CFIA Chief Veterinary Officer responds on CHDC horse slaughter investigation

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.

Yours sincerely,”

See original letter. Click image to enlarge.

14 thoughts on “CFIA Chief Veterinary Officer responds on CHDC horse slaughter investigation”

  1. Hi Viv, just wanted to let you know…this letter from Mr. Evans (I won’t distinguish his title of vet…he lost that in my view a long long time ago) is identical to the one he’s sending out on behalf of Gerry Ritz. We’re all getting this same old form letter…same old song-and-dance…I think I take particular offense to that last paragraph – why he has to cite a two-year old animal cruelty bill is beyond me, it certainly doesn’t give him or his government any more credibility.


    1. That’s just terrific eh? Can’t even be somewhat more original even if the same message is delivered! Totally sucks!


  2. Are they kidding?
    quote:The government of Canada takes the issue of proper treatment of animals seriously.
    Except if it’s baby seals or horses,hahaha!
    Damn,do they think it’s funny?It’s like Toyota:”We take safety issues seriously!”
    They knew and didn’t care,period!As long as it’s money coming in,they would sell their grandmother!There is no way that they didn’t know….


    1. Yes, just like all of the governments of the world! No such thing as democratic justice for our four-legged cousins. And don’t get me started on the baby seals…my blood boils over that as well.


  3. He completley missed (over his head) the issue. It is not just the cruelty of animals, it is the fact that they are allowing the slaughter and eating of horses. Horses were never for intended for eating. They carry us to our destination, helped us farm our food, carried us in battle, carried our police officers in their duties, and give us enjoyment just watching these beautiful animals. Anyone who slaughters horses, eats horsemeat or feeds it to their dogs is truly a very psychologicaly disturbed individual. My brother in law is from Canada and he does not know of anyone that would condone the slaughter or eating of horsemeat. It should be banned by the United Nations. There is no reason to eat horses. It can never in anyones imagination be humane to kill or slaughter a horse. I could not bear to watch the videos, just the thought of them slaughtering them, makes me sick.


    1. Well said. It also goes way over his head that if these slaughterhouses are indeed so tightly regulated and monitored, outside investigations could not turn up what they did, no how and when it was done. Clearly, there is no way to make horse slaughter humane, or to enforce these regulations they seem so proud of.


  4. I only read the Index to the videos, and that was more than enough. I’ve been involved with the horse slaughter issue since the 1980s. I lived in Dallas then with Dallas Crown operating in Kaufman and Beltex in Ft. Worth. Horse theft was an absolute epidemic, and you’d hear about new thefts almost every day. It was a total nightmare.

    That’s why I cannot understand these states and why they think they want to have anything to do with this nasty, predatory, polluting, unbelievably cruel MESS. If any DO get it, they WILL regret it.


  5. noway a horse can be put down in a humanly…i seen what goes on a its troubles me to no end…all i know its the market for money that has very one sending horses to slaughter…i know my horse will never be on a dinner plate…


    1. Thanks, Linda. I only watched parts of the videos. I moved past the bits that were too much. After working on horse slaughter for more than 7 years, my mind is saturated with images I will never forget. However, it is important that people new to this issue see what goes on in horse slaughter plants. The cruelty is unbelievable, no matter where it takes place. It demonstrates quite clearly that horse slaughter can never be made acceptable.


  6. Horse Slaughter cannot ever be humane , there is no humane horse slaughter………. and never will be !


    1. As long as people eat horse meat, slaughter will go on to supply the demand. The ones doing the butchering do not care; it is strictly business to them.


    2. I agree Arlene. Sadly, there is absolutely no mention in that letter of potentially banning the practice of horse slaughter.


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