Announcing CHDC’s 2016 Equine Calendar!

horse in costumeWe are thrilled to announce CHDC’s 2016 Photo Contest/Horse Calendar, in honour of CHDC Director Marie Dean – all proceeds will benefit the work of the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition. Marie’s horses,  Johnny and Candy,  will be featured in the calendar as well.

The 12-month calendars will be available  from our store at Café Press, where other CHDC merchandise is also available, in time for the holiday season.  And the friends of the CHDC will have an opportunity to have their horses represented in the calendar! So if you have funny pics,  beautiful photos of your horses in motion,  successfully rehabbed horses, photos of wildies,  or much loved horses that have crossed the Rainbow Bridge, please send them in for consideration!

The Rules for submitting photos:

  • Images can be colour or black and white, and should be taken on a high resolution camera. Images should be at least 300 ppi/dpi, without watermarks or other markings that identify the photographer.
  • Entries should include a short description of the horse including his/her name, province and a paragraph about the horse.
  • We reserve the right to crop or tonally adjust any photo
  • By submitting a photo including minor children or animals you do not own, you acknowledge that you have permission to include pictures of them when you submit the release.
  • You must own the photo rights and the photos must not infringe on someone else’s copyright
  • Professional pictures are welcome!
  • Only digital entries will be accepted. Sorry, we cannot accept print entriesWild horses
  • You may only enter a maximum of 3 photos
  • Entries should be emailed as .jpeg files to info@defendhorsescanada.org – the release form, found here MUST accompany your pictures. Entries will not be considered without it. (The form opens in Microsoft Word format).
  • Participants must reside in Canada
  • You must be of 18 years of age or older in order to submit a photo
  • The CHDC board of directors will determine the winning selections for each month.
  • Entrants will be deemed to have understood the above rules and agree to be bound by them when submitting photos
  • Deadlines: your photo submission must be received by September 15, 2015
  • Photos chosen for the calendar will be notified by November 1, 2015 – we will publish the winners names in a subsequent CHDC blog as well.

Good Luck!

running of the horses

Posted in Horse Slaughter, Rescues, Success Stories | Tagged | Leave a comment

Once Upon a City

Toronto Police Service

Toronto Police Service

The maned members of the Toronto Police’s mounted unit, which turns 130 next year, have long been revered by officers and citizens alike.

By: Carola Vyhnak Special to the Star, Published on Thu Jul 30 2015

“As I knelt beside her and took her head on my lap she quieted right down. I stayed with her until she passed away at 3 p.m. She died peacefully and I knew that I had lost the best friend I ever had. I loved that old gal and she loved me.”

Please continue reading here.

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Ministry of Justice Unable to Administer Justice In Own Back Yard

headdeskIn recent years we appear to be witnessing more governmental whitewashing, smokescreens, and doublespeak than possibly at any other time in Canadian history.  Many voters in our country have expressed frustration at the lack of credibility exhibited by the Conservative government, and in all likelihood will opt for change.

The following e-mail string is testimony to the uphill battle we face in terms of access to government resources.  Who knew that the Ministry of Justice will not examine its own back yard for infractions, despite a mountain of evidence?  This appears to be a typical case of offloading responsibility because to do so is the path of least resistance.  Who wants an internal battle within government, after all?  Ministry against ministry?  No matter what the crime, it makes good political sense to circle the wagons and turn a blind eye to what one’s colleagues are really doing.

But there is price to pay for all that indifference.  An election is pending, and a dissatisfied citizen can be a voter who demands a change in leadership.

We invite you to read the correspondence below, from the bottom up.  In addition, we’ll be sure to post any follow-up letters we may receive from the ministries.

If you feel that there is something wrong with this picture, feel free to write to the government e-mail addresses supplied below in order to express your views.

For the horses,

Your friends at CHDC

*************************************************************************************

From: sinikka@defendhorsescanada.org

Sent: Wednesday, July 29, 2015 1:42 PM

To: Ministerial Correspondence Unit – Mailout

Cc: gerry.ritz@parl.gc.ca

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

Dear L. Bisson:

Thank you again for your prompt response.

Since you have clearly indicated that the Ministry of Justice has a hands-off policy where violations committed by another ministry are concerned, I am wondering how the public can be assured of administration of justice with regard to any infractions of the law by governmental agencies?  Can you explain what the role of the Ministry of Justice actually is, pertaining to issues of justice?

The Honourable Peter MacKay

The Honourable Peter MacKay

Further, if governmental policy forbids the Ministry of Justice from examining matters of law-breaking within government, can you recommend an unbiased, unshackled entity that would not be timid to investigate?

