Letter to restaurants serving horsemeat in the Toronto area

Marie Dean sent us this update to some terrific work that she’s doing on behalf of horses:


 In 2010 CHDC sent an information package to Restaurants and Shops serving horsemeat – just sharing some great results here. Congratulations CHDC

 I confirmed by phone:

 2010 Black Camel, Toronto 2012 No Longer Serving

2010 Local Kitchen & Wine Bar, Toronto 2012 No Longer Serving

2010 Le Select Bistro, Toronto 2012 No Longer Serving

2010 Via Allegro, Toronto 2012 No Longer Serving

… 2010 The Black Cat, Ottawa 2012 No Longer Serving

2010 Pusateris Fine Foods 2012 No Longer Serving

2010 Parts & Labour, Toronto 2012 No Longer Serving

 I hope I have the same success.  Today, I mailed a cover letter (shown below) and information package to:

Union Restaurant, Toronto

Batifole Restaurant, Toronto

The Black Hoof, Toronto

Whitehouse Meats, Toronto

Cavillino Carne Equina & Groceries, North York

La Ferme Black River Game, Pefferlaw

Parts & Labour, Toronto (even though they confirmed over the phone they did not serve horsemeat – I do not trust the menu item “Devils on Horseback” – so I send them a package anyways).

Letter sent:

Dear …………….,

This letter is being sent to you with respect for your business and your clientele.  We feel that it is important to acknowledge that there are serious food safety concerns with the horsemeat that you are selling.  There are serious animal welfare concerns as well.  The government has tabled a private members bill to end horse slaughter in Canada, Bill C-322, due to food safety concerns.

We all know how difficult it is to keep a business alive and prosperous in this economy, and we are sure that if you come to realize that a certain item may be a health risk for your customers then you would remove it immediately as to protect your customer, as well as your business.

One of the true tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem and take action to rectify it.  The Canadian Horse Defence Coalition and its supporters are convinced that one person can be a change catalyst, a “transformer” in any situation, any organization. 

Many restaurateurs have ventured down the path of offering horsemeat to their consumers.  Many of those restaurateurs discovered, of their own accord, that horsemeat is often an “unpalatable” complement to their menu.  Few people want to consume a serving of food, even one that is artfully prepared and served, if it includes the potential for drug contamination and/or extreme cruelty.

The subject of drugs in any animal meat is a complicated subject, often requiring the interpretations of a toxicologist who has studied “exponential decay” of drugs in an animal. I have put together some important facts that you may not be aware of (see attachments) in reference to the analysis of a banned substance that is in horsemeat fromCanada.

As you are no doubt aware from reading the Toronto Star expose on horsemeat last year, horses are not raised for food in theUnited StatesandCanadaand horses given banned drugs are NOT removed from the slaughter pipeline. 

You may recall from the Toronto Star article 
(http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1032379–shooting-horses-canada-s-slaughter-industry-under-fire?bn=1 ), the entire safety of the horsemeat supply begins with the “honour system” dictated by owners and kill buyers, who complete their own paperwork to certify the “safety” of the meat.  No other food production system in Canada suffers from this critical flaw, whereby people with the most to gain by forging or lying on the paperwork can dictate what consumers eat.  Phenylbutazone is banned in horses entering the food chain by the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union.  There is no withdrawal time period.  Horsemeat from Canada is mainly exported to Europe and Asia.  Horses given phenylbutazone and sent to slaughter for human consumption represent a VIOLATION of orders set forth by agencies around the world tasked with keeping food safe.

Moreover, children have greater sensitivity and susceptibility to aplastic anemia caused by phenylbutazone.   The difficulty with phenylbutazone is that it, or its metabolite, can cause aplastic anaemia in children. If a child were to consume an animal-based product containing even the minutest amount of phenylbutazone or its metabolite then the child may develop aplastic anaemia.

In Canada, a 500g tub of phenylbutazone powder costs approx. $15.00 taxes included, making this a very affordable drug for the use of pain relief and inflammation for horses.  Every horse owner has a bottle, and it is used regularly.  It is referred to as a “horse aspirin”.

You may reach out and call your local Canadian Food Inspection Agency to confirm this information, but remember this, the CFIA reports to the government.  They will not address these serious issues properly due to the fact that they are responsible for the neglect.  Many private citizens and supporters of integrity and transparency in Canada’s food supply are regularly issuing challenges to the CFIA to act immediately to correct this serious deficiency, and leading the way is MP Alex Atamanenko, the author of Bill C-322.

We are all consumers and advocates – not one of us is any less responsible for tasking the government with ensuring that our food supply is as safe as it can possibly be. 

I have included some extremely important articles that will assist with your decision to remove horsemeat from your business.   Serving or selling horsemeat is unpopular and can attract bad publicity.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.


Marie Dean

Supporter of The Canadian Horse Defence Coalition




  1. Such a great letter!! Way to go!
    Just keeeep on Rockin.
    Greetings from America, Simone Netherlands, Respect4Horses.

  2. Carina · ·

    That’s a really well-written letter, good for you!

    I live in downtown Vancouver. I believe there was one restaurant here that was serving horsemeat … and I think some protested there a while back.

    Does anyone know the name of the place? I would be happy to investigate and see if they are still offering it. And then I would be happy to either protest or deliver a similar letter in person 🙂

    1. Carina,
      Why don`t you try to google for it. If you can find this restaurant I can send you the package for you to forward to them. It always looks better if it comes from someone living in the area. Here is my email address mariedean555@gmail.com. Good Luck

  3. Sandi Gladding MacPherson · ·

    Thank you Marie, for your devotion to horses and the hard work you do to protect them.

  4. […] they are responsible for the neglect. Many private citizens … … See original here: Letter to restaurants serving horsemeat in the Toronto area … ← Neglected horse dumped on California roadside : Horsetalk: World […]

  5. There may be a faint light appearing at the end of the tunnel after all. Thanks for all you do.

  6. Heather · ·

    Thank you Marie, well said.

  7. shoshone · ·

    Thanks Marie. Your letter is very informative.

  8. denwind2012 · ·

    Thanks for all your hard work with the restaurants serving horse meat in Canada. Best wishes and continued success from Denise Brown, author of “Wind, Wild Horse Rescue” book, from NH, USA.

  9. Just want to thank you for a huge sucess, and may more to come.The public eye is beginning to open widely to the pain and suffering the horses go thru, not counting the many who could become very ill, from eating the meat of the horse.

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