Suspicion surrounds fire at Canadian plant licensed to slaughter horses

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.

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5 thoughts on “Suspicion surrounds fire at Canadian plant licensed to slaughter horses”

  1. What a bunch of greedy scumbuckets these slaughteres are -Canada needs to start acting like a civilized country and shut down those disgraceful brutal slaughter plants.


    1. Shari

      Canada is a civilized country. Unfortunately we are not as far along as the US in shutting down the slaughter plants but there is a movement here as well – don’t forget that the US once slaughtered horses.

      Thanks to all the wonderful people and their vigilant efforts, the US is currently slaughter-free . Hopefully it will stay that way even though there are groups lobbying to bring it back.

      Don’t think that people here in Canada are pro-slaughter – that is far from the truth. We care just as much and are ashamed that these organizations exist. We have the same pain-staking journey toward shuttering these houses of horror that the US did – please support us in our mutual goal to rid NA of the appalling horse-slaughter industry.



      1. You are right, Jane. An IPSOS-Reid poll showed that 2/3s of Canadians are opposed to horse slaughter. That is roughly the same percentage of Americans polled against horse slaughter. The horse slaughter industry is a despicable one. The reason they can commit the acts they do is they view horses as a commodity. They no more understand where we are coming from than we understand their way of thinking. However, the majority rules, so make your voices heard, Canadians!


  2. Yes, Jane, please do contact your acquaintances in Dundalk. It would be interesting to hear their thoughts.

    On this side of the border, in 2002 animal rights folks were blamed for burning down the old Cavel horse slaughter plant in DeKalb Il. Much was made of it, ALF did it; Peta did it, and so on.

    Then it came out that the Belgian owners of Cavel had re-insured not long before the fire, saying they were going to expand it. Then it went up in smoke. The fire was investigated for arson, but there was “no result.” Van Damme & Co got their insurance (I think). They rebuilt the plant and reopened in 2004.


  3. I saw this in the paper this morning…being Canadian myself I thought it most interesting, especially since there were no animals in the building. If it was an anti-slaughter individual/group I hope they elude the law….I know..I should not support arsonists but anything to send a message. Obviously the sign w/o the mention of horses implies they don’t want people to know they slaughter horses there, although I’m sure the locals are aware of it. Dundalk is a very small village in farm country….we got our dogs there..I should phone the people we got them from for some info/comments.


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