Is Horse Slaughter Now a Cottage Industry? Revised

On my earlier posts about the repealing of Section 33 of the Meat Inspection Act of 1990, Alert! Horse Apartheid, and Are you Eating Beef Laced with Horsemeat, there was a revealing comment shared by Theresa Anne Nolet, a horse advocate.  This is what she wrote:

Good day Cynthia just received an email response from Dr.Brian Evans of CFIA in response to an email I had sent him.

Read More

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.  

Read More

Are You Eating Beef Laced with Horsemeat?

The purpose of Section 33 of the Meat Inspection Act was to prevent the mixing of horsemeat with other meats rendered, prepared, packaged, labelled and sold to the consumer market.  By repealing this section of the Act, Canada has jeopardized the food safety of its own citizens (see previous post called “Alert!  Horse Apartheid”). This is a life-altering, backwards step by the CFIA which herein caters only to abattoir owners who don’t want to follow country-wide food safety regulations, and want to butcher horses in their own way.  (For those of who read my book, Ground Manners, you’ll recall the part about “l’abattage au bout de la pelle” [slaughter at the end of a backhoe shovel]. This is where Quebec is headed by pandering to an industry which, rather than be left to its own devices, should, at all times, be monitored for food safety.)

Section 33 repealed as of October 2011 in the Meat Inspection Act of 1990 originally read thusly:

33. (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), during the time a food animal other than an equine animal is slaughtered at a registered establishment, a carcass of a food animal other than an equine animal is dressed at a registered establishment or a meat product derived from a food animal other than an equine animal is processed, packaged or labelled in a registered establishment, the registered establishment shall not at the same time contain a meat product derived from an equine animal and shall not thereafter be used for the slaughtering of an equine animal, the dressing of the carcass of an equine animal or the processing, packaging or labelling of a meat product derived from an equine animal unless

(aall meat products derived from a food animal other than an equine animal have been removed from the registered establishment;

(b) the registered establishment has facilities that are suitable for handling equine animals and for the slaughtering of equine animals; and

(c) an inspector has certified that the registered establishment meets the requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b).

(2) The meat products required by paragraph (1)(a) to be removed from a registered establishment may be kept in the registered establishment if they are locked in a separate room under the control of an inspector.

(3) Where a meat product derived from an equine animal is processed in a registered establishment, a meat product derived from a food animal other than an equine animal may, for the purpose of being combined with the meat product of an equine animal, be kept in the registered establishment.

For those who haven’t read the text of why Section 33 and other sections were repealed (see link in prior post), the reason the government did this was to accommodate small business owners of abattoirs who cannot afford to meet the requirements of the CFIA’s policies and procedures.  (Well then…why have a CFIA at all?)  

Read More

Alert! Horse Apartheid

A dear friend just sent this to me:  Amendments (as of Nov 9/11) made to the Meat Inspection Act of 1990 include repealing Section 33 which heretofore segregated the rendering of horsemeat from the rendering of other animal meat.  If this is true, then the reason horsemeat had originally been kept separate will return:  it will accidentally or by human error become mixed in with other meat products sold to consumers.  Go here

The meat inspection Act (Canada) has been amended as of October 27, 2011. 
http://gazetteducanada.gc.ca/rp-pr/p2/2011/2011-11-09/html/sor-dors234-eng.html
Repeal certain obsolete and redundant requirements;
Repeal horse segregation provision section 33, related to segregation of horse meat in registered establishments, providing more flexibility to operators.
If you scroll down to the Analysis, it states that this and the many other amendments listed were made to make life easier for slaughterhouse operators who are generally small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMO’s), and they can’t afford to meet the high standards of the CFIA.   Also, it states that those who produce meat for sale within their own province will no longer need a federal license to operate whereas those who export their products will still require  federal licenses. This opens the door to potential corruption (and deceit…again) because it would be easy to mis-label horsemeat products as having been produced in a federal abattoir when, in fact, they were produced by a non-licensed one.  It will also give free rein to Quebec and Alberta to sell without any federal safeguards at all.
Please write your MP right now and copy the following:
Read More

Primer: the Last Part (possibly)

Next question:

All right…so if all of this is true, what is the CFIA doing about it?  I have cousins in Europe and they’ve told me that there was a spot in the news that the EC (European Commission) put out a not-so-favourable report on Canada’s handling of food animals, especially pigs and horses:  what’s the story there?

Before I answer this question, I do want to caution readers that the government’s (that is, any government’s) private password for “we can’t legally fine, admonish or shut you down, but really this is borderline below-standard” is the word, “adequate”.  I’m not making this up; I did work in our nation’s capital for a short time, and, needless to say, I learned a lot.  “Adequate” saves a government agency from taking action which might give some bigshots’ or lobbyists’ heartburn, and/or might affect the economy in negative ways.  This is what you might call a circumspect view, an all-things-considered, all-things-being-equal position, not unlike the notwithstanding clause in the Meech Accord, or like last year’s redundant declaration by the federal government that ‘Quebec is a nation in its own right’ (as if we didn’t know that)…but I digress.

Read More