Listen up: this is Important

Listen up:  this is Important

Alex Atamanenko, honourable member of Parliament (MP) put forth Bill C-322 to the Parliament of Canada last week.  The Bill proposes to end horse slaughter on Canadian soil and to stop the export of horsemeat to foreign countries.  Why?  One:  horsemeat retains toxic drugs which are deadly to humans, especially children; two, the way in which horses are slaughtered in Canada is not only inhumane but also unsanitary.  Why should you care?  One: we export horsemeat to other countries (France, Belgium, Japan).  Horsemeat has been proven to be toxic to humans, especially children…so while you’ve set up monthly payments to provide for an underprivileged child in a foreign country, have you also ensured that that child is not being fed horsemeat?  Two:  would you put your dog down by bashing him over the head over and over again with a baseball bat?  If not, then go to the websites listed below to see how horses are “put down” before they’re rendered into meat in our country, in our country Canada…Canada, now known as the horse slaughter capital of North America.  

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A Canadien Stallion: Saved from Slaughter

A Canadien Stallion:  Saved from Slaughter

If you search back through my prior posts (Horses), you’ll read about the demo against horse slaughter held in Quebec at the Massueville horse slaughterhouse (Viandes Richelieu) in October 2010.  The pic is of the magnificent, 5-year-old, registered, purebred Canadien stallion whose fool of an owner was ready to have slaughtered at Massueville for the petty price of $350.  “Macho” (now re-named) was rescued by the demonstrators, especially Celine Tremblay of les ecuries Diabolo who transported “Macho” to Refuge RR.  Most of the demonstrators were from the Ottawa Animal Defense League…but Dave and I were there too…it was a concerted effort on all our parts.  What a beauty he is!  I’m glad I was there and I’m glad we were able to save at least one…and such a one!  (Go to Refuge RR’s website to see a bigger version of this picture.)

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The Toronto Star features Horse Slaughter on Front Page

The Toronto Star features Horse Slaughter on Front Page

I was alerted to this information on the Cdn Horse Defence Coalition blog. A heartfelt thank-you to the two reporters, Robert Cribb and David Graham, who researched this article and to The Toronto Star for making it their front-page feature! I was particularly grateful to learn from the video that the reporters actually followed a horse transport to see whether the horses had been fed or watered at any point. (We know they aren’t, but having it published by the mainstream media has an impact.) I read some of the comments from Star readers and it fascinates me that the ratio of pro-slaughter to anti-slaughter is almost two-to-three. Since some of them claimed to be horse-owners, you’d think that the article would compel them to do their own research, but then again, the level of ignorance about nature in general was appalling, eg. “oh yeah…it’s less cruel than to let them be eaten in the wild by bears and wolves.” Huh? Then there was the horse-owner who never gives bute to his five horses…well, not never…well, only three of five…or two of four…or, not in the past four years anyway…or…I got dizzy with the changing stats. Then there were Americans who slammed Canada (“we don’t do it in our country”)…um, no, you send them to us so we can do it for you (shame on us!). Some Americans rightly pointed out that their ban on slaughter didn’t help since so many horses are now left to die, abandoned by a roadside. Overbreeding, anyone? Unable or unwilling to euthanize, anyone? Those with a good appetite revelled in their regular diet of horsemeat: bute a l’orange, anyone?  Here are the links:

http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1032379–shooting-horses-canada-s-slaughter-industry-under-fire?bn=1

for the YouTube video:

http://www.thestar.com/videozone/1032378–shooting-horses

and for an exceptional study of, and keen statistical analysis of horse slaughter in the States, go to:

http://www.horsefund.org/horse-racing-through-the-slaughter-pipeline-part1.php by Jane Allin

I’ll blog more on the above shortly.  In the meantime, I’ll keep hoping that The Montreal Gazette will feature something similar; after all, the Massueville Abattoir owned by Viandes Richelieu Meats is one of the worst offenders in terms of the manner in which they slaughter horses.

 

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That Parrot is Asleep

That Parrot is Asleep

Joe Rescued from Viandes Richelieu

The puerile but concise rant of the postee mentioned earlier–full of a venomous smugness–is in stark contrast to the man who showed up at the Massueville demonstration last Monday.  As luck would have it, this poor sap showed up amongst the demonstrators–some sporting fake bullet holes in their foreheads (I guess he didn’t notice as he pulled in to park beside them)–with the intention of asking the abattoir to slaughter his young stallion for him.  As I shepherded him over to the group (he didn’t notice the big signs they were holding up with “arretons l’abattage des chevaux” written on them either), he told me the abattoir would pay him $350.  So it was that when at least five of us pressed in on him, all talking at once and in two languages, he was taken aback, as if he’d opened the door to what he thought was a room and found himself on the edge of a cliff instead.  (Well, one can never safely predict one’s destination with any certainty at the best of times.)  I’ll give him credit though; he didn’t turn and leave (run away! run away!):  he stayed as the group grew more vocal, imploring him not to do this heinous thing, inundating him with facts and proof and alternatives.  Now nonplussed, he argued back that no cruelty existed at the slaughterhouse.  That wasn’t true, he knew for sure.  They shot the horse dead right in front of him last time because he’d told them he didn’t want it to suffer.  I nearly wiped a tear from my eye. I suggested they might have done that because he was a witness, and judging from the paucity of windows in the building, they didn’t really want witnesses to their daily goings-on.  Furthermore, I asked if he thought they had the time to process 80 or so horses a day in that kind fashion–would that be an efficient way to render a high volume of product?  When he looked back at me blankly, I thought maybe I’d driven the point home to him and that he was processing new information or maybe, old information in a new way.  But no. 

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