Email Hacked

My email address has been hacked into so, until that’s resolved, I apologize if you’ve contacted me and I haven’t responded.  I have also deleted all users on this blog whom I don’t know personally.

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Horses in the Asphalt Jungle

Reminder:  Horses Without Carriages International Day demonstration, June 9th (revised from June 2nd), 12 to 2pm, Montreal Hotel de Ville (City Hall), 275 Notre Dame Street.  Another demonstration will be held on JUNE 30TH, same location.  

I was astonished to discover recently that horsemen who practise Natural Horsemanship, of whatever origin, also support horse-driven caleches in cities as big as Montreal (3 million), a city so swelteringly hot and humid in the summertime that young children and the elderly keep indoors for health reasons.   Let me backtrack.  As I understand NH techniques as applied to equines, the premise is that the horse is a prey animal, subject to flight responses (including panic) when confronted by smells, noises, objects, or environments he is unfamiliar with.  

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To Eat or Not to Eat… your Horse?

To Eat or Not to Eat…   your Horse?

If you read my last blog about the CFIA asking to consult the Canadian public on traceability requirements for food animals (which includes horses),  you also read Roxanne’s comment.  Roxanne sums up everything so well that this blog post is devoted to her comment alone.  Please click the link and read the CFIA’s original notice so you can fully appreciate her excellent points.

How different we are here. A national animal identification system was much protested and rejected in the United States. Implementing an NAIS will be much more difficult for horses. Horses rarely stay on the farm like other animals because they are not “like” other animals, or perhaps better said, other food or dairy animals. Horses go out and off the farm, sometimes every weekend, sometimes daily for trail rides, to riding lessons, to clinics, to horse shows, to see the vet. Horses live a long time and often have several owners. Horses often live in urban environments, in boarding stables. How will that be monitored, Will it further push the cost of horse ownership away from the average person? How will it affect rescues? Local horse clubs? 4H? Pony Club? Wild horses? If they choose a microchip, will that mean another chip for breeds that already have microchip identification? What if it’s retinal scanning? Who is going to pay for all the equipment? This is a strategy for food animals, not companion animals. There is no such strategy for dogs and cats. Along with traceability, what is chosen now will formally define the status of the horse in our society and in our country. It was hashed over for years in the U.S. and rejected. I can’t believe how apathetic the horse community in Canada is to all this, but I’m sure they will complain when it happens. My vote is for choice and for a passport system like the U.K. has, that allows the owner to choose if their horse will ever go to slaughter or not, with tracking necessary only for those who choose that possible end. Let those who would permit their horses to go to slaughter pay the costs of supporting the coming requirements for that industry. Leave those of us who don’t choose that end alone.


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CFIA Livestock Tracking Proposal

Maybe I’m naive but I like it when government agencies seek out the opinions of Canadians on pending or potential legislation.  It makes me feel like, well, like a citizen…a citizen in good standing who has an obligation to participate in the making of law, not just someone, who, by accident of birth, happened to be born on Canadian soil.  

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Captive Stunbolt vs Halal Slaughter

Quebeckers don’t seem to know that the two horse abattoirs here don’t even use stunbolts; they use 22-calibre rifles instead. Thus the entire argument put forward by the PQ which claims to know “Quebec values” best is bogus, completely false, and betrays an enormous ignorance of what’s going on in la patrie. Please read on.

I am indebted to Ihsaan Gardee writing in The Montreal Gazette today regarding the Parti Quebecois (PQ) once again demonizing cultural practices which they claim ” are against traditional Quebec values”…those apparently being to use the captive stunbolt in slaughterhouses as this is supposed to be more humane than kosher or halal slaughter methods.  Mr. Gardee refers to a study done by The School of Veterinary Medicine at Hanover University, Germany.  I urge everyone to click on that link

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A Horse of a Different Colour

One of my very favourite scenes in the 1939 movie, The Wizard of Oz, is when the merry group led by Dorothy and Toto finally reach the Emerald Kingdom.  They are greeted at the door by a horse-and-carriage…and every time the camera lands on the horse, he is a different colour–sometimes, black, sometimes orange, but each time, different.  It was a charming literalization of the old English saying:  “…well now, that’s a horse of a different colour”…in the same way, you’d say “…now that’s a different kettle of fish”…when the topic of conversation goes off-topic.  And, when it comes to championing horses or animals generally, going off-topic happens quite often.

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