grasping-at-straws/
Finally, it must be stated that it is a frightening proposition what the HWAC, UOH, UHF and the Summit of the Horse represent. It is even more frightening that Canada's horse federations are linked with this extreme, intolerant pro-slaughter movement. Canadians must be made aware, and concerned horse people must let Equine Canada http://equinecanada.ca/breedsandindustry/index.php and their provincial horse federations http://albertaequestrian.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=427&Itemid=383 know how they feel about this alarming push towards equine prejudice.
Solutions for managing horse populations start at the source - at the breeders and owners - not an end solution at the slaughterhouses. For more information on humane options for horses and eliminating slaughter, visit the CHDC at www.defendhorsescanada.org.
Bill C-544: http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=4633655&Language=e&Mode=1&File=24
"An Act to amend the Health of Animals Act and the Meat Inspection Act (slaughter of horses for human consumption)", was tabled on June 16, 2010 by BC MP Alex Atamanenko. The basis of the bill is that horses are not food-producing animals and many are treated with drugs that are prohibited from entering the human food chain. This bill is a huge step forward in the movement to abolish a cruel and unnecessary industry.
Next Steps - Submitting Petitions
For those people who have spent the summer months garnering support by gathering signatures on petitions supporting Bill C-544 - Thank you for your dedication and hard work! Your next actions are just as important - getting those petitions to your Member of Parliament. Here is a link to find your MP's contact details: http://webinfo.parl.gc.ca/MembersOfParliament/MainMPsCompleteList.aspx?TimePeriod=Current&Language=E
For best impact, contact your MP's local office and ask to present your petitions there in person. If that's not possible, contact your MP's office to advise that you are mailing your petitions to them, and ask their office to contact you when they are received. Please use Express Post or Registered Mail (for tracking purposes). Send a letter with your petitions saying that you and those people who've signed the petitions supporting Bill C-544, are asking your MP to support it in the House of Commons. Remember to scan or photocopy your petitions, and send a copy to the CHDC at P.O. Box 26097 , Westbank , BC , V4T 2G3 , or email to email@example.com.
Parliament resumes on Monday, September 20th. If possible, get your petitions in before Parliament resumes. The sooner you get your petitions in to your MP, the better.
Still haven't gathered signatures yet? What you can do to help Bill C-544 become law:
Our Do It Now page: http://www.defendhorsescanada.org/DoItNow.html explains actions you can take to help the horses. This petition, available in English http://www.defendhorsescanada.org/pdf/chdcpetition2010.pdf and French http://www.defendhorsescanada.org/pdf/healthpetitionfr.pdf can be downloaded, printed and copied.
The most important action you can take at this time is to petition your Member of Parliament in support of Bill C-544!
It is important for your elected official to understand that horse meat may contain drugs that are unsafe for human consumption. Horses are generally considered to be sport and companion animals. They are not meant to be served at dinner tables! This medical research paper, "Association of Phenylbutazone usage with horses bought for slaughter: A public health risk": http://www.equinewelfarealliance.org/uploads/Food_and_Chemical_Toxicology_FINAL.pdf studies that Phenylbutazone (PBZ), the most commonly used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) in equine practice, is used prevalently in Thoroughbred race horses, many of which are slaughtered for human consumption. PBZ is one of many medications on the "List of Veterinary Drugs Not Permitted For Use in Equine Slaughtered for Food": http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fssa/meavia/man/ch17/annexee.shtml#e4
Effective July 31, 2010, it is mandatory for all Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) inspected facilities in Canada engaged in equine slaughter for edible purposes to have complete records for all equines (domestic and imported) presented for slaughter. These records include unique identification for each animal, a record of illness and a record of medical treatments administered to the animal for the six-month period preceding slaughter: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fssa/meavia/man/ch17/annexee.shtml
The establishment of this new CFIA identification program is primarily to address the concerns of the European Union of toxicity in horse meat for human consumption. The CHDC has researched the troubling issue of banned drugs commonly found in horse meat, as well as the new requirements from the European Union: http://www.defendhorsescanada.org/pdf/finaldisc100314.pdf.
Keep the Momentum Going!
Please keep us up-to-date on your petitioning efforts at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll post your petition stories and suggestions on our blog at: http://canadianhorsedefencecoalition.wordpress.com
For the horses,
Your Friends at the CHDC
UPDATE JULY 9, 2010 BILL C-544 - A BILL TO BAN HORSE SLAUGHTER IN CANADA - WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP!
On June 16, 2010, NDP Agriculture Critic MP Alex Atamanenko tabled Private Members Bill C-544 that would effectively shut down the slaughter of horses in Canada for human consumption: http://alexatamanenko.ndp.ca/node/511. The basis of the bill is the fact that horses are not food-producing animals and many are treated with drugs that are prohibited from entering the human food chain.