We will express our concerns to the Health Minister.  Unfortunately, the Ministry of Agriculture and Agri-Food has proven disinterested in making certain that all laws concerning the transport and slaughter of horses are adhered to.  It appears that there is a very determined fox guarding the henhouse, ensuring that business can be conducted as usual – with no interference from something as trivial as legislation.

Incidentally, a simple internet search of the CFIA website reveals that the CFIA reports to the Minister of Health (see copied information below).  No mention is made here of Ministry of Agriculture involvement, in spite of the fact that, surely, there has been plenty of time to update the website to reflect what you are saying.  This type of discrepancy in itself is very confusing to the public, and perhaps yet another example of why citizens are losing faith in our current government.

I look forward to further correspondence from your ministry.

Yours truly,

Sinikka Crosland, Executive Director

Canadian Horse Defence Coalition

c.c. The Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

The  CFIA is led by its President, who reports to the Minister of Health. The Agency has an integrated governance structure whereby all branch heads have specific accountabilities that contribute to the achievement of each of the CFIA ‘s strategic objectives.

**********************************************************************************

From: Ministerial Correspondence Unit – Mailout

Sent: Wednesday, July 29, 2015 7:52 AM

To: mailto:sinikka@defendhorsescanada.org

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

Dear Ms. Crosland:

On behalf of the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, I acknowledge receipt of your further correspondence of July 24, 2015, sent on behalf of the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition, concerning live horse exports from Canada to Japan.

gerry ritz, listeria, tained meat, CFIA

Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture

As previously mentioned, the matter you raise falls within the purview of the Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri‑Food, to whom I note you have sent a copy of your correspondence.  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) handles the safety of the meat for human consumption.  Responsibility for the CFIA is shared between Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Health Canada.  Should you wish to write to the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, her office can be reached at minister.ministre@hc-sc.gc.ca.

Please note that Minister MacKay has no authority over matters that fall within another minister’s portfolio.

Thank you for writing.

Yours sincerely,

L. Bisson

Manager

Ministerial Correspondence Unit

c.c.:      The Honourable Gerry Ritz, P.C., M.P.

Minister of Agriculture and Agri‑Food

********************************************************************************

From: sinikka@defendhorsescanada.org

Sent: Friday, July 24, 2015 3:25 PM

To: Ministerial Correspondence Unit – Mailout

Cc: complaints-plaintes@oag-bvg.gc.ca ; gerry.ritz@parl.gc.ca

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

Dear L. Bisson:

Thank you for your correspondence.  However, I am referring to repeated violations of the Health of Animals Regulations by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.  I understand that the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada is mandated to deal with

International Trade Minister Edward Fast

International Trade Minister Edward Fast

matters of justice.  If an arm of the government is breaking the law, then surely this falls within your jurisdiction.

Further, as you must know, the CFIA is now under the purview of the Ministry of Health.  I fail to understand what this particular situation has to do with the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

Please re-visit my letter, which I have copied below for your convenience.

I look forward to your reply.

Yours truly,

Sinikka Crosland, Executive Director

Canadian Horse Defence Coalition

sinikka@defendhorsescanada.org

c.c. Office of the Auditor General of Canada; The Hon. Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

************************************************************************************

From: Ministerial Correspondence Unit – Mailout

Sent: Friday, July 24, 2015 6:45 AM

To: ‘sinikka@defendhorsescanada.org’

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

Dear Ms. Crosland:

On behalf of the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, I acknowledge receipt of your correspondence of July 17, 2015, sent on behalf of the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition, concerning live horse exports from Canada to Japan.

The Honourable Rona Ambrose - Minister of Health

The Honourable Rona Ambrose – Minister of Health

The matter you raise falls within the purview of the Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri‑Food.  I have therefore taken the liberty of forwarding a copy of your correspondence to Minister Ritz for his information and consideration.

Thank you for writing.

Yours sincerely,

L. Bisson

Manager

Ministerial Correspondence Unit

c.c.:      The Honourable Gerry Ritz, P.C., M.P.

Minister of Agriculture and Agri‑Food

********************************************************************

From: sinikka@defendhorsescanada.org

Sent: Friday, July 17, 2015 12:09 PM

To: mcu@justice.gc.ca

Cc: bruce.archibald@inspection.gc.ca ; ed.fast@parl.gc.ca

Subject: legal concerns about live horse exports to Japan

The Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
284 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H8

Email: mcu@justice.gc.ca

Dear Hon. Mr. MacKay:

On behalf of the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC), I am requesting a thorough examination by your ministry of the issue of live horse exports from Canada to Japan for slaughter.

