Richelieu EID Exposes Profound Shortcomings Of Food Chain

Posted on May 12, 2015 by

Written by: Heather Clemenceau

We picked up a copy of the EID currently being used at the Ontario Livestock Exchange (OLEX) in Waterloo, Ontario. For a document that supposedly exerts “quality control” over horsemeat, notice that there are no CFIA headers or logos; it is however, “branded” with the name Richelieu and replete with embarrassing spelling errors and typos in both English and French.

richelieu-eidIt is missing a fair bit of information that is present on the sample EID in the CFIA Meat Hygiene Manual for equines as well,  including an indicator of the primary use of the horse (recreation/companion animal/ pleasure riding, breeding, ranch/farm work, public work, private industry work, performance/sport/show, racing, rodeo, urine production, food production.)  I guess they don’t want high risk animals to be unnecessarily flagged for drugs.  Note that on the first page, Richelieu refers to the document itself, not unironically, as “DIE.” It is due to moments like these perhaps, that humorists were born.

Please continue reading this eye-opening article here.

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Horse Day – June 6, 2015


Photo: dreamstime

Horse People for Horses in GTA will be recognizing Horse Day on Saturday, June 6th by handing out slaughter awareness material. We will be meeting at 11:00 am outside the Princes’ Gate – 210 Princes’ Blvd, Toronto (the CNE grounds).

The Ontario Equestrian Federation (OEF) is also having an event that day in the Horse Palace.  We are not protesting that event and we are not protesting the OEF.  We are simply recognizing Horse Day by helping to educate people on the slaughter situation in Canada. We have chosen this location because we believe people going to the OEF event are horse lovers who might not be aware of what is happening to horses in this country and who might want to do something about it.


For more information please go here.


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“Tea In The Forest With Horses” Fundraiser A Success For CHDC


CHDC Supporter Patricia Thomson’s charitable event in Lake Cowichan, British Columbia was a success, raising a total of $212.91 for horses.  That’s a lot of tea!

Patti reports that the event was a blast to organize and the horses behaved themselves perfectly.  Once again she issues a challenge to other horse advocates to hold similar events with horses to raise awareness and promote horse welfare.

Thank you Patti!



Posted in Horse welfare, Success Stories, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Godbout Express Observed Shipping Horses To Canada On Long Holiday Weekend

Written by:  Heather Clemenceau

Photos and video credit:  Rob Boisvert

Photo: courtesy R. Boisvert

Photo: courtesy R. Boisvert

On Friday, May 15th, two Godbout Express transports of horses were observed at an out-of-the-way truck stop in Marysville, Ontario by animal activist Rob Boisvert of Refuge RR in Alexandria Ontario.

Please continue reading here.

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CFIA Seeks Feedback On Proposed EIA Strategy

canstockphoto7416977 - belzFrom,  written by Margaret Evans  (complete article available here)

“Equine infectious anemia (EIA) is a potentially fatal viral disease that affects all members of the equine family – horses, ponies, donkeys, mules, and zebras.

The disease, which is also known as swamp fever, is worldwide and was first detected in Canada in Manitoba in 1881. It is transmitted almost exclusively through blood or blood products, and infected equines are the source of all new infections.

Symptoms may include anorexia and weight loss, depression, weakness, intermittent fever up to 41 degrees C, jaundice, small hemorrhages under the tongue and the eye, and swelling of the extremities. Sometimes a loss of co-ordination may be the only sign.

The EIA virus is a relative of the human AIDS virus. Clinical signs may give an indication of EIA but a Coggins blood test is needed to properly confirm the diagnosis.

While EIA poses no threat to people it is catastrophic for equines. It is essentially untreatable. There is no vaccine and no cure. Animals remain carriers of the virus for life and they inadvertently transmit it to other animals through the movement of large biting insects such as horse flies or deer flies looking for a blood meal. EIA can be transmitted through the semen of an infected stallion and a foal can be infected before birth. It can also be transmitted through contaminated needles or blood transfusions.

The virus has the ability to mutate and evade the host’s immune response. A horse may appear to recover from an infection only to have the symptoms return.

Options for management are euthanasia or a permanent and secure form of quarantine. Extreme isolation for a herd animal brings its own level of stress and anxiety. Owners need to look realistically at the quality of life of the contained, isolated horse and whether it is an appropriate fit for the stricken animal.

CFIA is proposing changes and in February the agency released its report Proposed Risk Management Strategy for EIA Control in Canada. It is seeking feedback from stakeholders in the equine industry on its suggested game plan.

The CFIA report Proposed Risk Management Strategy for EIA Control in Canada can be accessed in pdf format in both official languages at the following links:

Written comments are requested by June 30, 2015 via email at, or by fax to 613-773-7573 to the attention of Dr. Carolyn James, Veterinary Program Specialist, Domestic Disease Control Programs, Canadian Food Inspection Agency.”