Canadians now have the opportunity to help this Bill become law.
Your efforts will be critical for this Bill's success!
Bill C-544, "An Act to amend the Health of Animals Act and the Meat Inspection Act (slaughter of horses for human consumption)":
(Click on the various sub-titles on the left of the document.)
A new petition has been created, http://www.defendhorsescanada.org/pdf/chdcpetition2010.pdf reflecting the components of Bill C-544 pertaining to the amendments of the Health of Animals Act and the Meat Inspection Act. Specifically, these amendments address the dangers to human health as horse-meat products are likely to contain prohibited substances.
The message to our MPs must be specific to Bill C-544. Mr. Atamanenko states, “The fact is that drugs which are prohibited for use during the life of any animals destined for the human food supply are routinely being administered to horses. It is irresponsible for Canada to allow the sale of meat from horses as a food item when they have never been raised in accordance with the food safety practices required for all other animals.”
This summer is our key opportunity to reach out to our Members of Parliament, while Parliament is in recess, before they reconvene in the Fall. Our target date to have petitions delivered to our MPs is September 20, 2010. Please commit to petitioning your Member of Parliament this summer. You may choose to collect names by going door to door, sitting at a table in a shopping mall or by leaving petitions at supportive businesses.
It is important that citizens sign petitions corresponding to the riding they live in, so if your community covers more than one constituency, make sure to offer a choice of several petitions with the riding/MP name at the top of each front page. Collect as many names as you can.
Please do this for the horses!
Your MP's name and contact information can be found here:
Explain to your elected official that horsemeat may contain drugs that are unsafe for human consumption. Proof of horse-meat toxicity can be found in this recently released scientific paper titled “Association of phenylbutazone usage with horses bought for slaughter: A public health risk": http://www.equinewelfarealliance.org/uploads/Food_and_Chemical_Toxicology_FINAL.pdf
This summer's recess also coincides with new requirements from the European Union, being implemented on July 31, 2010, as a first step in the development of a comprehensive food safety and traceability program for the Canadian equine industry in an effort to protect consumers from tainted horsemeat. Here is a link to the CFIA announcement on this industry changing program: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/corpaffr/newcom/2010/20100129e.shtml
The CHDC has researched the troubling issue of banned drugs commonly found in horsemeat, and has prepared this paper on what the European Union requirements will mean to North America 's horse industry: http://www.defendhorsescanada.org/pdf/finaldisc100314.pdf
For more information on how a bill becomes law, read here: http://www.defendhorsescanada.org/pdf/leg_proc_canada.pdf
The CHDC would be happy to answer any questions or provide guidance in your efforts to gather signatures on your petition(s). We can be contacted at email@example.com. Please keep us up to date on your progress. We will be in touch with our supporters over the summer months on this critically important legislation that can finally end the slaughter of our beloved horses.
Canadian Horse Defence Coalition
UPDATE - ATAMANENKO MOVES TO BAN HORSE MEAT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION
Thu 17 Jun 2010
OTTAWA – New Democrat Agriculture Critic, Alex Atamanenko (BC southern Interior) tabled a Private Members Bill (C-544) yesterday that would effectively shut down the slaughtering of horses for human consumption in Canada.
“The fact is that drugs which are prohibited for use during the life of any animals destined for the human food supply are routinely being administered to horses,” said Atamanenko. “It is irresponsible for Canada to allow the sale of meat from horses as a food item when they have never been raised in accordance with the food safety practices required for all other animals.”
Atamanenko points to the inexpensive, easily available and widely used anti-inflammatory drug, phenylbutazone (bute), as one example of what is quite likely to be prevalent in horsemeat. Bute is a known carcinogen and its use is illegal in any animal that enters the food supply.
“It is more likely than not that the vast majority of horses will have been administered bute, or ‘horse’s aspirin’ as it is commonly called,” said Atamanenko.
According to Atamanenko, at least fifty per cent of the horses being slaughtered in Canada are imported from the US where horse slaughter has been banned. The meat is then sold to markets in Europe. There are no regulations in the US to prevent horse owners from administering banned substances because horses are not regarded or treated as food-producing animals.
Under pressure from the European Union (EU), Canada is set to introduce a new ‘equine passport’ system to track the health history and medical treatments of horses arriving at slaughterhouses, including those from the States.
Atamanenko believes that it will be impossible for CFIA to verify data in these passports and expects to see a high incidence of inaccurate records.
“Many in the US believe it should be our job to verify information from US horses since Canada is the only one slaughtering them for human consumption,” concluded the Atamanenko. “It’s a stretch to think that information on hundreds of thousands of unwanted horses that were never raised to be food, will be complete or accurate.”
