A fire last Friday has shut down another Canadian slaughter plant licensed to kill horses. Medallion Meats stopped killing horses last year. The closure of Norval Meats means instead of six, there are now four plants butchering equines in Canada.
The leading statement in the report below implies that the plant may have been burned down because it is licensed to kill horses. Yet at the end it mentions that Norval is licensed to process cattle, calves and horses, although the sign on the building says it’s licensed to process beef, lamb and veal.
An investigation into the fire is underway.
Cross-posted excerpt from the Owen Sound Sun Times
by DON CROSBY | February 22, 2010
A suspicious fire at an abattoir licensed to slaughter horses in Proton Station north of Dundalk is under investigation by the OPP and Ontario Fire Marshal.
The Dundalk fire department responded to a call Friday morning at about 5:20 a.m. to a fire at Norval Meats on the Artemesia-Southgate Townline in Proton Station.
Fire Chief John Thompson said an addition on the southeast corner of the plant was completely engulfed when firefighters arrived.
“The flames were through the roof,” he said.
He said firefighters smashed a window in a door at the front of the main building to gain access, which triggered an alarm.
Firefighters struggled to confine the stubborn blaze to the addition. Flames had crept up under the roof, which necessitated removing parts of the roof on the entire building to prevent the fire from spreading.
Thompson said he didn’t see any live animals in the building. And nobody was working in the abattoir at the time of the fire.
Thompson expects it to be awhile before a report will be available from the fire marshal’s office on the cause of the fire. He said investigators took away some samples for forensic testing.
There was a police presence on Friday and Saturday at the scene. On Sunday a private security firm hired by the insurer was on site to keep anyone from going beyond the yellow police tape.
The horse slaughter business in Canada has grown by 75% since laws were passed in the United States in 2006 making it illegal to kill horses there for food, according to figures from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.