Many Hands Helped Coaltown Legend Come Home

By on July 28, 2014

Coaltown Legend arrives at Akindale Thoroughbred Rescue last Thursday. His breeder and first owner weeps as she takes the lead rope.

Coaltown Legend arrives at Akindale Thoroughbred Rescue last Thursday. His breeder and first owner weeps as she takes the lead rope.

The coal-dark Thoroughbred who had run so many miles and whose body had shrunk around protruding ribs, did not “die in the dirt” as some had feared.

Hope and change prevailed last week instead.

Please continue reading here.

Posted in Horse Slaughter | 1 Comment

Report finds hope for US equine industry after prolonged decline

CHICAGO, July 15, 2014

CHICAGO, July 15, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA) with the assistance of the Animal Law Coalition has released the first Annual Equine Welfare Report. The report contains statistics and records obtained from federal and state agencies as well as breed registries.

foal“The findings are grim for the horse industry,” says EWA’s John Holland, “We found that the decline in new registrations which began in 2005 continued into 2013, with some breeds reporting registrations down as much as 75%.”

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Posted in Horse Slaughter | 3 Comments

News Article: Calgary Stampede Chuckwagon Horse’s Death Reignites Debate Over Animal Cruelty

article-2173412-140D3178000005DC-41_634x481By Steve Mertl | Daily Brew

It’s unlikely that news about what killed a chuckwagon horse at the Calgary Stampede on Tuesday will satisfy animal welfare advocates who want the exciting races made safer, if not abolished altogether.

Denny, a 12-year-old thoroughbred, collapsed during a training run. A post-mortem has determined he died of a ruptured aorta near one of his kidneys, according to a news release from the Stampede organization.

The University of Calgary veterinary school’s Dr. Gord Atkins, who chairs the Stampede’s chuckwagon committee, explained to reporters Denny was afflicted with a common to horses parasite that can damage blood vessels, creating an aneurysm that is undetectable until it lets go. The ex-race horse died quickly from massive blood loss.

But the horse’s death, and the injury of a chuckwagon driver in a separate incident, brought renewed calls this week from a prominent rodeo critic to improve safety at the Stampede’s marquee event.

The Vancouver Humane Society wants the Stampede to suspend chuckwagon racing and appoint an independent panel of veterinary and horse experts to review the event with the goal of making it safer.

The Stampede has made some improvements in recent years in response to more than 60 horse fatalities since the mid 1980s at what’s called The Greatest Show on Earth. It’s instituted vet checks of horses before and after each race (known as Fitness to Compete), allowed fewer outriders – who sometimes get caught up in chuckwagon crashes – in each heat and paid more attention to the condition of the track.

“But we don’t think they’ve gone nearly far enough,” the society’s Peter Fricker told Yahoo Canada News.

Fricker said the four-horse chuckwagon teams generally use retired racing thoroughbreds,

Photo by Jo-Anne McArthur

Photo by Jo-Anne McArthur

which have heavy, strongly-muscled bodies on thin legs and are more likely to suffer stress fractures. And we know what happens to horses with broken legs.

Grooming the track more carefully reduces that risk, but Fricker said these changes are minimal. Fricker said the society wants a fundamental “root and branch” review of the sport.

The Vancouver society has had some success targeting rodeo events it considers cruel. It pressured the Cloverdale Rodeo, a major competition staged in the Fraser Valley just east of Vancouver, into dropping four events, including calf roping and steer wrestling, in 2007.

But it’s hit a brick wall with the Stampede.

“If you look at the stats per thousand starts, our equine fatality rates are relatively low compared to industry standards,” Stampede communications director Kurt Kadatz said in an interview.

Indeed, the Calgary Herald reported on Monday, before Denny’s demise, that 61 horses had died in 78,440 Stampede races in the last 28 years, a rate of 0.78 per 1,000 starts. Jockey Club statistics for North American race tracks for 2009-2013 put the overall fatality rate at 1.91 per 1,000 starts, the Herald said. The rate is highest in steeplechase racing, at six per 1,000. On average, 24 horses die each week at U.S. tracks.

“I think we realize there is some risk involved in animals participating in any kind of activity, whether that’s a horse taking part in a race, a pet in the city in a park or what have you,” said Kadatz. “There’s always going to be some level of risk to an animal that’s alive, some risk of death.”

You might wonder where are Fricker’s Calgary counterparts in this debate.

Calgary Humane Society executive director Carrie Fritz told Yahoo Canada News its enforcement role does not allow for the same public advocacy as Vancouver. But don’t misread that silence, she said.

“We do have regular discussions with the Calgary Stampede Board about their animal welfare and we try to keep those conversations very professional and respectful,” said Fritz.

“However, we are very clear on our position, and it is our long term goal to end those risky events. But because Vancouver is an advocacy agency, they definitely are more vocal.”

A position statement on the Calgary society’s website spells things out.

“As indicated in the Society’s position statement on animals in entertainment, the CHS fundamentally opposes high risk rodeo events like chuckwagon racing, calf-roping, and steer wrestling,” the document states.

“While other organizations may wish to intervene to change rodeo and the Stampede through protest or other advocacy means, the CHS has found it can best protect the interests of the animals involved by working with organizations that put on such events.”

Fricker noted the Calgary society submitted a report to the Stampede in 2003 that recommended cutting the number of chuckwagons in each race heat to three from four, reducing the risk of collision, adding a co-driver to each wagon for added control and, importantly, dropping the number of horses to two per team from four.

“One of the fundamental problems is if one of the horses goes down in a team it’s likely all the others are going to go down and you’re going to end up with a crash and a wreck that may involve the other wagons,” said Fricker.

None of those recommendations were taken up by the Stampede.

