Investigation into Canadian slaughterhouses reveals carnage of cruelties

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Source: Canadian Horse Defence Coalition Press Release

A Sweeping Undercover Investigation of Canada’s Leading Equine Slaughterhouses

Horse Welfare Group calls for immediate closure of Canada’s horse slaughter plants

Westbank, B.C., March 30, 2010: In late February 2010, the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC) received hidden camera footage of horse slaughter practices at Quebec’s Viandes Richelieu and Alberta’s Bouvry Exports – the latter known as North America’s largest exporter of horsemeat. The CHDC has asked a panel of veterinarians, the BC SPCA and the World Society for the Protection of Animals to review the footage, which contains numerous instances of improper stunning and horses showing signs of returning consciousness.

Early audit results of the footage show automatic failures of both facilities.

The CHDC has compelling proof that puts into question the effectiveness of the assembly-line slaughter of horses. The evidence demonstrates that both the facilities in Alberta and Quebec fail to meet humane slaughter standards used by the CFIA to audit Canadian slaughterhouses.

The CHDC’s June 2008 report on Natural Valley Farms – the now bankrupt horse slaughterhouse in Saskatchewan ( documented the inadequate stunning of horses with the penetrating captive bolt gun.

At both plants in the February 2010 investigation, a .22 rifle was used, and again horses were shot incorrectly, with some regaining consciousness.

As stated by Alberta veterinarian Dr. Debi Zimmermann:

I conclude that the wary and flighty nature of the horse, coupled with the poorly designed kill plant systems currently in place at Bouvry Exports and Viandes Richelieu, results in unacceptable levels of suffering endured by horses (both in number of horses and degree of suffering), and poses inherent dangers to plant personnel.”

Dr. Zimmermann adds:

The shooters are seldom able to adhere to the required protocols for euthanasia by firearm, due to a combination of horse and human factors.”

As there are only two government-approved methods of stunning horses in Canada – captive bolt gun and rifle – and both methods have been shown to cause prolonged suffering in numerous horses, we conclude that these animals cannot be slaughtered humanely in today’s slaughterhouse assembly lines.

The CHDC therefore calls for the immediate closure of Canada’s horse slaughter plants.

View the slaughterhouse carnage of cruelties in a series of YouTube Videos at

For further information, please contact:

Twyla Francois
Central Region Director
T: 204-296-1375

Sinikka Crosland
Executive Director
T: 250-768-4803
Canadian Horse Defence Coalition

Twyla Francois
Head of Investigation
Canadians for the Ethical Treatment of Food Animals


Note: The videos cited above are graphic and highly disturbing. For more a descriptive report, please see:


5 thoughts on “Investigation into Canadian slaughterhouses reveals carnage of cruelties”

  1. One possible solution to this problem,would be to require people to license their horses,the money from this could be used to help with end of life expenses for their horses. The cruel practice of horse slaughter must end. If you want to own a horse please educate yourself about the care required . Before buying , visit local horse rescues, lease a horse at a reputable barn. If you own a horse and no longer want or are able to keep him/her please find it in your soul to locate a safe place for them. If a new safe home can not be found,call the Vet and put him/her down.


  2. Georgia State Rep. Nathan Deal, who is currently running for Governor of Georgia, would not sign the bill to stop shipping to Canada and Mexico.

    Maybe the new State meat of Georgia will be Horse, or maybe his family can eat their own horses for Easter.


  3. I am in the US, and I applaud Canada’s efforts to close down these horrible places. We export horses to Canada for slaughter, but there are those here who would reopen our horse slaughter houses. We are in a tooth-and-nail fight over it.

    This material will be of GREAT use to us here in our fight to get the word out about what horse slaughter is REALLY like.

    I lived in Dallas, TX when both Dallas Crown and Beltex were in operation, and I already know all too well.


  4. I do not need the images to know how bad this is..I am sorry but I cannot watch…I saw inside a slaughterhouse once in my life, which is why I am a vegetarian and why, years later, it haunts me…please…everyone…contact your MP, MPP, Mayor, Councillor, the local media..whoever you can and get this stopped now…animals were never meant to be treated like this..not the inhumane transport, or the suffering when they get there…slaughterhouses for horses do not belong anywhere…but particularly not in Canada, where we are mostly doing it for offshore customers and where we should be, in our oh so lovely, respected country, less likely to abuse or be cruel to animals of any kind.


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