Posted in Horse Slaughter, Horse welfare, Uncategorized, Wild Horses | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

CHDC Anti-Slaughter Flyer Updated To Include YTD Stats for 2014

Please click here to download our latest flyer showing the numbers of horses slaughtered in Canada Year-To-Date 2014.  For our French speaking supporters here’s the French version.

Please also continue to contact your Member of Parliament and ask that they support anti-slaughter legislation and if they would consider introducing legislation themselves that would prohibit the slaughter and live export of horses for slaughter in Canada.

2014 chart

Posted in Horse Slaughter, Horse welfare, Politics, Transport | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

CFIA Alleged To Be Suffering From “Morale” Issues In Alberta

In an article by dated Apr 24, 2015,  originally appearing behind a paywall at, but also found here,  it is asserted that, due to cutbacks in Alberta,  morale is suffering.

CFIA inspector: Cutbacks in Alberta are real, and ‘morale is in the toilet’ 

4tipsmorale“Despite repeated denials from federal officials, including Health Minister Rona
Ambrose, that no cutbacks have been made to Canadian Food Inspection Agency
inspections in northern Alberta, an Alberta CFIA inspector has told iPolitics
that the cutbacks are real, and that they are seriously impacting food safety.

“Most inspectors just want to do the right thing, but you just can’t,” the
inspector, who asked not to be identified because they fear retribution from
their employer, told iPolitics.

Morale within the department and among those working the frontline is
particularly low, the inspector said, especially given what they called the
“blatant lying” coming from CFIA’s national office.

“Morale is in the toilet.”

CFIA President Bruce Archibald and Health Minister Rona Ambrose have repeatedly
insisted no cuts have been made to food safety inspections in Northern Alberta
– despite multiple allegations by the union and unedited internal document
obtained by iPolitics that shows otherwise.

In an email to iPolitics April 2, CFIA officials said “claims that food safety
activities have been cut in Northern Alberta are false.”

“Nothing in the CFIA document obtained by iPolitics is inconsistent with what
the CFIA has said previously,” the agency said, referring to the documents as
“contingency planning.”

That plan, Canada’s national food inspection agency said, “is normal.”

That’s simply not the case, the Alberta inspector said.  The cutbacks, they
insisted, were not a contingency plan – reductions in the number of inspections
are happening in domestic plants and have been since January 5.

“The amount of inspectors is down by a third.  [CFIA] just don’t have the staff
to keep up with 100 per cent inspection in domestic plants,” the inspector
said, adding sanitation inspections have also been cut.

“The cutbacks are almost deeper than when everything happened with Maple Leaf,”
they said – referring to the 2008 outbreak of listeriosis that left 21 people dead.

iPolitics was told prior to the cutbacks that CFIA inspectors were required to
inspect two processing plants per day and were given “ample” time to complete
all the required tasks – which typically take about three or four hours to
complete, depending on the location.

Now, the number of facilities CFIA staff are expected to visit has nearlyfood risk
tripled, with workers expected to inspect up to “five establishments” in a day.

“How can you do five establishments a day?  It’s impossible,” the inspector
said.  With such a tight timeline, the inspector said those on the ground now
have 30 minutes to do “walk-throughs” of the establishments by the time all the
paperwork is sorted.

“You don’t have time to stop and watch.”

The inspector said they were aware of several CFIA employees who have quit
because of the cutbacks and employee “burnout.”

“If someone is off sick now you have to take on more,” the inspector said,
adding employees who have chosen to stay late to try and finish up their files
on their own time have been reprimanded for working overtime.

Ottawa’s response, the inspector said, “is putting lots of stress on inspectors.”

It’s that added stress that has Bob Kingston, president of the Agriculture
Union, worried.  All CFIA staff, including meat inspectors, are represented by
the agriculture union.

Kingston also told iPolitics Monday that CFIA is “cutting corners” in Quebec’s
meat inspection staffing and frequency.

“Our members are suffering,” Kingston told iPolitics in an interview April 20.
“We can’t let it go.”

The union had meetings with CFIA officials in Ottawa the week of April 13,
Kingston said, to discuss the situation on the ground.  None of the top CFIA
officials, including the agency’s president, Bruce Archibald, showed up, opting
to send members of their staff instead, the union president recalled.

Back in Alberta, the inspector said there is no end in sight to the cutbacks –
despite shortages of inspectors and frustration from meat establishments and
CFIA staff who are worried someone is going to get sick.

“You just don’t know what is going on at these establishments,” the inspector
told iPolitics.

The inspector said family members have already been warned to “be careful about
what kind of meat they are eating.”

The inspector told iPolitics it has even been suggested to family members they
are “better off” getting an animal locally slaughtered by “someone that they

Posted in Agriculture, Animal Cruelty, Food Safety, Horse Slaughter, Horse welfare, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments