Les Viandes de la Petite-Nation Inc. slaughter house in Quebec has been temporarily closed, with inspections and audits being conducted at the plant by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). La Petite-Nation (LPN) was the subject of the December 2011 investigative report by the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC) entitled “Pasture to Plate: The True Cost of Canada’s Horsemeat Industry”: http://www.defendhorsescanada.org/lpn.html.
The report cites numerous violations underCanada’s Meat Inspection Act, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) animal welfare standards, cruelty violations, as well as reveals a flawed Equine Identification Documents system. LPN is one of two plants operating in Quebec, and one of four plants operating in Canada.
The CFIA’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Brian Evans, verifies the temporary closure in this February 16th email:
Thank you for your email inquiry.
With respect to Les Viandes de la Petite-Nation Inc., I am informed by Quebec Operations the enhanced inspection, verification and audit activities on the part of the CFIA continue and it is my understanding that the establishment has indicated its intent to temporarily suspend its operations. With respect to Viandes Richelieu I am advised its status is not changed.
Dr. Brian Evans
(613) 773-5236 / (613) 773-5763
We are seeking further information from Dr. Evans on La Petite Nation’s closure. In January 2012, the CHDC wrote to Dr. Evans to follow up on the Pasture to Plate report, since there had been no acknowledgement or communication of any kind from the CFIA on the violations that are occurring at the plant. Dr. Evans’ reply indicated that he would involve Quebec operations regarding horse slaughter violations and tracking system deficiencies at LPN:
The CHDC finds it questionable that LPN has closed operations voluntarily, yet the CFIA is conducting inspections and audits there. It is our opinion that findings from the Pasture to Plate report has prompted the CFIA to take measures to somehow try to improve conditions at LPN, but this fourth investigative report on Canadian slaughterhouses proves, once again, that horses cannot be humanely slaughtered in assembly line situations. We continue to ask the CFIA, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Canadian government to close all horse slaughter plants permanently.