Pro-Slaughter Group Attempts to Cash In on Horse Traceability Program While Canada Falters on its Deadline

Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC) Reports on Canada’s Equine Traceability Program

Introduction

Canada’s federal government and national livestock producer organizations have created the Canadian Livestock Identification Agency.  Equine Canada was responsible for developing an equine-specific program (CanEQUID) to satisfy federal government requirements for identification and traceability for equines, and was represented on the Board of Directors.

This paper addresses the outcome of Equine Canada’s research and the demise of its planned program.  Also, it addresses the desire of a pro-slaughter group to step in and implement their solution for an equine traceability program.

Both programs, however, cannot proceed without funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), but both could benefit very well financially if they become the group of choice to go forward with the program.

In September 2012, the CHDC wrote to Equine Canada, as well as Integrated Traceability, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to enquire on the status of this program.  We are aware that a July 2013 target date is fast approaching, whereby Canada is to implement further measures to enhance the Equine Information Document (EID) system for horses slaughtered in Canada for human consumption in Europe.  Under Canada’s national livestock traceability system, there is to be in place an animal identification system (lifetime passport or microchip), a premises identification program, as well as a movement tracking system between premises.

A response from Dr. Edward Kendall at Equine Canada confirmed that the CanEQUID program will not meet its end of 2012 target date for this program.  AAFC has not responded to our enquiry.

In the meantime, we have been watching what is happening at Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada (HWAC), Canada’s dichotomous pro-slaughter “horse welfare” group, chaired by Bill desBarres.  HWAC has partnered with Animal ID Solutions Inc., and has been promoting their alliance, as stated in this November 2011 news release from HWAC and their U.S. partner, International Equine Business Association (IEBA) (formerly United Horsemen of the U.S.), headed by well-known U.S. pro-slaughter proponent, Sue Wallis.

It is now apparent that HWAC is working diligently to have their equine traceability program picked up by AAFC, and of course, receive the necessary funding to make it happen.  On September 21, 2012, HWAC sent a letter to all HWAC partners and Canadian equine related organizations with a Call to Action where desBarres describes the Equine Traceability Canada (ETC) program, and how ETC is the solution for this initiative.

The call to action is a request to respond to the following question:  “Do you and your constituents support HWAC, as a non-partisan national organization, to facilitate Canadian equine identification and traceability (the ETC project) through proven, internationally accepted and secure technology?”  Recipients are to respond by October 3, 2012 since “decisions must be made and action taken”.

HWAC knows Canada must address its requirements for the European Commission for Canadian-based horsemeat traceability, and knows that Equine Canada’s CanEQUID program will not move forward without funding from AAFC.  HWAC is attempting to prove that THEY are capable of implementing a microchip program through Animal ID Solutions Inc. and are moving quickly to prove their case.

The CHDC asks, though, why would HWAC receive the funding when it was already denied to Equine Canada?  Equine Canada already was approved to receive nearly half a million dollars in 2010 just to research and gather data.  We know that HWAC considers its solution as “turnkey”, so they propose they are in a better position to implement the program.

While the federal government may see the equine component of the Canadian Livestock Identification Agency as necessary, to bring Canada closer to a European type United Equine Lifetime Number system, it is believed that the reason HWAC is interested in being part of this solution is related solely to enhance and grow Canada’s horse slaughter industry.  Also, partnering with IEBA, HWAC likely envisions a solution for a traceability program for American horses.  They know that 67% of horses slaughtered in Canada in 2011 were from the U.S.  So HWAC can also benefit hugely if funding is provided to build this program. 

It would be an immense win-win for Bill desBarres and Sue Wallis – ensure Canada meets its traceability obligations with the EU, sustain and grow North America’s horse slaughter industry AND partner with AAFC and potentially receive an input of millions of Canadian tax-payer dollars.  Horse slaughter could be very lucrative to these crafty pro-slaughter partners.

Keep reading for the whole story, and the CHDC’s conclusions.

Equine Canada

Since 2009 and earlier, Equine Canada (EC) has been included in an implementation strategy for a Canadian national equine traceability program.

Under regulations of the Health of Animals Act, Canada has a mandatory identification program for cattle, bison and sheep. Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) is expanding the system to include other livestock species. According to AAFC, horses are functional livestock and are part of the national ID and traceability strategy for animal health and food safety reasons. According to Equine Canada, CanEQUID is the national traceability program for horses and will be a component of the National Livestock Traceability System for all livestock.

