Refuge Galahad & Radio-Canada: Revised

The Radio-Canada show is called “Samedi et rien d’autre” hosted by Joël Le Bigot at 7am, Saturday, March 3rd, on “The Health and Welfare of Horses”, particularly addressing the mistreatment of horses.

Guests are Refuge Galahad, the SPCA de l’Estrie (I think that’s correct), and Renée Levesque of the FEQ (Fédération Equestre du Québec).  Please visit Refuge Galahad’s site and FB, and my blog post, Association.  Don’t forget to tune in this Saturday.

PLEASE IGNORE MY PREVIOUS POST as the information had not yet been confirmed. Check with Radio-Canada to confirm the above prior to air-time this Saturday. 

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Ohh, Radio-Canada (Mar 1st, 7pm)

I must apologize to Claude Brunet, interviewer/host of the recent Radio-Canada broadcast, Bien dans son assiette (see When Reporters Get it Wrong )–at least, in part, and I’ll tell you why shortly.  First, I’d like to address a few questions that have come my way, especially since so many are sharing this blog in cyberspace (and, it would be nice if some of you new visitors would actually buy or even read my novel because more than half of what I post here already appears in Ground Manners. A Novel …but I digress).

Q:  Why have the numbers of horses slaughtered in Canada decreased between the years 2008 and 2009?

A:  There were seven slaughterhouses killing horses in Canada; then there were five; then there were four.  

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Bear Witness to the Facts

Recently, I’ve received emails saying that I should have been clearer about the non-relationship between abattoir closures in the US in 2007 and the phenomenon of horse abandonment.  (I don’t know about that.  I thought my Primers on Horse Slaughter on this blog and published on The Stablewoman Gazette clearly showed that there was no relationship.  But I tend to live in my head, so I may be wrong about how clear my writing was.)

So, according to the US government’s Government Accountability Office (GAO) report:  “The total number of US horses sent to slaughter in 2006, the last full year of domestic slaughter [the last abattoir closed in late 2007, thus not giving a full year’s numbers. my italics]…(gives) a total of 137,688 horses.  Taken together, the 137,984 US horses that were sent to slaughter in Canada or Mexico in 2010 is approximately equal to the total number of horses slaughtered in 2006.”  GAO Report

Again, look at the numbers:  (2006)  137, 688    (2010) 137,984   A difference of 296 equines. For 2011, go to the EWA site; they always update their stats.  Now the GAO is no friend to horses, which perhaps is as it should be.  It is an agency which, in this case, was mandated by the US government to study the distaff side of the US horse industry, so it must be objective and neutral on the subject under its scrutiny.  We can safely say, then, that its figures are accurate as far as numbers legally recorded by authoritative agencies can be–especially since, if you collate numbers gathered by non-governmental, industry-specific, and advocacy groups, the numbers are readily corroborated (at least on paper).

The report is flawed, however, in other respects, and I invite you to read the Position Paper co-authored by the EWA and the Animal Law Coalition (ALC) called:  An Analysis of the GAO Report on Horse Welfare:  Disturbing Omissions and Cover-up.  (visit the EWA site)

See…a difference of 296 equines.  As a horse advocate, I cry for one just as I do for ten, for tens of thousands.  They are all precious to us.  But in terms of keeping the record straight and arguing from a strong position, the numerical difference is clearly insignificant.  Most importantly, it refutes the pro-slaughter argument that the closing of US abattoirs increased horse abandonment.  It didn’t; there is no such relationship.  People have always abandoned their pets (illegal, to begin with); people have always overbred horses; and those specific pathologies are social phenomena unrelated to food slaughter.

 

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Said the Spider to the Fly (Revised for the Farmers)

C‘est plus fort que moi…I just can’t help myself.  It’s been a very busy day (thanks to so many of you who’ve been in touch, expressing your support and love of horses).  In the interim, I’ve been trying to read the report mentioned in Where’s There’s Smoke…(there’s usually fire) .  I must say the report is well-produced, very professional.  So far…so far, one argument in favour of horse slaughter caught my eye.  I was impressed. It was just the kind and quality of argument I would hope to make (to a different end, of course).  It nearly stumped me…nearly.  And you may not know what my favourite colour is, but you know this much about me:  I never met an argument I didn’t want to arm-wrestle with.  

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Blog Glitch

I just checked my Comments page and saw that 15 were in the Trash–not trashed by me.  I’m not sure what happened there, but while I was having a nice exchange with a fellow horse advocate, my server was sending messages that there was no connection.  I apologize to anyone who commented on a given blog post, and didn’t see their comment appear.  I did not delete it.

In fact, as long as a comment is relevant to the subject (and civilized), I will be happy to read it.

 

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