The following is the full text of a letter written by DR. BRIAN EVANS, Executive Vice President and Chief Veterinary Officer of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
“May 3, 2010
I am writing in response to your correspondence to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regarding the report on the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition’s website, entitled Chambers of Carnage: A Sweeping Undercover Investigation of Canada’s Leading Equine Slaughterhouses.
The government of Canada takes the issue of proper treatment of animals seriously. The actions and scenarios such as those presented in the videos will not be tolerated. Regulations and operational policies under the Meat Inspection Act, which set standards for humane handling and slaughter of animals in federal registered abattoirs, will be enforced and subject to regular audit to verify compliance. Canada has strict laws and regulations to ensure that animals are handled humanely. Where instances of non-compliance are reported or identified, the CFIA will investigate and take action using the full scope of its legal authority.
The CFIA has reviewed the Canada Horse Defence Coalition’s report and initiated an immediate investigation of the facilities in question to ensure that proper procedures are being followed and that mandated standards for duty of care are consistently met. Management in these registered establishments are co-operating fully with the investigation and are reviewing their operations. Changes have been made where necessary and will continue to be subject to intensified oversight by on-site inspection staff.
Animal cruelty is unacceptable under the Criminal Code, and penalties provide an important deterrent. On April 9, 2008, the Government was successful in ensuring that Bill S-203 passed. This bill amends the Criminal Code to significantly increase penalties, to enhance sentencing options available to the courts and to send a strong message that the federal government does not tolerate animal cruelty.
Thank you for taking the time to express your views on this important subject.
See original letter. Click image to enlarge.