According to this presentation, “Equine Traceability: Moving Forward with CanEQUID”, by Vel Evans on behalf of Equine Canada, CanEQUID is expected to be regulated by late 2012 or early 2013. Prior to this September 2010 presentation, Equine Canada announced in June 2010 in a news release, “National Equine Industry Traceability Readiness Study Began in May”, that Equine Canada was approved to receive $478,766 in funding from AAFC for preliminary research and data-gathering initiatives for the traceability program.

Prior to this in June 2009, Equine Canada put out an Implementation Strategy for CanEquid  which makes several references to pressing deadlines for a national equine traceability program, and emphasizes that EC is seeking AAFC funding support for completion of the project. On page 24 it is stated, “Development of the program will require AAFC financial support funding to proceed.”

Vel Evans’ September 2010 presentation goes into detail on the steps Equine Canada took in its 2010 research (with the $478,766 funding from AAFC), including a national telephone research survey and a subsequent Ontario Pilot Project polling Ontario’s racing sector. Their findings include data on recording retainment, movement of horses, and owners’ medical treatment for horses (of which 82% of owners reported administering Phenylbutazone). The presentation lays out the timelines for CanEQUID’s implementation including development over 2011/12, an industry awareness campaign in 2011/12 and expected regulations by 2013.

Subsequent to this, Equine Canada held two Equine Industry Forums; Equine Canada 2011 Equine Industry Forum in November 2011 in Toronto, ON, and Equine Canada 2012 Equine Industry Forum II in February 2012 in St. John’s, NL. At the first Toronto Forum, Dr. Edward Kendall, Chair of the EC National Traceability Committee gave an overview on the CanEQUID program which would include “horse health history records that affect eligibility for processing”.

At the February 2012 session however, the focus of the forum took a different turn. During the second session, the tone of the meeting took on a more ominous tone when equine traceability was discussed (page 8) Dr. Kendall kicked off by saying that EC has developed standards, a strategy and a plan for equine traceability in Canada, but he revealed that the government has indicated it will not be funding the infrastructure necessary to support ID. He brought forward some points of consideration including: the need to address this through the breed registries; and the food safety component of the plan being relatively expensive.

He also said the government seems willing to put millions behind support mechanisms for the pork and cattle sectors, but not horses. “They don’t see horses as livestock and part of the food chain”. He also said, “If we don’t want to be part of the regulations, then now is the time to express this opinion to the government.” In a telling statement he also said, “This could be seen as one more barrier to people buying horses, as we already get taxed on many inputs unlike other livestock commodities. Why should we also pay for traceability? Through our economic contributions, we are actually subsidizing the other commodities.”

After these notable comments, a Motion was put to the floor: “That Equine Canada communicates to AAFC to the effect that the word Equine be removed from all current drafts of the new regulations of the Health of Animals Act related to traceability.” Several interesting comments were made by the panel (page 9) such as, “We can’t have it both ways, we want our horses classified as livestock, but we don’t want to be regulated like other livestock.” Also, “We don’t want the current draft regulations, they insist on microchips and passports.”, and “We don’t want it.”.

After the Motion was carried, discussions on the merits of having a Unique Equine Lifetime Number (UELN) ensued (page 10). The forum suggested that breed registries, which already have a database in place, add a number in front of the breed registration number, that would allow following the horse after it leaves racing, for example. “It is not more paperwork, just adding numbers in front of the breed registration number”. It was agreed that the breed registries could take this forward.

A Motion was carried, “That the Equine Canada Delegate Assembly adopt the UELN”. So in quick fashion, Equine Canada, after years of targeting implementation of the program and receiving nearly half a million dollars for research, quickly voted down any further involvement with CanEQUID. In the end, without government funding, it was no longer on the table and not worth any further discussion.

Upon discovering this revealing documentation, the CHDC wrote to Dr. Kendall at Equine Canada, as well as Integrated Traceability, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. To this date, we have not had a response from AAFC. Dr. Kendall, however, did respond by saying, “The federal government’s proposed regulations are unworkable without significant public support – the federal government indicated that support was not available at this time. Equine Canada consulted with the industry and as a result requested that the regulations for horses be delayed until funding is available.”

