Ontario Racing Commission Calls For Working Group To Address Standardbred Shortage After Devastation of Industry

Standardbred racerFrom the Ontario Racing Commission website, we noticed that the “Horse Improvement Program” is seeking volunteers to address the declining horse supply for the 2017 Standardbred Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) Program.

There appears to be a decline in the Standardbred horse supply due largely to the cancellation of the controversial 2012 slots revenue-sharing program at Ontario racetracks under the former Liberal government.

Many industry related jobs were at risk propelling hundreds of Standardbreds into the slaughter pipeline and preventing breeding operations from either scaling back or shutting down completely.   So it’s no surprise that there is now a shortage of Standardbred horses,  since thousands were slaughtered as a result of the poorly-conceived Liberal program.

Those horses,  many valuable broodmares and even foals,  met a terrible demise and are gone forever.  Now, it appears that the Ontario Racing Commission will conclude that a massive breeding program is necessary to restore the number of horses to levels prior to the destruction of the industry.

Ontario Racing CommissionIn the past two years,  the CHDC wrote numerously about the perilous circumstances for these horses:

Plight of the Standardbred

From Standardbred Canada – Exclusive – The Ugly Truth Behind OLG Bingo Expansion

CTV London, Ontario story of Standardbred broodmares shipped for meat

Ontario horse racing crisis puts future of young Thoroughbreds, Standardbreds at risk

Horses at OLEX Auction


Posted in Animal Cruelty, Horse Racing, Horse Slaughter, Horse welfare, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Rising farmland prices threaten southern Ontario Amish settlements



Photographer unkown

LONDON, Ontario – Amish buggies could soon be a thing of the past on rural Southwestern Ontario roads, with skyrocketing farm prices pushing expanding families to look elsewhere to settle.

Two families from the conservative religious group in a settlement near Stratford, Ont., went to Prince Edward Island last week to check out farmland on the east coast, where land is 10 times cheaper than here.

“It’s night and day. Land prices here are $15,000 to $20,000 an acre. That’s unaffordable for a mixed-use farm operation,” said Tony Wallbank, the Princeton, Ont. man who drove the two families to P.E.I.

In P.E.I., farmland goes $1,500 to $2,500 an acre, he said.

Please continue reading here.

Posted in Horse Slaughter | 5 Comments

Slippery Is The Slope: A Reader And I Debate The Ethics of Horseback Riding

A very thought-provoking exchange.

Slippery Is The Slope: A Reader And I Debate The Ethics of Horseback Riding

Posted on October 22, 2014 by heatherclemenceau

The cross country portion of the “triathlon” is the most extreme equestrian sport, pushing horses and riders often beyond their physical and mental limits.

The cross country portion of the “triathlon” is the most extreme equestrian sport, pushing horses and riders often beyond their physical and mental limits.

Once in a while I get a response to a blog post that really merits its own stand-alone blog. Lauren sent me a response to my blog addressing the ethics of horseback riding, and while she doesn’t agree with my conclusion, I think she raises some interesting points and introduces several new arguments. So I wanted to present her post, which she took a lot of time to compose, along with my rebuttal arguments.

Please continue reading here.

Posted in Horse Slaughter | 2 Comments

Pan Am Games horse hopefuls put through paces

From the Toronto Star, Tuesday October 21, 2014

PanAmModern pentathlon needs 30 suitable horses for next summer’s multi-sport spectacle. Tango takes best shot at Old Orchard Farm.

Please read the entire article here.

Posted in Horse Slaughter | Leave a comment

Go and Play Stables Standardbred rescue fundraiser

goandplaylogoGo & Play Stables, a Standardbred horse rescue and retraining stable in Lakefield, Ontario, is having their 2nd fundraising event ‘Night at The Races’ at Woodbine Racetrack on November 8.
You can access them on the web here or on their Facebook page here.

Posted in Horse Slaughter



Dr. Kellosalmi

Join RT and his guests CHDC scientific advisor Dr. Ray Kellosalmi and Susan Wagner of Equine Advocates

Susan Wagner

Susan Wagner

as they discuss the link between horse urine and breast cancer.

Learn about a new Pfizer drug available since just last spring that puts women around the world at an increased risk for breast cancer and for other health risks.  Also, learn about the plight of over 90,000 Pregnant Mare Urine (PMU) mares in a foreign country.

Call in # 917-388-4520

This is a 2 hour show. Please call in with questions during the 2nd hour of the show.

The shows will be archived, so you can listen anytime.

Please go here for more information.

Posted in Horse Slaughter

Canadian Government Does An About-Face On Equine Traceability

Crates containing horses in shed at Calgary Airport

Crates containing horses in shed at Calgary Airport

On October 9, the Canadian Government announced that they will be spending $7.5 million to develop and implement a national database for tracing all livestock as a tool to improve food safety and bolster trade:

Details on the livestock traceability remain sketchy at this time, however it is important to note that equines are included. What is interesting is that the move appears to come at a time when the federal government have been in trade talks with not only the European Union but also Korea and Japan.

It is not stretching the imagination to conclude that outside pressure was exerted by trading partners to improve and implement a far more reliable livestock tracing system in keeping with traceability measures already in place in other countries.

In the past, the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition has questioned the government on its 51ftJEsNw0L._SY300_failure to implement equine traceability by July of 2013. We detailed this in a report over two years ago entitled “Pro-Slaughter Group Attempts to Cash In on Horse Traceability Program While Canada Falters on its Deadline” Further reading on Equine Traceability was explored in Heather Clemenceau’s blog piece

The premise for the now defunct Bill C-571 which  included a European-type passport system for horses was defeated by the government as late as five months ago, in May of this year. Bill C-571 specifically targeted the food safety issue of horsemeat in an effort to close the loopholes in the slaughter industry.

Skipper died at NH before he could be rescued from tetanusThe Conservative Ministers of Parliament unanimously voted against the Bill with the exception of two MPs.  Despite the Bill being a NDP Private Members Bill, the Leader of the New Democratics, Thomas Mulcair, voted the Bill down.  The official tally for all MPs that voted stands at 155 against and 102 for the Bill with the Conservative government that holds a majority in parliament making up 141 of the nay votes.  The only parties that voted in complete agreement with the Bill were the Liberal Party and the Green Party. A complete CHDC synopsis of the voting can be found here. 

In the past, the implementation  of equine traceability in Canada  has been largely under the umbrella of pro-slaughter Equine Canada, the official arm of the equine industry in Canada.

Shortly before the vote on Bill C-571, Equine Canada released its statement against the Bill stating:  “The enactment of Bill C-571 would establish a new defacto trade standard (for both inter-provincial and international trade) that is outside the scope of Canada’s current horse-on-platepolicy and trade agreements for meat imports and exports and inter-provincial trade in food products.”  For at least five years, Equine Canada has struggled to enact any form of equine traceaiblity in spite of designated federal funding earmarked for them to do so.  It is not known what position Equine Canada will take in implementing the federal government’s new livestock traceability proposal, if any.

As with some government proposals, it is sometimes years before they are enacted.  This proposal does not come with a timeline and it could prove costly to implement considering all livestock are targetted.

Also, as over 60% of horses being slaughtered in Canada are from the U.S., it is not known what future provisions will be put in place to ensure the horse meat that is slaughtered from U.S. sources meet the new Canadian standards.

Posted in Uncategorized, Horse Slaughter, Politics, Animal Cruelty, Food Safety, Agriculture, Horse welfare | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments