Know Thine Enemy

I‘m being inundated with alerts about today’s Toronto Sun article(s):  one on the horsemeat industry in Canada, and the other featuring the restaurant, La Palette, in Ontario complaining that “they just can’t fill all their orders…not enough horsemeat available to their horse-eating customers because the CFIA is more stringent about the food safety of horsemeat.”  How unfortunate.  And on so many counts: first is that those horse-eating customers are being deprived; second, that chef (clearly the picture was meant to get a reaction from horse advocates) must be so stressed-out because he can’t meet the restaurant’s demand for horsemeat; third, that the restauranteur actually believes that the CFIA has somehow magically become 100 per cent more competent and now has the manpower to guarantee the food safety of horses imported from a country, the US, where medication histories are not documented.

As mentioned before on this blog, the CFIA was slapped on the wrist by the FVO of the EU (European Union) for inaccuracies in the EIDs (even in identifying the gender and breed of a slaughter-bound horse), and for being unable to reach an agreement with the US as to how to verify the food safety of the horses we import.  The CFIA re-grouped and inaugurated new practices:  one was to work more closely with the Canada Border Services Agency (CSBA) by scheduling when and where slaughter-bound horse shipments could cross our border; two was to add space on the EID document for two more signatures (since sometimes there was no signature at all, and most times, it was signed by the kill-buyer himself); and three (and this still boggles my mind) was to release “smaller abattoirs” from meeting CFIA food safety and humane treatment regulations “because it was a burden on the small business owner of abattoirs to have to meet those requirements”.  (See blog on the repeal of Section 33 of the Meat Inspection Act under “Horse Apartheid“).

I’ll continue a little later.  It strikes me that trying to stop this practice is like house-training a puppy:  you must be consistent and repeat, repeat, repeat.  I won’t stop repeating until I’m out of breath.  For now, I’ll leave you with this thought:  the enemy is both within and without.  Don’t doubt that for a minute.

1 Comment

  1. Cynthia
    Feb 23, 2012

    I hear you. We’re working on it, Suzanne. The difference between anti-slaughter feelings and great change is…movement. A devoted group in Quebec is mobilizing…we will lift “feeling” to “movement”. The reality, I know, means that every five minutes an equine is slaughtered somewhere in the world, but we will do what we can do, all that is do-able, all aimed at protecting equines. “Brick by brick, my friend…brick by brick will be how Rome is built”. Send us all only positive energy…I know you will.

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