Cross-posted from the National Post
Written by SHEILA DABU NONATO
- As they brace for a possible horse meat ban winding its way through Parliament, Canada’s small community of horse meat restaurateurs and enthusiasts is rising to defend the eating of cheval.
“I have a bigger fear of consuming industrially raised chicken than I would ever have about horses,” said Jean-Jacques Texier, chef-owner at Toronto’s Batifole Restaurant, which offers horse sirloin tartare.
Bill C-322, drafted by NDP MP Alex Atamanenko, is seeking to end the import and export of horses for slaughter for human consumption. Horses “are ordinarily kept as pets for sporting and recreational purposes,” reads the bill, which passed first reading in October. The document also alleges horse products “are likely to contain prohibited substances.”
Recently, seven Toronto-area horse meat establishments have been the target of a letter-writing campaign by the Canadian Horse Defense Coalition (CHDC). In one letter, Marie Dean, a supporter of the group, wrote that she is concerned about “serious food safety concerns with the horse meat that you are selling. There are serious animal welfare concerns as well.”