It is a known fact that an equine national traceability program be part of the requirements set out by the European Commission for horses destined for slaughter. The Equine Information Document (EID) is only the first step in a broader ranged program to create complete traceability and visibility into Canada’s 1.1 million horse population. Canada has committed to creating a database that is to include all horses, not just slaughter bound equines.

Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada (HWAC)

HWAC, Canada’s paradoxical pro-slaughter “horse welfare” group has partnered with Ontario-based Animal ID Solutions Inc., which has on its web site links to its partners HWAC and U.S. partner International Equine Business Association (IEBA), headed by well-known U.S. pro-slaughter proponent, Sue Wallis.  Over the last few years, Wallis has changed organization names and websites (United Organizations of the Horse and United Horsemen), but the message and the mission remains the same.  These groups promote their alliance in this November 2011 news release.

According to the release, HWAC and IEBA/United Horsemen “share a common goal to mutually protect the welfare of the horse, strengthen the international horse industry, and to promote the use of horses and equine products in commercial enterprises.” Welfare may be mentioned first, but make no mistake, the last part is the true purpose – use horses and horse products (after slaughter) to benefit commercially.

It is now apparent that HWAC is working diligently to have their equine traceability program picked up by AAFC, and of course, receive the necessary funding to make it happen. On September 21, 2012, HWAC sent a letter to all HWAC partners and Canadian equine related organizations with a Call to Action where desBarres describes the Equine Traceability Canada (ETC) program, and how ETC is the solution for this initiative.

The call to action is a request to respond to the following question: “Do you and your constituents support HWAC, as a non-partisan national organization, to facilitate Canadian equine identification and traceability (the ETC project) through proven, internationally accepted and secure technology?” Recipients are to respond by October 3, 2012 since “decisions must be made and action taken”.

HWAC knows Canada must address its requirements for the European Commission for Canadian-based horsemeat traceability, and knows that Equine Canada’s CanEQUID program will not move forward without funding from AAFC. HWAC is attempting to prove that they are capable of implementing a microchip program through Animal ID Solutions Inc. and are moving quickly to prove their case.  We can be certain that HWAC’s “Resource Partner” Bouvry Exports Calgary (Canada’s largest horse slaughter plant operation) is watching closely to see the outcome.  After all, Bill desBarres is a paid consultant for Bouvry Exports, according to this GlobalTV news report in 2010 when desBarres spoke on behalf of the Alberta slaughter plant. During the interview, desBarres denied the authenticity of 10 hours of video footage obtained at Bouvry Exports, instead of voicing concern for the suffering of the horses in the videos.

The CHDC asks, though, why would HWAC receive the funding when it was already denied to Equine Canada?

Equine Canada already was approved to receive nearly half a million dollars in 2010 just to research and gather data. We know that HWAC considers its solution as “turnkey”, so they propose they are in a better position to implement the program.

While the federal government may see the equine component of the Canadian Livestock Identification Agency as necessary, to bring Canada closer to a European type United Equine Lifetime Number system, the CHDC believes the reason that HWAC is interested in being part of this solution is related solely to enhance and grow Canada’s horse slaughter industry. Also, partnering with IEBA, HWAC likely envisions a solution for a traceability program for American horses.

They know that 67% of horses slaughtered in Canada in 2011 were from the U.S.  So HWAC can also benefit hugely if funding is provided to build this program. It would be an immense win-win for Bill desBarres and Sue Wallis – ensure Canada meets its traceability obligations with the EU, sustain and grow North America’s horse slaughter industry AND partner with AAFC and potentially receive an input of millions of Canadian taxpayer dollars.  

Conclusion

First, the CHDC is alarmed that HWAC has been recognized by Equine Canada and the provincial horse federations as their partner for horse welfare in Canada.  The group makes known their alliance with American extreme pro-slaughter groups International Equine Business Association, United Horsemen and United Organizations of the Horse.

It is believed that Bill desBarres, with his connections at the Alberta Equestrian Federation, was able to bring other provincial federations on board, under the guise of horse welfare.  He’s been able to position HWAC into an influential component and partner in Canada’s horse slaughter industry, as well as aligning himself with the only active pro-slaughter group trying to restart horse slaughter in the U.S.

Now HWAC appears to be attempting to position itself to become a critical cog in the wheel that completes all the necessary components in Canada’s requirements for continuing to send our horses’ meat to consumers in the European Union, and beyond.

