THOUSANDS of racehorses face slaughter in Canada. This issue is making headlines usually with the number 13,000 attached to it.
These horses may face death, but they cannot be slaughtered. I will tell you why in a minute.
Sarah Ferguson, reporting for the Welland Tribune, reports:
With 17 racetracks in Ontario expected to close by 2013 due to the end of the Slots-at-Racetracks program, the Horse Racing Transition (HRT) Panel created by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs is predicting 13,000 horses could be euthanized.
The number of horses expected to be euthanized is concerning to local horse trainer Bill Warner, who said “the numbers just don’t make sense.”
The horse racing industry “is just like any other business,” so it doesn’t seem right to destroy these animals when they can be sold to other trainers in the U.S. or used recreationally, the trainer, who has been in the business for more than 40 years, said.
Warner said some horses who can no longer race and are not suitable for other uses are sold at public auction and can be used for meat — but the lives of many horses don’t have to end, he said.
Although he did admit “more horses will be slaughtered than in the past” because of the number of racetracks closing.
“Warner said some horses who can no longer race and are not suitable for other uses are sold at public auction and can be used for meat . . .” and “more horses will be slaughtered than in the past”. I can see Claude Bouvry licking his lips at the very idea.
Hold on Messrs. Warner and Bouvry.
If Canada is following the letter of the law regarding the slaughter of horses according to EU regulations — which the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) claims to be — racehorses cannot be legally slaughtered and must be turned away.
Unlike horses who are slaughtered with banned substances in their bodies because of the leaky Equine Identification Documentation (EID) system, these racehorses will have known, verifiable medication histories. Those medication histories will show that these racehorses have been given at least one if not both of two highly significant drugs on the banned substance list automatically eliminating them from the human food chain — 1. Phenylbutazone or “Bute” and 2. Clenbuterol or “Clen”.
So if Canada’s politicians or members of the horse racing industry expect to dump racehorses in slaughter plants should the Slots-at-Racetracks program indeed end, they are either willfully ignoring or expecting to circumvent the law.
And this is why, in case you have been wondering, why the Horse Racing Transition Panel are careful to say the word “euthanized” and avoid the word slaughter.
However, the word slaughter — the idea of which was there are along — now is being said.
So with all of this in mind, the question that begs asking is how exactly are they going to “euthanize” and dispose of the carcasses of 13,000 racehorses full of drug residues toxic to humans?
With 13,000 horses lives’ and up to 60,000 human jobs at stake, seems it would be a much better business in this instance simply to let horse racing keep the money.