Dr. Bruce Archibald

Dr. Bruce Archibald – President, Canadian Food Inspection Agency

We have recently studied Access to Information documents concerning the air transport of these horses overseas, and are frankly appalled at the blatant legislation violations revealed and attempts to re-word legislation without taking appropriate legal steps to do so. For example, in spite of lengthy debate within the agency concerning overloading crates with four heavy horses, the practice is still continuing.  The Health of Animals Regulations stipulate that horses over 14 hands high must be segregated for air transport, and that they must be able to stand in a natural position, without coming into contact with a deck or a roof.  Both laws are being broken on an ongoing basis, with the CFIA fully aware of this and, on horse shipment formwork, simply noting the segregation regulation under “Description of Non-Compliance”

(https://canadianhorsedefencecoalition.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/link9-formwork-using-altered-regs.pdf).

Further, for their own purposes, the agency has added wording to the Health of Animals Regulations that has not gone through official legal channels –

(https://canadianhorsedefencecoalition.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/link10.png).

We realize that Canada also must respect IATA regulations.  But those regulations permit the shipping of Icelandic and polo ponies together in crates, not large draft horses well over 14 hands high, who must be transported singly if all regulations are to be properly met.

Details of our concerns can be found here.

We await your prompt reply.  Thank you.

Best regards,

Sinikka Crosland, Executive Director

Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC)

sinikka@defendhorsescanada.org

c.c. Dr. Bruce Archibald, President, Canadian Food Inspection Agency; Hon. Edward Fast, Minister of International Trade

vote

 

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In-Depth Video on Horse Slaughter in Canada Today

The CHDC has uploaded a video that takes an in-depth look into the horse slaughter industry in Canada today.

The video is quite long but can be viewed in short segments if you wish.  We hope that horse supporters find it informative and that you can use some of the information contained in it.

Posted in Horse Slaughter | 4 Comments

Susan Wagner of Equine Advocates Interview

From left to right:  Susan Kayne, Bobby and Susan Wagner  Photo: Real Horse Rescues

From left to right: Susan Kayne, Bobbi and Susan Wagner. Photo: Real Horse Rescues

Our regular readers will know that we were honoured to present at the Equine Advocates Summit this past May at the beautiful Equine Advocates Sanctuary.  We were also fortunate to meet Susan Kayne of Real Horse Rescues TV.  Susan’s program, Real Horse Rescues, is a weekly program airing throughout the summer on WTEN, the ABC affiliate in New York’s Capital District.

Susan has filmed two episodes featuring Equine Advocates and interviews Susan Wagner, founder of Equine Advocates.

The first part is here and the second can be found here.

Equine Advocates web site
Real Horse Rescues

 

 

Posted in Horse Slaughter | 3 Comments

Live in British Columbia? Preparedness Links And Resources for Emergency Animal Evacuation Due To Wildfires

Thank you to the Ground  CrewsThere are currently more than 250 forest fires burning in British Columbia, with new fires being reported each week. At the time of writing, there are at least 10 evacuation alerts in effect across the province, and costs to fight the fires could exceed $400 million by the end of the season.

The risk of death, property loss, and risk to pets, especially horses and other farm animals, requires that those of us living in the area plan ahead to keep everyone safe in the event of a disaster or evacuation. If you can help transport animals, have space to keep them, can help in the logistical evacuations, or need help, please make yourself aware of the resources available to you through both volunteer groups and your local government/municipality. Planning is crucial because in the event of an evacuation, you are very unlikely to be allowed back onto your property! Leaving your animals behind may mean that it will take days to get help for them, or in a worse-case scenario, help may not be available at all.

Please check out these links for evacuation awareness and the sharing of contact information (not intended to be a complete list of available services):

To report a wildfire – Call Toll-Free 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on most cellular networks

Emergency 911 – Cowichan Valley Response Team – a Facebook group set up to help those living in the Cowichan Valley (and beyond)

Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team – The Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team (CDART) is the emergency animal rescue division of Critteraid. Volunteers are mobilized when local authorities request CDART’s help and when the Provincial Emergency Program’s Emergency Social Services is activated.  In specific communities, CDART has long-time established teams but will answer requests for help through local, provincial and federal government agencies.  CDART also encourages cooperation between other animal groups, veterinary associations, levels of government and disaster relief agencies.

Cowichan Valley Regional District Emergency Alert Information – via this site you can register for emergency alerts.

British Columbia’s Emergency Livestock and Animal Evacuation Group – A Facebook BC Firesgroup intended to help organize information for available trailering, housing of horses or other farm animals in need of emergency evacuation. Please add contact information to the group’s files if you can help with transport or temporary housing.

