A Slice Of Reality About Horse Auctions….

The September 19th Valley Auction in Armstrong British Columbia was a success by all accounts – reportedly ALL horses found homes and no horses went to kill buyers.  Many rescuers came home with multiple horses and this is merely one account of a very lucky mare (and foal!) who was purchased merely ONE DAY before she foaled.

Lady’s rescuer was a 15 year-old girl named Keira, who went to the auction on her own. No information about Lady was available to any prospective purchasers,  and it was unknown that she was close to parturition – she delivered her foal, subsequently named Chance, the very next day after the rescue. If she had been purchased by a kill buyer she would have delivered her foal either on a lot somewhere or while in transport to slaughter.

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It’s clear from viewing the National Farm Animal Codes of Practice decision tree for transportation, that the mare should not have been transported to the auction.

Conditions under which horses should not be transported:

  • Fracture or any other severe injury such as gaping wounds, profuse bleeding, severe head injuries, and severe laminitis etc.
  • Sick or diseased – strangles, herpes, virus, pheumonia
  • Lame
  • Fever due to illness
  • Acute frostbite
  • Colic
  • Exhaustion
  • Dehydration
  • Recent major surgery
  • In shock or dying
  • Emaciation
  • Weakness
  • Non-ambulatory
  • Likely to give birth within 48 hours
  • Suspected or confirmed nervous disorder
  • Uterine, vaginal or rectal prolapse
  • Laboured breathing
Posted in Success Stories, Horse Slaughter, Transport, Horse Placement Alerts, Rescues, Animal Cruelty, Food Safety, Agriculture, Horse welfare | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

A little bit of good news

1297366031536_ORIGINALIn an email to the manager of Canadian Premium Meats, Tierschutzbund’s Sabrina Gurtner was able to confirm that CPM is not in the horse slaughter business any more.

The manager stated that the plant was bought by a Beef Marketing Company last autumn and has no more capacity for horse slaughter but they still appear on the CFIA’s approved horse slaughter plants list.


Posted in Horse Slaughter | Tagged , , | 19 Comments

Canadian Horse slaughter statistics to July 2015 includes US horses imported for slaughter

Here are the slaughter stats for January – July in Canada.  These statistics include the total number of horses slaughtered in Canada to July as well as US imports to June.


Sugarcreek Auction Sep 2015. Photo by Susie Gordon, used with permission.

If you add the January to June total numbers of horses killed and then do the percentage that are from the US for the same time period, it comes out to 65%.

Posted in Horse Slaughter | 9 Comments

Premier of Our Mims Retirement Haven film

Dear Equine Friends,

The moment has arrived.  It is our great pleasure to announce the film premier of ONE DAY in Kentucky on Friday, Oct. 9th – a fundraiser for Our Mims Retirement Haven.  It will be wonderful — good wine — great food — special people.

As one of the few to have previewed the film about Our Mims at the Equine Summit, I ask for your assistance is spreading the word.   (Editor’s note:  Loni Stewart from the CHDC presented at the summit and said this “I’ve seen the film and can wholly agree with what Susan Wagner says below.  Very uplifting film.”)

As Susan Wagner said, “This film will make you laugh and cry, but mostly, it will bring you joy and an even greater appreciation and understanding of why equine rescue is so important. “

The Good Wife’s Josh Charles narrates.

Please also like us on Facebook.

Thank you in advance,

Victoria Racimo & TanNa Young

OD INVITE-5.5x8.5_FinalFB

Posted in Horse Slaughter | 1 Comment

‘Round And ‘Round We Go – Writing To The Conservative Government

fox_hen_doorIn July,  the CHCD documented the long email chain from the Conservative government as Executive Director Sinikka Crosland attempted to find a minister who could address the issue of the blatant legislative violations in the air transport of horses overseas.

The responses thus far have indicated that the Ministry of Agriculture and Agri-Food under MP Gerry Ritz is responsible for ensuring adherence to regulations,  but the Ministry has always proven itself to be completely disinterested in making certain that any laws concerning the transport and slaughter of horses are being followed appropriately.

The latest responses (sent two months after writing) strategically advises that our letter will be considered……..AFTER the election.


From: Minister / Ministre (AAFC/AAC)

Sent: Friday, September 25, 2015 10:15 AM

To: xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Subject: Your correspondence to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food – Quote: 214565

Quote: 214565

Ms. Sinikka Crosland

Executive Director

Canadian Horse Defence Coalition

Dear Ms. Crosland:

On behalf of the Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, I wish to acknowledge receipt of your correspondence regarding the export of live horses, which was forwarded by the Office of the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, in July 2015.

Please be assured that your correspondence will be considered following the federal election.

Thank you for writing.


Caroline Rahal

Deputy Director, Operations


From: Ministerial Correspondence Unit – Mailout

Sent: Friday, September 25, 2015 7:17 AM

To: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Subject: Correspondence on behalf of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Dear Ms. Crosland:

The office of the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, is in receipt of your further correspondence of July 29, 2015, concerning live horse exports from Canada to Japan.

As Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Minister MacKay is mandated to provide legal advice to the federal government.  It is for this reason that he is not able to investigate, intervene in, or otherwise become involved in the situation you describe.  Information on the role of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada can be found on the Department of Justice Canada website at www.justice.gc.ca/eng/abt-apd/index.html.

