START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
3,452,049 people care about Animal Welfare

Inhumane Horse Slaughtering in Quebec

Inhumane Horse Slaughtering in Quebec
  • 1 of 2

The horses are old or ill or just no longer useful to their owners. Often thin, heads hanging low, ribs protruding, they stand quietly, dejected. You can see the fear in their eyes as they enter the stun box. If they are lucky, they lose consciousness after one jolt with the bolt gun. Sometimes they stumble and are stunned repeatedly. Sometimes they cry out.

They arrive weary, after being trucked from all over the States to destinations in Mexico and Canada. The U.S. banned horse slaughterhouses in 2007, but the demand for disposal of unwanted equines continues unabated. Out of sight of the owners who have sold them, they would have no advocates except for the determination of animal welfare groups such as the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC), which tracks their treatment in Canada.

On July 13 and 14, 2011, CHDC carried out an undercover investigation of a Quebec slaughterhouse. This is the fourth plant the coalition has studied. Although the industry and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency keep promising to improve standards, footage from Les Viandes de la Petite-Nation in St. Andre-Avelin shows they have a long way to go.

The video below is from the two-day tracking of the fate of these unwanted horses. If the horror of their experience is too painful to watch, try the sad but less graphic videos at the bottom of “Pasture to Plate” on the CHDC Web site.

Drugs in Horse Meat

As if the mistreatment of horses were not enough to shake up the industry, CHDC cites a shoddy tracking system that is supposedly in place to protect human health. Horses that end up in these slaughterhouses are not raised for food. Although owners are required to provide complete medical histories, their reports are not verified. Gary Corbett, president of the federal union that represents slaughterhouse veterinarians, is quoted as telling the Toronto Star on July 30, 2011:

(Veterinarians) do rely a lot on the records of the horses kept by the owners coming into the country and there are questions about how accurate or up to date they are.  It’s at the discretion of the owner.  There’s no regulatory framework to monitor it.  It’s kind of like an honour system.

As a result, meat from these slaughtered horses may enter the human food chain tainted with drugs. Calling on the government to immediately shut down the industry, British Columbia MP Alex Atamenenko cites one potentially dangerous example of “horse aspirin” or “phenylbutazone.” The common pain medicine could easily end up in horse meat, and even small amounts of the substance can cause anaplastic anemia in children.

  • 1 of 2

Read more: , , , , ,

Photo from iStockphoto via Thinkstock

quick poll

vote now!

Loading poll...

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

221 comments

+ add your own
6:35AM PST on Jan 20, 2013

wish i was there with a bolt gun, guess what id use it on?? not the animals but the ones using it on the animals. id tell them how do you like how it feels?? grrrrr

6:30AM PST on Jan 20, 2013

torah i agree wish theyd suffer the same fate. no remorse for the wrong they do

7:53AM PST on Nov 12, 2012

MY GOD I WISH WE WERE ALL REDUCED IN NUMBERS THE SHEER NUMBERS OF US IS THE PROBLEM

4:39AM PDT on Sep 27, 2012

Pat K, I have no doubt that such videos exist because first of all, many are decades old and have been edited. Secondly, the conditions you describe MAY occur in slaughter houses in Canada or Mexico where there are no regulations against such cruelty, but they were never accepted practices in slaughterhouses in the U.S., at least not in my lifetime, and what would the point in starving horses once purchased by kill buyers be? They pay by the pound, so the point is that the horse is worth more with more flesh ON IT. If the horse weighs 800 lbs when purchased, it would make little sense to then starve it into being with less flesh when slaughtered because there would be far less meat to sell. Bones don't feed zoo animals........MEAT does. Zoo animals which are fed horse meat (and most of it is exported to countries where horse meat consumption is legal) don't care about the meat being LEAN, they just want meat, period. Lions and tigers could care less about cholesteral or calories. The fatter the meat is, more tasty it might be to them and the less OF it required to keep said big cats healthy. To imply what you have makes little sense when you think about it. Cattle are sent to FEEDLOTS before auctioning off to be slaughtered........the fatter they are, the more money they are worth. Same with horses bound for slaughter. It is sad that so many starving horses end up there anyway, but that is the alternative given to many who have horses that can't or won't feed them