Will AAFC provide the necessary funding to HWAC?  Bill DesBarres’ call to action letter stresses the urgency of giving him the mandate to do so.  Equine Canada has not been able to complete the job – HWAC says it has the means to be able to do so.  If fact, they appear to be the ONLY solution that Canada has to try to meet its July 2013 traceability requirements.

This maneuvering, however, by HWAC could be a savvy but desperate attempt to continue sending North American horses to slaughter.  Canadian horse owners are not interested in microchipping their horses to satisfy horse slaughter requirements.  The majority of North Americans do not support this industry.  Are horse owners going to pay to have their horses microchipped for this purpose?  We are certain the answer is NO.

HWAC’s attempts to receive funding, that Equine Canada was unable to obtain, may be successful.  They may get the contract, along with their partners Animal ID Solutions and IEBA.  They may benefit from millions of Canadian taxpayer dollars to try to develop their Equine Traceability Canada program.  However the CHDC is certain that Canadian horse owners will not embrace this program, and indeed they have no need to.  People who send their horses to slaughter are likely the ones that can no longer afford to keep them.  Will they be the ones microchipping their horses at their own expense?  We don’t think so.

Also, Equine Canada’s suggestion that breed associations can be the solution for enhanced traceability may work for Canada’s registered horses.  However, how many of Canada’s 1.1 million horses are registered?  How many purebred registered horses end up in Canadian slaughter plants?  True that Standardbreds and Thoroughbreds bred for racing, as well as Quarterhorses, make up a high percentage of horses slaughtered.  In reality though, the large percentage of horses slaughtered are very likely unregistered.

Finally, how is this program supposed to work for U.S. slaughter bound horses entering Canada?  Two-thirds of horses sent to slaughter in Canada in 2011 were from the U.S.  Is Canada’s traceability program going to work for U.S. horses?  We all know the answer to that one is NO.  How can IEBA or the other affiliated pro-slaughter groups get such a program working in the U.S. when they’ve been unable to secure partners or locations for horse slaughter in America?  Perhaps Canada’s HWAC is working to help that happen too.

Are you concerned about a pro-slaughter “horse welfare” organization taking the reins of a traceability program for Canada’s equines?  Your questions and comments can be directed to:

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada 1341 Baseline Road
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0C5
Tel – 613-773-1000
Toll-free – 1-855-773-0241
Email – info@agr.gc.ca

In addition, you may wish to copy HWAC at:

Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada
Box 785
Cochrane, Alberta  T4C 1A9
Email – gordmack@xplornet.ca

 

20 comments

  1. […] September 2012, the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition wrote to Equine Canada, as well as Integrated Traceability, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to enquire about the status […]

  2. Dennis Davey · ·

    Laura Bell, you said it best, HORSES are NOT livestock and therefor no need for tracability program. We trace cattle etc. as they are considered a source of meat for human consumption. We do not trace our pet dogs and cats so why would we trace companion animals such as HORSES.
    Simply put tracebality= A GROWING HORSE SLAUGHTER INDUSTRY, THAT A MAJORITY OF CANADIANS AND AMERICANS ARE OPPOSED TO.

  3. The gun registry was also ineffective, that’s why the Conservative government wanted it scrapped. What criminal registers a gun? You’re creating paperwork and costs for law-abiding citizens. In the case of horses, this works in the anti-slaughter groups favour as you can declare your horse out of the food chain.
    My honest opinion is that we won’t get rid of horse slaughter and the best we can do as concerned, responsible horse owners is track our own animals to ensure they never meet that fate and be watchdogs for slaughter houses to ensure welfare issues are addressed.

  4. Sorry Laura, as our world becomes more populated and disease becomes more prevalent, we’re going to have to track livestock. If you want to pull out the libertarian argument that it’s ‘invasive,’ it’s also ‘invasive’ for private interest groups to try to dictate what others do with their animals and what types of meat they consume. Be careful using that argument. The anti slaughter groups want people to believe traceability is JUST for meat purposes, but it serves many many purposes beyond that — disease tracking, performance record keeping and ALSO keeping in line with international standards for movement. And, like I said before, a good traceability system will work to keep your horse OUT of the food chain. Wouldn’t you like to have a time when your horse is microchipped (like many dogs are), and you are notified if it turns up on a feedlot, or gets stolen? Traceability benefits all of us. I cannot agree with the CHDC’s position on this, I think they have a short-sighted view of the situation.

