CHDC Horse Meat Protest Toronto (Tyler Anderson / National Post)

Canadian restauranteurs respond to horse meat protests

Cross-posted from the National Post

Written by SHEILA DABU NONATO

CHDC Horse Meat Protest Toronto (Tyler Anderson / National Post)
TORONTO, ONTARIO: FEBRUARY 20, 2012 - Protesters hold signs urging the owners of La Palette, the French bistro seen in the background, to take horse meat off their menu on Queen Street West in Toronto, Ontario, Monday, February 20, 2012. (Tyler Anderson/National Post)
    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.”

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8 thoughts on “Canadian restauranteurs respond to horse meat protests”

  1. If Canada would shut down their horse meat and PMU farms and horse slaughterhouses, it would really put a kink in the works that Horse Warriors everywhere will rejoice about. Educating the public on the horse slaughter issues, toxicity from medications/wormers, inhumane treatment and method of killing, horse thievery, the dire and dangerous health and crime conditions a horse slaughter plant brings to the town that house one, the greedy, cruel and unscrupulous kill buyers and the irresponsible horse breeders, race track horses, etc. etc. etc. If the public really knew the dirty secrets of the horse industries like how Ferdinand, the race horse made over a half million dollars (or more) for his owners and then was shipped to Japan for slaughter just because he wasn’t able to breed. Now, that is sick!!! That horse earned his keep and then some. It’s all about money, greed and corrupt politics. Hope the word gets out so horse slaughter can be stopped every where!

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    1. Canadians are working hard to shut down the horse slaughter industry. The US has to do it’s part as well. Over 65% of the horses slaughtered in Canada are from the United States.A similar situation exists in Mexico. Even with the ban imposed in 2006 when Congress defunded USDA inspection of the slaughterhouses the number of US horses slaughtered has not changed significantly – just in different locations now.

      If the US would stop the transport of horses to Canada, the industry would suffer appreciably which would be a positive step toward shuttering the industry in Canada.

      I am not blaming the US, I am simply saying that horse slaughter continues unabated in North America.

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      1. Dear Booboo, that’s exactly what we are working on! Ending Horse Slaughter PERIOD! My point being, if Canada stops slaughtering horses, the US won’t be transporting horses to Canada for slaughter. I am a Canadian living in US – Oregon, and we are working hard to end horse slaughter and transport for slaughter here. California all ready has a law banning the sale and transport of horses for the purpose of slaughter, but the kill buyers flagrantly violate it. With a few US states instigating AG GAG laws intended to prevent the exposure of cruel and inhumane treatment of livestock and horses, we have our work cut out for us. All Horse Warriors must continue to fight to end horse slaughter and the transport of horses for the purpose of slaughter every where. It’s not a question of who’s to blame, it’s about working hard to end this atrocious practice where ever Horse Warriors can.

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      2. Yes, that’s why we, Horse Warriors, continue to work on (1) ending horse slaughter in the US and (2) ending export of horses for the purpose of slaughter. California actually has a law that makes it unlawful to sell a horse for the purpose of exporting for slaughter. Animals Angels investigators have done several in-depth investigations of several California auction houses and submitted their documented findings to the authorities, who have taken very little action. Their video taping of several horses down and dying for several days did raise the ire of several authorities to something. It is, however, an issue that the authorities do not (1) either have the interest, (2) the knowledge or (3) the funding and manpower to fully address. This is why Horse Warriors work to change the laws, expose the animal cruelty/neglect violators and those that continue to flaunt horse exportation laws. It’s not about blaming one country or another. Most of the meat is exported for foreign markets. Most of the horse slaughter houses are owned by foreign countries or the foreigners (Belgium/France) have a financial interest somewhere along the line. Shutting down Mexico and Canada would make horse exportation a lot more difficult for the U.S. Of course, now that several U.S. slaughter plants want to reopen for to slaughter horses, we have quite another battle on our hands. It will take a village of all nationalities to end horse slaughter and the exportation of horses for the purpose of slaughter. See http://www.animalsangels.org/

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  2. I strongly support the BAN on horse slaughter! I fully support your efforts. Please stop murdering our horses! Stop eating horse meat!

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  3. Bring it on. This is good, as it will engage the Canadian public in an issue which has been under the radar for far too long. We have the facts and the science; all they have is the misconceived idea that horsemeat is leaner than beef. Bute a l’orange, anyone?
    The CFIA is succumbing to pressures issuing from industry and most recently, a federal budget which cuts their staff by over 20 per cent. In any case, their urine tests are inadequate and their sampling of tissues is absurdly low.

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