9:38AM PDT on Sep 26, 2012

to say that the slaughtering of horses is better, more humane, that other cost effective alternatives is in absolutely FALSE. Have you seen what the horses go thru? Once bought by kill buyers they are stuffed into livestock trucks and shipped to where ever. These conditions are inhumane. Once on the kill lot, some are starved because they can get more money for "leanmeat" to be used by zoo's for their carnivores. They are used for target practice, they go into a galley where they are to be stunned with stun gun, which many times does not work so they are beaten with baseball bats. They are then hung up by their legs (upside down), some are stabbed and cut behind the crown of their head to paralyze them, then they are dismembered and gutted - they are still ALIVE when this happens and their screams can be heard outside the facility. They die by bleeding out -now this is the Norm, not accidental or a rare situation. A friend did an undercover investigation and all this is recorded and video taped.

8:48AM PDT on Jul 15, 2012

Tutto questo è solo crudeltà.

3:25AM PDT on Jul 15, 2012

Dang, I wish Care.2 had an "edit" button! "you're "in denial" ck of a better phrase"..........I MEANT, "you're in denial for LACK of a better phrase".

3:22AM PDT on Jul 15, 2012

Torah, you're "in denial" ck of a better phrase if you think there is enough suitable open range in the U.S. to support all unwanted horses and that there is never such a thing as "overpopulation" of a species. I'm not saying wild horses (BLM MUSTANGS) are overpopulating open ranges, just that they easily can become too numerous to exist on the land where they happen to be, and then die of starvation. Without natural predators such as wolves and cougars, that can happen even faster, and ranchers are doing as much as they can to not only reduce numbers of horses, cut grazing lands available to horses so they can graze cattle, but shoot the predators that will take their cattle as well as wild horses. Not all areas of "open land" in the U.S. is even suitable for horses, let along substaining them without supplemental feeding. Of COURSE horses can and SHOULD eat grass, but trust me, in areas such as where I live, that alone cannot keep them healthy.

The topic HERE is inhumane slaughtering in Canada, not the U.S., and the methods that are used indeed portray very unnecessary cruelty.

9:45AM PDT on Jul 14, 2012

No need to euthanize nor slaughter because in America we have plenty of open country that these animals can be transported to roam openly & freely. Horses are quite remarkable & intelligent animals & can live off the land just as many other wild animals do. Even horses kept in captivity can live off land very easily. I was raised with horses my entire life & yes horses can eat grass, drink out of streams & live in packs as wild horses did since time began. I have seen many horses put out to pasture as you would say, when they got too old. Unfortunately, when they do get sick or injured they are on their own but that is still a better option than forcibly capturing them & putting them through a horrible & scary experience that leads to their death.

9:45AM PDT on Jul 14, 2012

No need to euthanize nor slaughter because in America we have plenty of open country that these animals can be transported to roam openly & freely. Horses are quite remarkable & intelligent animals & can live off the land just as many other wild animals do. Even horses kept in captivity can live off land very easily. I was raised with horses my entire life & yes horses can eat grass, drink out of streams & live in packs as wild horses did since time began. I have seen many horses put out to pasture as you would say, when they got too old. Unfortunately, when they do get sick or injured they are on their own but that is still a better option than forcibly capturing them & putting them through a horrible & scary experience that leads to their death.

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

ads keep care2 free

Recent Comments from Causes

Dennis: If science is different that what people are observing/experiencing then it is people's obligation…

Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!
ads keep care2 free

more from causes

Animal Welfare

Causes Canada

Causes UK

Children

Civil Rights

Education

Endangered Wildlife

Environment & Wildlife

Global Development

Global Warming

Health Policy

Human Rights

LGBT rights

Politics

Real Food

Trailblazers For Good

Women's Rights




Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.