    1. But heres the deal, horses are NOT livestock in the US in the same way they are in other parts of the world, and since we don’t eat horsemeat here as a rule, I don’t want my rights infringed upon by rules other countries do really need just because they choose to have horsemeat on the MENU….if I lived in a country where horsemeat is consumed by humans, I would agree with you, but since we don’t have horse farms here that ONLY raise horses for meat as they do in other parts of the world, and since horses in the US except for true wild horses generally have other careers before they would perhaps be slaughtered, people can call horses “livestock” all they want, but it doesn’t make it true when you’re dealing with horses from the US….if we open that door of traceability, then all is lost and we may as well start eating horsemeat here too, and also have horse farms specific to breeding horses only for their meat….not something I want, so I will NEVER go along with a traceability program unless and until I’m forced to because Americans start demanding horse meat in our stores and restaurants….I don’t think that will happen anytime soon, if ever.

    2. It’s good to see the dialogue happening here, and it’s understandable to hear both sides. The CHDC realizes that there are benefits to a traceability program that, if properly implemented, can potentially protect horses. It’s a hard one to believe though when HWAC, which has obvious links to pro-slaughter Sue Wallis in the U.S., is trying to be the driver behind this CDN program.
      It’s failed in the U.S. – NAIS is a dead issue as far as I’ve heard.
      A personal analogy I have, is that the Conservative government was adamently opposed the long gun registry, and had it scrapped. To me it was a no-brainer – have all guns in the country registered in a database – thought that should have been done years ago. How much should that cost to send in your forms? But what was the issue – an invasion of privacy? Too much money to maintain the database? So now compare this to the equine traceability implementation, and it’s a whole lot bigger and problematic, AND expensive. Are Canadians going to embrace it? Can horse rescues afford hundreds or even thousands of dollars in fees? A lot of people’s arguments FOR horse slaughter is that they can’t afford or justify the cost of euthanization. Are these people going to register their horses under the program? We just don’t see it as being a successful program to start and maintain. Do we want Bill desBarres heading the program? Not a chance.

  5. Exactly Laura!
    If we put legitimate rules and regs in place, it will be that much more difficult for slaughter places to operate… and if they are in operation, they will be more greatly scrutinized. We are lucky that we live in a free country where all differing opinions are allowed. Even if horse slaughter is never band, CHDC and orgs like it can act like a watchdog for the industry. And ensuring your horse doesn’t enter the food chain requires an INVESTMENT from all concerned owners, and yes, PAYING for traceability is part of it. That $4,500 is going to be necessary to keep your horses out of the food chain. Charge adoptees an extra $20, fundraise and let concerned horse owners know about this system. This is the way you are going to beat it…not by fighting it, because it’s coming, but by beating them at their own game.

    1. I just can’t agree with anyone who is not in the horse slaughter trade should have to pay anything for a trace program….I also don’t want to be traced when I go to a show, am hauling horses wherever, etc because its VERY INVASIVE that not only would inspectors be allowed to enter my property anytime to inspect, they’d also be able to track my movements and the movements of my horses; this is not communist China (yet!)…. to me as a private citizen who just happens to have a lot of horses….and since we are a sanctuary that takes “damaged goods” horses primarily, we don’t adopt horses out, and instead sometimes do a “feed lease” where I keep control of a horses ownership but they live and are maintained by someone else.
      The problem could then also extend into selling your other personal property like cars, which I mentioned earlier; in fact, I was down sizing some of our vehicles and sold 4 in one month and was contacted by the State, DMV and also the Taxation board asking if I had a dealers license….for God’s sake, I bought the vehicles to use in our business, which we did, and then sold them years later….however, the State of Nevada was trying to get what they felt was their piece of the pie……
      No, I just feel ALL of the responsibility should fall on the horse slaughter dealers and players to have to operate legally and legitimately like I have to do in our business of working on bank owned homes (and boy, you don’t want to even know what our over-head is once we pay for all the licensing, insurance, permits, etc)….I KNOW for sure that when their blood business was more difficult to run legally because of licensing, insurance, documents, contracts and other paperwork, in other words, if they had to spend A LOT of money before they could even operate and then had to spend A LOT annually for renewals on various things and then it wasn’t nearly so lucrative after expenses, many would drop out of the biz (and this includes the mass production “foal mill” breeders who really ARE the biggest players in this racket) and we’d see the number of “unwanted horses” go down substancially in I feel would be a short period of time (like 1 breeding season most likely) and we could really get a handle on what’s going on…..I think we’d also have a much better chance of getting horse slaughter banned entirely if the kill buyers were unable to fulfill their contracts with the slaughterhouses for “X” number of horses and then they would be unable to stay in the biz what with all the hoops they’d have to jump through to be legal.

