- VANCOUVER, Canada (AFP) — Veteran American actress, horse lover and onetime Playboy model Bo Derek launched a campaign Monday to stop horses from being slaughtered for meat in Canada.
Activists say a new ban on horse meat in all US states has led to animals from that country being sold at American auctions, then trucked across the borders to be slaughtered for meat which is exported mostly to Europe.
“A lot of the horses that would have gone to slaughter there are being shipped to Canada and Mexico,” said Derek, who was invited to this west coast city to launch the Canadian campaign by the Canadian Horse Defense Coalition.
“Most people don’t know what’s going on,” said the 51-year-old blue-eyed actress, who owns five horses.
“Horses are never bred to be eaten. They’re not even beasts of burden anymore, those are the old days,” she said. “They’re beautiful animals, used in sport and as companion animals.”
Derek, who has been active in the US campaign against horsemeat for six years, warned that the lack of US legislation against shipping horses for meat could lead to the slaughter of 100,000 the animals in Canada this year.
“It’s very brutal,” she said. “We’ve been breeding our livestock to be docile and manageable, and it’s quite the opposite with horses. They’re meant to be fast, and beautiful. They’re simply not set up for the process of slaughter.”
The Canadian Horse Defense Coalition campaign is also calling for tougher federal laws to protect animals in Canada, saying that current legislation allows horses to travel for as long as 36 hours without a stop for food or water.
Source: Article copyright AFP 2008