Link for Bill C-544: http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=4633655&Language=e&Mode=1&File=24
UPDATE - June 11 - Media Update on Recent Investigation
In case you haven't viewed these follow up reports from the CBC and CTV, here are links to:
CBC The National, Horses Mistreated? CFIA Breaking the Rules, June 3, 2010 http://www.defendhorsescanada.org/ChambersofCarnage.html
This revealing follow-up catches the CFIA misleading the public into believing that horses were being monitored in the kill line by CFIA inspectors, when in fact they were not allowed on the kill floor for safety reasons.
CTV Alberta Access, Horse Slaughter Controversy Debate, June 1, 2010 http://www.albertaprimetime.com/Segments.aspx?FlashVars=Video/PTG_060110.flv
Scroll down on the list of videos for "Horse Slaughter Controversy"
This interesting debate includes Twyla Francois from the CHDC, Bill DesBarres from the Alberta Equestrian Federation, supporting Canada's horse slaughter industry, and Dr. Temple Grandin, Prof. of Science from Colorado State University.
UPDATE - MAY 17 - New contact details for CFIA and Min. of Agriculture below.
Fellow Horse Advocate,
This week, the CHDC released its latest investigative reports on 2 of Canada's largest horse slaughter plants, Bouvry Exports in Alberta, and Richelieu Meats in Quebec:
Chambers of Carnage - A Sweeping Undercover Investigation of Canada's Leading Equine Slaughterhouses
Video cameras captured footage at both facilities in late February 2010. What is happening to our horses in these plants is horrible beyond words. The footage is difficult to view, as they contain images of horses meeting their end at the barrel of a gun. Those fortunate enough to go down quickly are spared the suffering of many that do not meet their end so quickly or painlessly. If you find it hard to watch the footage, there are also footage indexes that you can read instead.
Links to these reports are on our website at: http://www.defendhorsescanada.org .
From World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA)
"The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) is appalled by evidence of grossly inhumane slaughter of horses taking place in Canada. We have been sent video footage that is stated to have been taken recently in Bouvry Exports Calgary Ltd slaughterhouse in Fort Macleod, Alberta and Viande Richelieu Inc./Richelieu Meat Inc. slaughterhouse in Massueville, Quebec. It is clear that neither the facilities nor the behaviour of the personnel shown are suited to the humane slaughter of horses, and that extreme suffering results for many individual animals. Problems include failure to restrain each animal's head properly before shooting, shooting from too great a distance, shooting in the wrong part of the head or body, failure to follow up with an immediate second shot in animals that were not killed by the first, hoisting apparently conscious animals, and - in the case of the Richelieu plant - cruel handling and treatment of the horses, including excessive whipping and overuse of an electric prod as well as an apparent callous disregard for the animals' suffering. An additional cause of very major concern is the presence of what appear to be either plant supervisors or inspectors who observe the employees' actions and yet do nothing."
From Nicholas H. Dodman, D.V.M., one of the world's most noted and celebrated veterinary behaviorists, a founding member of Veterinarians for Equine Welfare and Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine Professor: “Noise, blood and suffering is what you get at the Bouvry equine slaughter plant: Horses kicking after they have been shot, sinking down and rising up; sometimes periods of struggling or paddling before a second or third shot has to be administered. This atrocity goes against all veterinary guidelines for humane euthanasia. Terror and suffering is the rule at this equine house of horrors ... and all in the name of the gourmet meat market.”
From Alberta Veterinarian Dr. Debi Zimmermann: "I conclude that the wary and flighty nature of the horse, coupled with the poorly designed kill plant systems currently in place at Bouvry Exports and Viande Richelieu, results in unacceptable levels of suffering endured by horses (both in number of horses and degree of suffering), and poses inherent dangers to plant personnel. The shooters are seldom able to adhere to the required protocols for euthanasia by firearm, due to a combination of horse and human factors."
The CHDC asks you to take action, and let the CFIA know that this suffering will not be accepted! There are only 4 operating horse slaughter plants in Canada, yet these are the substandard conditions we can be sure are prevalent at all of them. Horses cannot be humanely killed in an assembly-line fashion. This evidence makes it abundantly clear.
Hon. Gerry Ritz
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
781 Confederation Bldg., House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
Tel: 613-995-7080; Fax: 613-996-8472
Ms. Carole Swan, President
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
1400 Merivale Rd., Tower 1, Floor 6
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0Y9
Tel: 613-773-6000; Fax 613-773-6060
Dr. Brian Evans, Chief Veterinary Officer of Canada
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
1400 Merivale Rd., Tower 1, Floor 6
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0Y9
Tel: 613-773-5763; Fax 613-773-6060
Also contact your Member of Parliament via this link. Click on his or her name to find their contact information:
Please do it for the horses!
All of the footage compilations from Bouvry and Richelieu have been uploaded onto YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/user/TwylaFrancois.
Feel free to post this message on social networking sites to encourage others to take action for the horses.
Canadian Horse Defence Coalition
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