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Inhumane Horse Slaughtering in Quebec

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What CHDC Found

Pasture to Plate gives a tiny glimmer of hope, stating “that some of the workers, and the shooter in particular, seem to have been provided with training on horse behaviour…” That is small comfort in an overall horrifying report. Page after page cites examples such as these:

  • “As each day progressed and the stun box became more covered in blood, the horse became more resistant to enter it, so had to be forced from behind with the use of what appeared to be a whip (footage shows a whip as the primary driving tool with plastic paddles also used in the stun box).”
  • “Some of the horses in the slaughter footage were slick with sweat or had dried sweat marks, indicating a high level of stress or that the holding area was not temperature controlled.”
  • “Most disturbing is that many of the horses were able to push their heads out the front of the stun box and peer into the butchering area where the horses before them were being hung, bled out and butchered. Many horses appeared increasingly agitated and frightened after doing so.”

An ironic counterpoint to CHDC’s revelations about conditions in Canadian horse slaughterhouses is an editorial that appeared on December 4th in the Texas Star-Telegram. Apparently nine states have passed resolutions calling for the return of horse slaughtering facilities. The opinion piece reports:

Since the ban, the GAO also reported, there has been a dramatic increase in reports of horse neglect, a trend expected to get even worse in this down economy. The American Quarter Horse Association had argued in 2006 that processing of unwanted horses was “a necessary aspect of the equine industry, because it provides a humane euthanasia alternative for horses that might otherwise continue a life of discomfort and pain, or inadequate care or abandonment.”

No Longer Needed, Then What?

The horses are ridden, raced or worked until they are no longer useful or wanted. Then they are sent off to the slaughterhouse, with owners hoping to recoup a bit of the cost by selling them as meat. Once desirable assets, the horses are simply live carcasses, a burden to be fed and cared for.

Animals discarded as thoughtlessly as last year’s cell phones are an indictment of our ethical and moral standards. Animal welfare organizations and animal advocates do their best to draw attention to their plight, but until we embrace the need to treat our fellow creatures with respect, stories like the ones filmed by CHDC will continue.

Related Care2 Stories

Starving Horses Abandoned by Owners

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Donít Let U.S. Horse Slaughterhouses Return

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221 comments

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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.

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