Kadatz, reflecting what appears to be the prevailing view in the Stampede organization, said the problem with the Vancouver group’s criticism of rodeo events is that it has no expertise in large-animal care.

“We have in the past invited them to come out to Stampede Park and they have declined the invitation,” he said.

An invitation was extended to tour Stampede Park facilities during a meeting with executives a few years ago, Fricker confirmed. But the society isn’t concerned about what happens in the Stampede’s barns, he said. It’s in fundamental disagreement with the nature of some of the rodeo events themselves.

“Our point is with calf roping and some of those other events, like steer wrestling, these things are just for entertainment,” said Fricker.

“So how can you possibly justify subjecting an animal to that kind of stress, that kind of fear, that kind of pain, just for the sake of amusing a crowd?”

Rodeo animals, especially cattle, are subjected to treatment that would be illegal if you did them to your pet, he said.

“The reason that doesn’t happen with rodeos is because farm animals are effectively exempt [from] animal cruelty laws in Canada,” Fricker said.

You don’t have to be an expert to see that, he said. The Vancouver society’s position is identical to national humane societies and SPCAs in the U.S., Britain, New Zealand and Australia, all of which oppose rodeo events they deem cruel.

Barry Kent MacKay

Senior Program Associate

Born Free U.S.A.

Canadian Office:(905) 472-9731




Posted in Animal Cruelty, Horse Slaughter, Horse welfare, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Vancouver Humane Society – List of Stampede animal deaths since 1986

Vancouver Humane Society
Published Thursday, July 11, 2013 3:57PM MDT 
Last Updated Thursday, July 11, 2013 4:06PM MDT

The Vancouver Humane Society has compiled a list of animal deaths at the Calgary Stampede since 1986.  The following is the Society’s media release, in its entirety, from July 2013:

article-2173412-140D3178000005DC-41_634x481Definition of “stampede” from Webster’s dictionary;  A sudden flight or rush of a number of frightened animals.

These statistics are from the Calgary Humane Society and/or the local media regarding the animals killed in these venues.

Please continue reading here.

Posted in Horse Slaughter

Photography and the law in Canada

Man Holding Cell Phone CameraMany of you are likely unaware of the laws pertaining to taking photos or video in certain circumstances in Canada.  Canadian laws in this area are different from the U.S.

This link offers important information on what you may or may not photograph as it pertains to Canada.


Posted in Horse Slaughter

Anti-caleche Defence Coalition asking for help in Montreal


Anti-calèche defense coalition

Merci à tous ceux qui ont porté des plaintes et partagé les informations sur cette page. Aujourd’hui, la température atteindra au minimum 33°C (41°C ressentie).

Thank you to all those who made complaints and shared the information on this page. Today the temperature will reach minimum 33°C (41°C perceived).


(English follows)

Si vous voyez des chevaux tirant une calèche lorsque la température atteint ou dépasse 30°C, merci de prendre une photo/vidéo:

1) du numéro de la calèche (c’est sur la plaque à l’arrière de la calèche)

2) du cheval

3) du numéro d’identification (ID) du cheval le (sur pied avant droit)

4) du conducteur



SPVM poste de quartier 21: 514 280 0121

MAPAQ au 1 800 463-5023 (choisir l’option 4)

SPCA: (uniquement si vous voyez un cheval en mauvais état)

Tel. 514-735-2711 extension 0

Tel. 311

Tel. 514-872-3101

Fax: 514-872-4059

Monsieur Driss Ezzaher : Chef de divison – Circulation et inspection du domaine public – Arrondissement de Ville-Marie


M. Alain Tassé, membre du comite executif de la Ville de Montreal; Responsible for the Calèches Dossier

Richard Deschamps,

Tel. 514 872 4879

Fax/telecopieur 514 367-6600/ 514 872-7800

Alan DeSousa, vice-Président du Comité exécutif

Anti-Calèche Defence Coalition –


Very hot and humid today in Old Montréal at 27 °C (32 °C perceived temperature)

As usual no water for the horses.

This horse most certainly has ulcers in his mouth as all of the carriage horses.

Please if you see any horses pulling caleche when the temperature reaches or exceeds 30°C TAKE A PICTURE/VIDEO OF:

1)THE NUMBER OF THE CALECHE (it’s on the plate at the back of the caleche)


3)THE HORSE’S ID (on the right front hoof)



SPVM PDQ 21: 514-280-0121

MAPAQ at 1 800 463-5023 (choisir l’option 4)

SPCA – (only if you see a horse in bad condition)

Tel. 514-735-2711 extension 0

Tel. 514-872-3101

Fax: 514-872-4059

Monsieur Driss Ezzaher : Chef de divison – Circulation et inspection du domaine public – Arrondissement de Ville-Marie!!! 514-868-4529

M. Alain Tassé, membre du comite executif de la Ville de Montreal; Responsible for the Calèches Dossier

Richard Deschamps

Tel. 514 872-4879

Fax/telecopieur 514 367-6600/ 514 872-7800

Alan DeSousa – Vice-chair of the executive committee


Find the Anti-Caleche Defence Coalition on Facebook

Posted in Horse Slaughter | 3 Comments

Life-sized wild horse statues built at museum

Via Jerry Finch at Habitat for Horses…

First thing you do is let a foreign company build a horse slaughterhouse, then you send all the horses to their death, pocket a bunch of money, build a couple of statues of horses and tell everyone about all the wonderful things horses have done. Sounds perfectly logical, right? How long will it be before these statues are the only reminders our children have of the magnificent animals we destroyed because of the greed of a few? ~ Jerry

And, we have the RCMP Musical Ride Tribute in Fort MacLeod, home of the Bouvry slaughter plant and now this “tribute” to the Alberta wildies.

Please continue reading here.


Posted in Horse Slaughter | 2 Comments

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