Horse meat cuts painted on a live, grazing horse.

Canada’s horse slaughter industry under fire

Well, here we go again. More slings and arrows at Canada’s horse slaughter industry. Maybe this time it will actually do some damage.

No doubt Canada’s horse slaughter industry is rife with problems.

Last year, a Canadian Food Inspection Agency employee muttered to Tuesday’s Horse that they do not have the budget to see that regulations are fully enforced. In addition to taking in thousands and thousands of horses for slaughter they shouldn’t be, meat inspections at horse slaughter plants are rare.

This is borne out by Henry Skjerven, former director of Natural Valley Foods, the abattoir that went out of business in 2009 when they started slaughtering horses in addition to cattle.

Skjerven states in an investigation for the program 16×9:

“I never saw or heard of the CFIA doing drug screening,” says Henry Skjerven.

“He says the few inspectors in slaughterhouses are stretched much too thin, and can’t realistically be expected to inspect every animal, as required by law.

“The horses were coming in many times offloaded into the hold pen outside the plant, and fifteen minutes later they’re being killed. They see that animal for how long? Seconds. So did they have time to do this and do that, and get everything done they’re supposed to do? My personal opinion is, no.”

Read the full report >>
View video clips >>

In Canada: Don’t miss “Tainted Meat” this Saturday at 7pm on 16X9.

Of course it is not just the live horses Canada import for slaughter from the US. What about Canada’s own horses? They can’t even regulate that.

Here’s a no brainer. They should be aware that just about every racehorse will have been given Bute. If nothing else, the CFIA should be turning every racehorse presented at their gates.


:: Drugged horses slipping into slaughterhouses another Toronto Star investigation shows, May 31, 2013

:: No honor in horse slaughter or drug documentation system it uses, Jan 28, 2013

:: Thousands of racehorses face slaughter: Not so fast Canada; Sept 8, 2012

:: Recent test shows Canada sending toxic horse meat to Europeans but on it goes, Aug 1, 2012

11 thoughts on “Canada’s horse slaughter industry under fire”

  1. Um, nearly every horse that has ever done anything has been given Bute. Not just racehorses. My horse gets it anytime he gets a stone bruise on his tender feet, or gets kicked in the field. It’s like tylenol for horses. Horses aren’t raised for meat – they’re pets and sports animals, and are fed as such, with no consideration for human consumption.


    1. Exactly Alison. The slaughterhouses just keeps killing them for their meat and processing it for humans to eat with not a care in the world. Seems the EU government don’t care about it either. They keep coming up with more failed medication documentation procedures, as if that is enough.


  2. It’s already horrible enough that the industry is no where in the interest of the horses’ welfare, but the fact that they are willing to sell tainted meat is downright disturbing. Again, the law is ignored and everyone suffers as a result.


  3. Reblogged this on and commented:
    This is sad but true. I hope that Canada will totally stop slaughtering horses. People have to become more responsible for the horses. They are not for food, for anyone. Good article!!


  4. Spent dairy cows are selling for 80 cents a pound live and prime feeder calves up to $2 a pound live. Mixing some horse meat in purchased for 20 cents a pound would increase the profit margin a whole lot.


  5. I want every horse never to be subjected to this barbaric horror , we owe to them everything they are Natures Perfect balance , Greed based Horror is what it is !!!!!!!


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