  6. Traceability is going to come about whether we like it or not, it’s just a matter of time. As tracking disease outbreaks becomes more important, governments are going to be demanding this. This isn’t JUST for slaughter, it’s for tracking horse movement too. AND, if you TRULY care about your horse not entering the food chain for the entirety of its life, you would be willing to pony up (excuse the pun) $50, $75 or even $100 to have an effective way to trace the drugs that it is given. If an effective program is implemented it will ENSURE your horse won’t be sent to slaughter. Look at the big picture folks!

    1. Unfortunately, for a lot of sanctuaries like ours where we have over 45 horses, mules, burros and a pet steer, we cannot afford $4500+ to register these horses with a trace program, (and I’m heading out to another auction this afternoon and will probably be rescuing 6-8 really nice quality horses that were breeding on a big ranch and the owner passed away; they are at the kill sale in Fallon, so if anyone wants to see photos and video of them, please visit our website at http://www.thestarlightsanctuary.org) and many of them already are tainted but since they wouldn’t have blood tests done, they could still go to slaughter if stolen or whatever because no one knows what they were given before they came to our place….
      Here’s the other thing; if we knuckle under to this, which really IS more of a food chain thing, that is the majority being forced to spend money to register horses into a trace program to satisfy the blood business that the minority of the people in the horse world are involved in….uh, uh, we need to stand strong on implementing rules, regulations, background checks, finger printing (you know, like what they do for used car salesmen for God’s sake!), and make these scumbags spend THEIR money on blood work done at the feed lot, and also have their OWN Horse Slaughter Dealer Bill of Sale in triplecate, with one copy for them, one for the seller to them of the horse, and one goes to the Dept of Agriculture for horses sold for slaughter here in the US….believe me, once these dealers have to spend money for all of that, and also have to pay for a business license, General Liability Insurance (so that when people start filing lawsuits regarding tainted horse meat, we tax payers won’t be dinged paying for the claims because the dealer had no insurance), commercial vehicle insurance with 1 million dollar limits (at least), etc, since these people are ALL ABOUT saving and/or making money by having a FREE disposal system for horses in place AND also making money selling horses for meat, they will disappear rather than have finger printing and background checks run in order to become legitimate because many of these people are on parole, have arrest warrants out on them, have suspended or revoked drivers licenses, have SR-22 filings on their drivers licenses from having drunk driving convictions so they can’t even get commercial vehicle insurance, etc, they WILL go bye-bye or go underground/black market, and then it will be much, much harder to operate if they are looking over their shoulder all the time waiting to get arrested for BREAKING THE LAW….there’s the problem; horse slaughter is like a “shadow industry” but if we can expose it and put legitimate rules and regs in place, many people will drop out of it because they either can’t or won’t do the mandatory things they have to do for a legitimate business.

  7. Linda B. · ·

    NO horse slaughter…NO tracing…NO transporting horses across international boundries for the purpose of killing them for $$$…NO eating horses…none of it!

  8. Mary-Joe Figueira · ·

    Equine Canada seems to be distancing itself from this issue by the method of procrastination. I think they realize that it really doesn’t look good for an equestrian organization to put together a program that indirectly allows their members horses to go to slaughter. I also think that EC realizes that this program is not one that can be easily implemented. The program would involve every horse in Canada and the U.S. to get a “passport” at the cost of $76.00 for each horse.Not to mention the fact that you have to pay a vet to verify the information on your passport, because vets have to authenticate the passport. Right now the only people that have passports are for those who are showing. Although there is information in each passport to track all the medications that horses are given, not everyone keeps their passports up to date. This is a very hard program to “police” not to mention implement. That means that kill buyers would have to buy passports for all those horses going to slaughter at 76.00 a pop + vet fees, if the horses do not have passports. Lots of luck. What I see is the potential for fraud of doctoring documents/passports to push horses going to slaughter. I am sure these two morons will come up with something. That is what scares me.
    We all know that there is no horse on this planet that has not been given some sort of medication, there is no way around it. – Somebody should write the EU. What is there address?

