Trailered Slaughter Horse. Google image.

Road to slaughter in Canada re-opens for US horses

Trailered Slaughter Horse. Google image.
U.S. horses are on the road again to slaughter after a few days’ reprieve when Canadian slaughter plants refused them beginning last Friday. Google image.

While the reasons given are many and varied for Canadian slaughter plants rejecting U.S. horses last Friday that came suddenly and with no warning, today the road to slaughter re-opened.

Clearly the slaughter of U.S. horses for human consumption will continue in Canada and Mexico where thousands are killed for their meat each week. On average, 60% to 70% of Canada’s overall kills to provide horse meat for overseas palates are U.S horses.

Perhaps it is now becoming clearer to more people in the U.S. that although horse slaughter is not taking place on home soil, their country is a major player in the thriving N. American horse slaughter industry.

What did we learn?

Alarmingly, through our own contact with employees at Bouvry’s because of recent events in Canada, they tell us without reservation that they believe horse slaughter will return to U.S. soil next year and this will be accomplished by Claude Bouvry himself. So instead of reining in the sale of toxic horse meat to European countries, the N. American horse slaughter industry intends to supply even more of it, using additional thousands of U.S. horses a week to do so.

Where is enforcement of EC regulations?

If the European Commission (EC) were serious about food safety, it would not be willing partners with N. American horse slaughter plants such as Bouvry’s in potentially poisoning its citizenry with toxic horse meat. Instead, the EC appears content to be lax with its policy of excluding horses who have received banned drugs such as the widely used phenylbutazone (bute) and clenbuterol from the human food chain.

The EC fail to implementing its food safety regulations in the case of N. American horse meat by allowing horse slaughter plants to set their owns terms on how they comply with its regulations.

In 2009, the Int’l Fund for Horses began lobbying the EC calling on them to bar N. American and Australian horse meat from entering its member countries citing its regulation that clearly states any horse who has received bute (for example) in their lifetime are banned outright from entering the human food chain.

What followed first was the EC recommendation of a 6-month quarantine of U.S. horses before allowing them entry to Canada or Mexico for slaughter for human consumption. However, Canadian slaughterhouses reacted quickly and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) successfully sold the idea of the failed Equine Information Document (EID) which would supposedly contain a slaughter horse’s full medication history. We see the results of this. EID’s are forged or non-existent. Canadian horse meat is testing positive for bute. EU-regulated plants in Mexico were cited with numerous violations, some shut down until they came into compliance.

Although the new proposed passport system the EC intends to put into effect in 2013 may on the surface appear to be an improvement over the CFIA’s impotent EID system, again compliance relies on the honor system. There is no honor in horse slaughter.

Additionally, U.S. horse breeders and owners are under no obligation to comply with EC mandates. Horses are not traditional food animals and not regulated as such in the U.S. Why should they bear the burden of proof considering their horse’s history considering fewer than 1% of an estimated 10 million horses in the U.S. reportedly go to slaughter for human consumption.

Americans hate horse slaughter.

Notwithstanding the above, sending horses to slaughter for any reason is unconscionable, inhumane and a gross betrayal of an animal who are highly valued members of American society. This sentiment is supported repeatedly whenever a professional poll or public survey is taken on the subject of killing horses for their meat both in the U.S. and Canada. The Facebook page called “We are the 80%” shows how high the number of people against horse slaughter typically is.

Through all of this, the quote that replays in my head is this one: “Just because there is a demand for horse meat does not mean we should or must supply it.” Knowing what we do, it is also highly irresponsible and lacking in integrity to do so.

How to stop it?

If looking to ban horse slaughter legislatively, we can only hope that the upcoming elections may have some impact in increasing the odds in favor of getting a law into place banning it across the nation.

We did not endorse either Presidential candidate last year and the outcome has demonstrated how right we were. We are not endorsing one this year either.

Insofar as runners for Congressional seats, please check their animal welfare record. There is a wealth of information online. If unsatisfied and you want more information, please consult the candidate’s local election office directly and ask them where they stand on the issue of horse slaughter. Take the same action at the State level if your local Representative, Assemblyman or Senator are in a battle for their seats.

22 thoughts on “Road to slaughter in Canada re-opens for US horses”

  1. Why all the finger pointing at Canada when a majority of horses killed there are U.S. horses. Plus there are plenty who would love to set up slaughter plants again in the U.S.

    And why all the hating on the killers? Despicable, yes they are. However, if people did not eat meat — horse or otherwise — none of this savage butchery would be going on. They would be out of a job. Eating meat is totally unnecessary. People who eat the flesh of animals killed to satisfy their appetites have no right to judge anyone.

    The type of cruelty exposed in this video goes on wherever animals are killed for their meat and other products. Meat eaters are the reason it all goes on. Meat eaters are making the sadistic people doing the killing on their behalf very, very rich.


    1. Nasty, Nasty, Nasty. Try and be civil. No one is blaming Canada alone. I didn’t insult you so keep or try to keep your manners in tow when discussing touchy subjects. I had dual citizenship in canada and my roots are there. Don’t make me out to be some one or someting that I am not. I am Mikmaq-Metis and I am well aware of the Canadian pulse. Please! Save your nasty attitude for those who advocate eating horse meat.
      I am a Vegetarian.
      Thank you;


      1. I was not nasty were. Grow up you insignificant pip-squeak…what do you do for the horses given that you are so-called Canadian????…

        And so what, I am vegetarian too…

        I see I have hit a nerve and you feel guilty for your remarks…otherwise you would not have responded the way you did…..

        Have a great weekend.


        1. Jane; It isn’t necessary to be on the offensive and call me names. God bless you for all your your deavors in saving His humble creatures.

          I wish you well.


    2. You are correct when you state that the United States has ownership in this mess.
      I don’t understand how people who profess respect for “The Creation and Creator, go to church every week and sit down to this meal of ?
      There will be accountability for these “Stewards of Creation.



      1. Amen Gilbert-Joseph.

        I understand when emotions run high, and people say things that are out of character. But Canada has been getting a lot of nasty remarks when they are hardly alone in this, as has already been stated. It is horrific, and everyone who loves horses and care about how animals suffer to land on someone’s dinner plate feel terrible about it. I believe this is frustration talking, as we all work so hard and it seems that there is no end in sight. Being vegetarian or vegan means that 1000s of lives are saved just by you alone. So, please take heart in that as miniscule as it may sometimes seem.


    1. PETA is too controversial and does not speak the voice of the average citizen. They are extremists as far as I am concerned and are an example of what NOT to do. Besides, they have the belief that no animal deserves human companionship and euthanize a great majority of the animals that they “save”.

      Sorry, but I believe humans and animals have a special bond that we all must embrace. I have three animal companions that live with me under the same roof that I love to death and that love is returned.

      To believe in the extreme of “ownership” and “suppression” is simply absurd. As much as we have animal abusers, there are hoards of people who adore their animal companions and honour (sorry for the spelling but I am Canadian) and treat them the same way they do their human counterparts.

      I have no use for an organization that does not believe there is goodness in mutual love…nor do the vast majority of animal lovers…..

      Leave PETA out…UGH!


      1. I share your views about animal and human companionship, However perhaps Canadians like yourself need to be more effective in reversing this brutality.
        It took long enough for the seal slaughter to reach public outrage. How long will it take for your base to eliminate this market for an unatural tast for horse meat.
        What’s next on the menue?


        1. We fight equally as hard here to put an end to horse slaughter and other atrocities. Perhaps you should realize that the US has not stopped slaughter either, it just does not take place on US soil. And I refuse to get into an argument of circular logic on this one.

          As with anywhere else we have a difficult government full of bureaucracy and political greed and malevolence to deal with and with only one tenth of the people to fight these issues as the US does.

          Maybe if you took the time to find out about what goes on here in Canada you would realize that 80% of the people here are against horse slaughter and maybe more when it comes to the seal hunt. It is all disgusting.

          So before you condemn someone or the people of a nation educate yourself. I have no respect or time for people like you who don’t have a clue about anything and resort to name calling in order to make a point. Really, how uncreative and rude.

          And if you don’t like this message I am sending to you I really couldn’t care less. The fact that I have even responded to this pitiful comment I realize has been a total waste of my time.


  2. From what I understand from Equine Welfare Alliance the inspections for horse meat in the United States was not funded for another year. Congressman Moran tweeted the result. At least we won’t have to fight any of the states on this at least for this year. This will stop the likes slaughterhouse Sue trying to wrangle the start of one if she could find the financing for it. What needs to be done and I think Moran would do it in a minute is pass a bill making none-funding inspections a permanent law. It would have cost 5 million a year for the inspections of meat no one eats in the US. That would block creeps like Bouvry.


    1. Yes, Barbara, it stops creeps like Bouvry for another year, and the reason why he is targeting opening a plant next Fall. We’ll see how far he goes, or gets.


  3. It makes me heart sick….every horse that is taken to slaughter knows what is happening and it is so inhumane and sick…..terrible thing to do….horses do not ask to be born but we breed them and therefore anyone who buys a horses or breeds a horse should love it, feed it and give it the proper care….not sell it to killers. It is shameful and God does see it and someday people will pay for the anima cruelty and also human cruelty.


  4. I was so Happy yesterday at the news….Broken heart ted today…. “HORSE SLAUGHTER NEEDS TO END” We as AMERICANS do not want it at all!!!!! I hope anyone that purchases horse meat gets exactly what they deserve “SICK”


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