As you know, the Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri‑Food Canada, is responsible for the legal requirements regarding the humane handling and slaughter of horses.  The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), which falls under the purview of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, is responsible for the enforcement of the Health of Animals Act.  It is important to emphasize that Minister MacKay has no authority over matters that fall under another minister’s portfolio.   

Thank you for writing.

Yours sincerely,

L. Bisson


Ministerial Correspondence Unit


Posted in Agriculture, Animal Cruelty, Food Safety, Horse Slaughter, Horse welfare, Politics | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Need Help Countering Politicians’ Arguments In Favour of Horse Slaughter?

Marie and her kidsDear supporters,

We’ve had some requests for help with form-letter responses received from political incumbents and candidates who are asked about their support for horse slaughter issues.  It’s important to counter objections with factual information,  and if the candidate is still not swayed by counter-arguments,  to let them know that we will not support them when we go to the polls in October.

Here are some responses you can use to buttress objections that horse slaughter is necessary and humane, etc.  Feel free to modify as you wish or include other appropriate links:


Dear (Candidate):

Contrary to what industry would like the public to believe, horse slaughter is not humane euthanasia.   I challenge you to independently research the facts rather than blindly believing the propaganda set forth by those who have a vested interest in the horse meat industry.  Go to  www.defendhorsescanada.org, click on Investigations, and view the latest undercover footage captured in an equine slaughter house.  This can be found by scrolling down to “Pasture to Plate” and clicking.  The suffering of these animals, occurring behind closed doors where the eyes of the public are not permitted to see, is a fact that cannot be disputed.  A young child would be able to recognize the terror, pain, and prolonged agony that horses in a kill box must endure.  What about you?

In response to the question most often presented by those attempting to defend the industry, “What will happen if slaughter ended – where will all the horses go?” – answers exist if we endeavour to find them. Horses can be sold, adopted out, given to rescue centres (of which there are a growing number), or maintained in their original locations until new, appropriate homes are found.  In times of crisis, horse advocates have been known to launch hay banks or collect funding to feed horses in need.  Cyber campaigns have resulted in seemingly impossible numbers of horses being re-homed, simply through widespread publicity.  As a very last resort, old, lame or ill horses can be humanely euthanized by a veterinarian.  There are many solutions that don’t involve clinging stubbornly to cruel practices for the sake of profit and breeder/owner convenience.

The horse slaughter industry contributes to maltreatment of horses and the attitude thatvote they are expendable.  If horse slaughter were to end tomorrow, a responsible attitude would evolve simply because there would no longer be an easy “out” for those wishing to make fast money off the backs of horses.  Breeders would have to think twice before each pregnancy, i.e. are they able to sell the resulting foal, or will they need to spend extra resources themselves on that young horse?  With more selective breeding, the price of horses would rise.  Horses would no longer be disposable.  They would attain the status in our society that they rightly deserve, as companions and partners working alongside their human caregivers.

Some proponents of horse slaughter state that continued monitoring and improvements in the system must occur in order for the process to be humane.  Unfortunately, this is not happening nor is it likely to happen in situations where assembly-line expediency and resulting profits are the norm.  There have been undercover investigations of four Canadian slaughterhouses in recent years, and the images of suffering behind closed doors do nothing to increase one’s confidence in the system.

The ethnic argument, that we must support cultural habits that include the consumption of horse meat, is moot.  This is Canada, and we don’t need to be sending our horses overseas for slaughter (see https://canadianhorsedefencecoalition.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/media_page_jun_2015.pdf).  Nor do we need to provide horse meat for other countries whose standards differ from ours.  An Ipsos-Reid poll conducted in Canada in 2004 showed 2/3 of the respondents not in favour of the slaughter of horses for human consumption.  That’s a large majority.  It is clear that Canadians are generally not in favour of killing horses for food.

2014 chartWere you aware of the fact that live horses contribute vastly more to the Canadian economy than the profits obtained from their deaths?  According to information received from Equine Canada and StatsCan, the economic contribution from the live horse industry is a gargantuan $90 billion, as opposed to a paltry $73 million garnered from the bodies of dead horses. Why would anyone in government support the tragic, gruesome and comparably non-lucrative practice of slaughtering horses?

If you want my vote, then stop being an apologist for the horse meat industry. 

If you refuse to support horses, then I will respond by not supporting you on October 19th.

Sincerely yours,

Your name and contact information

Posted in Agriculture, Animal Cruelty, Food Safety, Horse Slaughter, Horse welfare, Media, Politics | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Attention GTA Horse People – Complimentary Yoga/Informational Session at Forest Song Farm

horse people meet upAre you a horse lover in the Greater Toronto Area who wants to connect with other anti-slaughter advocates while attending a yoga session in a relaxing environment?

Horse People For Horses is hosting this event in Blackstock on Sunday,  September 27th,  which will feature a therapeutic yoga session with Breanna Coates, MSW, RSW, CYA, of Compassionate Healing Therapy.  Door prizes will be available!

For more details,  please see the attached flyer,  or call/text Melissa at 905.243.1708



Posted in Horse Slaughter