    1. Besides the fact that for older horses and IF a passport system was implemented NOW for all horses, what if someone ended up with a horse thats 12 years old for instance and NOT a showhorse, how the hell would anyone know what drugs that horse had been given up to the age of 12 but prior to the passport system being implemented in 2013?
      There is NO POSSIBLE WAY TO KNOW and THAT is the main reason that unless a horse is raised from BIRTH to specifically go into the FOOD CHAIN and not have ANY OTHER life or career before being slaughtered, horsemeat in the food chain is doomed to failure in terms of horses NOT having drugs, chemicals or other “additives” in their systems….
      The low-life, scumbag pro-slaughter folks are grasping at straws to try and keep their gutter businesses going, but if all the anti-horse slaughter people band together and say “no, we are NOT going to be subjected to rules, laws and regulations just because a minority of people in the horse industry save and/or make money from the blood-and-horror business of horse slaughter” then we can finally ban horse slaughter entirely so that horses and anti-horse slaughter people aren’t subjected to the bullshit that the pro-horse slaughter freaks are trying to force on all of us just because they are are ALL to cheap and/or lazy to go out and get real jobs that don’t involve torturing horses to death.

  9. If the government of Canada doesn’t get off their asses and come up with their own I.D. system that is not “tainted” by pro-horse slaughter morons who are always, always, always looking to cash in one way or another from INHUMANE horse slaughter and also don’t have one bit of concern in regard to poisoning consumers, then the country of Canada is even more woefully lazy and disdainful of it’s citizens then the country of the United States that I live in regarding protecting not only their citizens, but also their horses from the cruelty of horse slaughter….if any PRIVATE citizen perpetrated only a fraction of the abuse and cruelty that horse slaughter dealers, transporters and even tax payer subsidized slaughterhouses do on horses, our asses would be thrown in jail for animal abuse and cruelty…..but no, pro-slaughter jerks get away with horrendous abuses (and I’m a professional horse trainer of 40 years, so I DO understand that some horses have to be handled more “forcefully” so the human doesn’t get hurt or killed….that however is with the minority of horses and is not the “norm”), with backing from the government…..ANYONE who is involved in the horse slaughter trade better be prepared to defend themselves against lawsuits when enough people get together and file because not only are horses dying cruel deaths at slaughter, but people are also DYING from the ingestion of tainted horse meat…..hmm, MANslaughter charges against slaughter dealers, horse slaughterhouses, governments who are supposed to protect their citizens but don’t, etc: now that would be ironic, wouldn’t it?

    1. jean robertson · ·

      Largest ecoli recall of tainted beef in Canadian history should wake those in charge up to the fact that they can’t get away with selling drug contaminated horse meat for ever!

  10. Do not support or trust any of these groups, trust more EU. Canadians or US are not going to sell horses just without chemicals. It is too costly for them and they (Canadians and US) don’t care. This is just a coverup and horses will contain the toxic chemicals. EU, be aware!

  11. It looks like Canada has a unworkable situation on its hands. With almost all race horses and most show horses being given bute not to mention riding horses how is Canada going to be able to have any proof at all that it’s horses are drug and bute free? It can’t. If the Canadian government does not consider horses livestock and and part of the regulated food chain then what? Because labs in the EU have already found bute in meat samples traced to Canadian imports. And when this regulation really kicks in and more vet drugs and bute are found in horse meat from Canada it may be banned all together as a product unfit for human consumption. The EU labs may have come up with better testing methods than what little testing is going on in Canada at these slaughter plants.

  12. For our horses, I just sent my email to: info@horsewelfare.ca and info@agr.gc.ca
    Subject: Canada’s Equine Traceability Program
    I do NOT recognize HWAC as a non-partisan national organization since it has a vested interest in maintaining and growing Canada’s horse slaughter industry. I also do NOT support HWAC in its attempts to facilitate a Canadian equine traceability project through ETC, Animal ID Solutions, or any other means.”
    Thank You!

  13. Can i see some id yes this needs to take place, please.

  14. […] DesBarres,  who has steadfastly maintained that  a $300 slaughter horses stubbornly clinging to life is what’s preventing you from buying a $1,500 horse,  makes his appeal here – http://www.horsewelfare.ca/images/stories/traceability/equine_id_traceability_letter_21sept2012.pdf.   Please take the time to read the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition’s response and Call To Action here. […]

%d bloggers like this: