- Mr. Alex AtamanenkoMember of Parliament, BC
- Stephen HarperLeader, Conservative Party of Canada / Chef, Parti Conservateur du Canada
Canadian Government: Horses are NOT Food!
With nearly 100,000 horses slaughtered in 2010 alone, Canada's horse slaughter industry is among the largest in the world and a shameful betrayal of our loyal companions. With the closing of the remaining equine slaughter plants in the United States, the number of horses imported to Canada for slaughter has increased by a whopping 49 percent.
Horses are slaughtered in Canada primarily to provide horse meat to European and Asian countries where it is eaten as a delicacy. Horses are brought to slaughter in every possible condition—old, young, sick, healthy, injured, and even pregnant. They are not all unwanted—often, their guardians can no longer afford to keep them, and bring the horses to auction hoping to find them a good home. But horribly, more than 50 percent of horses sold at rural auctions go to slaughter after being bought by “kill buyers”.
There have been many reported cases of animal welfare violations in Canadian horse slaughterhouses. Veterinary experts have denounced horse slaughter as inherently inhumane since the animals' extreme response in the kill chute makes it difficult to stun them. And shocking video footage of the slaughter process casts serious doubt on the Canadian Food Inspections Agency’s ability to ensure proper protocols are followed.
But it is not just horses who need protection. Consumers are at serious risk of ingesting a banned chemical found in horse meat. Horses are not raised as food animals and many of them come into contact with a drug called phenylbutazone – commonly known as bute. Phenylbutazone is banned for use in any animal intended for human consumption because it can cause toxic reactions in humans. Mechanisms to ensure the removal of horses treated with substances such as bute from the food chain are inadequate at best.
We are calling on you to help raise awareness and support Bill C-322 to put a halt to the cruel and dangerous horse meat industry.
The last horse slaughter plant closed in the United States in 2007, and the United States is moving forward to adopt the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, which would prohibit the slaughter of horses for human consumption and their export for slaughter in other countries. There is every reason for Canada to follow suit. I hope I can count on your efforts to help end needless and cruel horse slaughter.
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Horses are NOT meat!!
A horse loves freedom, and the weariest old work horse will roll on the ground or break into a lumbering gallop when he is turned loose into the open. ~Gerald Raferty
- Member of Parliament Calgary Southwest
- Member of Parliament, BC
Mr. Alex Atamanenko
- Leader, Conservative Party of Canada / Chef, Parti Conservateur du Canada
I would like to call upon the House of Commons in Parliament assembled to bring forward and adopt into legislation Bill C-322, an Act to amend the Health of Animals Act and the Meat Inspection Act, thus prohibiting the importation or exportation of horses for slaughter for human consumption, as well as horsemeat products for human consumption.
I am writing to express my deep concern over the increasing numbers of horses being transported to Canada for slaughter, and the amounts of certain drugs, prohibited for use during the life of any animals destined for the human food supply, that are routinely administered to horses, such as phenylbutazone (bute) or ‘horse’s aspirin’ as it is commonly called.
I would like to achieve a federal ban that would end the slaughter, sale, transport and export of horses for human consumption.
Such a ban, in addition to the closure of all horse slaughterhouses throughout Canada, would save tens of thousands of gentle creatures from a horrible fate.
Please do the right thing, and remember that horses have long since been domesticated as companion and working animals, and are not approved as food by Canadians, as well as hundreds of thousands of others around the world.
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