Pet Safe Coalition of Canada Society – This group has a singular mission to save animals during disasters with their rescue and recovery services and to mitigate the impact of disasters on animals through educational outreach programs. If local animal organizations are unable to respond to animal emergencies, PSCS will step in to help recover, shelter, and reunite animals with their owners.

Vancouver Island Emergency Animal Evacuation Network – A Facebook community for Islanders to help one another with animals in an emergency.

Map of Vancouver Island Emergency Veterinary Hospitals

Map of Vancouver Island Emergency Rescues

BC Government Wildfire Service – Report wildfires or get the status on an existing fire

Interactive Map of Current Wildfires

 

 

 

 

Posted in Horse Slaughter, Horse welfare, Rescues, Transport, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CHDC writes to CFIA head and Justice Minister MacKay regarding live draft horse shipments to Japan

The following two letters were sent today, July 17, 2015, to Dr. Bruce Archibald President of the CFIA and Canada’s Justice Minister the Honourable Peter MacKay from Sinikka Crosland, Executive Director, CHDC regarding the CFIA’s failure to enforce their own regulations for the live draft horse shipments to Japan.

 

archibaldjpg_1375970988316_engDr. Bruce Archibald, President
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
bruce.archibald@inspection.gc.ca

Dear Dr. Archibald:

Further to the June 25, 2015 letter from our organization (addressed to Hon. Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, and copied to yourself), I would like to request from you a response to our concerns about the live export of horses to Japan for slaughter.

Details can be found here.

In short, we have reviewed e-mails and reports obtained through Access to Information, and are shocked by the fact that the CFIA continues to violate the Health of Animals Regulations, permitting horses to be shipped illegally out of Calgary and Winnipeg airports and white-washing serious incidents that have occurred.  Regarding the segregation law, an internal CFIA e-mail mentions, “…don’t have enough resources to enforce therefore WAY down on the priority list, therefore no point in spending time and resources enforcing that.”

This is completely unacceptable.  It is unconscionable that the CFIA should permit live animals to be shipped under such haphazard stewardship and propensity to violate existing protective legislation.  Must government be reminded of its responsibility to adhere to laws, and that changing the wording of legislation requires a process, i.e. amending acts must be created?

As you know, Canada also must respect IATA regulations.  But those regulations permit the shipping of Icelandic and polo ponies together in crates, not large draft horses well over 14 hands high, who must be transported singly if all regulations are to be properly met.

Furthermore, given the catastrophic nature of six large horses dying during a flight, three horses perishing during a landing accident and, on a separate occasion, a dead horse being found upside down in his crate, human safety begs consideration when horses are flown overseas for the sake of profit.

We await your prompt response to our concerns.

Yours truly,
Sinikka Crosland, Executive Director
Canadian Horse Defence Coalition
www.defendhorsescanada.org
sinikka@defendhorsescanada.org

c.c. Hon. Edward Fast, Minister of International Trade; Hon. Peter Gordon MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

 

mackay_0The Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
284 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H8
Email: mcu@justice.gc.ca

 

Dear Hon. Mr. MacKay:

On behalf of the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC), I am requesting a thorough examination by your ministry of the issue of live horse exports from Canada to Japan for slaughter.

We have recently studied Access to Information documents concerning the air transport of these horses overseas, and are frankly appalled at the blatant legislation violations revealed and attempts to re-word legislation without taking appropriate legal steps to do so. For example, in spite of lengthy debate within the agency concerning overloading crates with four heavy horses, the practice is still continuing.

The Health of Animals Regulations stipulate that horses over 14 hands high must be segregated for air transport, and that they must be able to stand in a natural position, without coming into contact with a deck or a roof.  Both laws are being broken on an ongoing basis, with the CFIA fully aware of this and, on horse shipment formwork, simply noting the segregation regulation under “Description of Non-Compliance”.  Further, for their own purposes, the agency has added wording to the Health of Animals Regulations that has not gone through official legal channels.

We realize that Canada also must respect IATA regulations.  But those regulations permit the shipping of Icelandic and polo ponies together in crates, not large draft horses well over 14 hands high, who must be transported singly if all regulations are to be properly met.

Details of our concerns may be found here.

We await your prompt reply.  Thank you.

Best regards,
Sinikka Crosland, Executive Director
Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC)
sinikka@defendhorsescanada.org

c.c. Dr. Bruce Archibald, President, Canadian Food Inspection Agency; Hon. Edward Fast, Minister of International Trade

 

Posted in Horse Slaughter | 9 Comments