Equine Canada’s One Vision Strategic Plan Leaves Questions

imagesCA64VB2MEquine Canada has released its overview plan for the next 6 years for Canada’s equine community in One Vision.   Equine Canada’s objective was to create an incremental plan to prepare a blueprint to reinvigorate the organization and set the stage for future successes.

The extensive 44-page document gives a high overview how to accomplish their goals through several focus areas.  Details of how to achieve these goals are not described, but on Page 1 in the Introduction, they mention required commitment from all Equine Canada members and stakeholders.  They go on to list their partners and key stakeholders including individuals, provincial horse organizations, the Government of Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC).

The CHDC has great concern that AAFC is listed as a stakeholder with Equine Canada.  AAFC oversees the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) which oversees the “animal resource base”, all federally licensed slaughter plants, and our food supply.  Why would AAFC be a stakeholder with Equine Canada except for the purpose of partnering regarding Canada’s $60 million horse slaughter industry?

Horse welfare is mentioned on nearly every page of this document.  In their Core Values on Page 2 of the Introduction, Equine Welfare is listed first: “Accepting our responsibility to our equine partners as a privilege, we affirm safeguarding the welfare of the horse is paramount”.  Page 14 has the Equine Health and Welfare section, which says, “We will continue to advocate for the humane treatment of all horses, in the belief the equine industry and horse owners have a responsibility to provide humane care through the entire life of a horse, including at death”. 

Nowhere in this document is horse slaughter denounced.  Anyone reading it though, will likely be impressed by the “horse welfare” message throughout.  However, as long as Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is a stakeholder with Equine Canada, one has to question what Equine Canada’s real stance is regarding horse slaughter.

The CHDC has proven in four investigative reports over 4 years, that humane slaughter of horses is not possible in assembly line slaughter plants.  Yet Equine Canada and the provincial horse federations continue to stay silent, or even advocate horse slaughter.  One only has to look at the partnership between these groups with the pro-slaughter Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada, to come to this conclusion.

We have proven that humane death for horses does not include a cruel end in Canada’s horse slaughter plants.

Why do Canada’s equine federations continue to accept horse slaughter?

If you agree, then we urge you to ask Equine Canada how this acceptance fits into their vision for Canada’s horses.


  1. Um … AAFC oversees of a lot of portfolios which would be of concern to the horse industry. Cash crops like hay and grain, for one. Land and soil management for another. Its focus is far from being exclusively about livestock slaughter of any kind or species. Hence its partner status with Equine Canada. You’re kind of cherry-picking an agenda here from one small aspect of the agency.

  2. jean robertson · ·

    Does anyone know who finances Equine Canada??? When they are in bed with the pro slaughter groups it makes me think of trying to raise hens in the same building as foxes.

    1. Here’s the financials for Equine Canada for FY11. They received $2.8 million from the Government of Canada – see page 10. http://equinecanada.ca/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_view&gid=5251&Itemid=88&lang=en

  3. Dennis Davey · ·

    i have completed my letter to Equine Canada, however i would like to CC to others before i mail. Can anyone assist me with some names and address?

    1. Hi Dennis – Do you want the provincial horse federations too? Here’s the page for the provincial contacts: http://www.equinecanada.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=75&Itemid=670&lang=en Hope this helps. Thank you taking the time to communicate to them how you feel.

  4. Mary-Joe Figueira · ·

    This is like the Canadian Cancer Society and the Heart and Stroke Foundation having the tobacco companies as their stake holder!

  5. Dennis Davey · ·

    Time for ALL those opposed to this barbaric industry to get out paper and pen and write Equine Canada, and ask how Ritz and his AGRI Ministry could” SPECIFICALLY HAVE ANYTHING IN COMMON WITH THE WELFARE OF HORSES”.
    Last i heard the AGRI/ CFIA/ REDFORD and BOUVRY bunch were squarely in the business or support of the MASS killing of Horses that a MAJORITY OF THE Canadian PUBLIC WANT BANNED.

  6. GREAT CONCERN FOR SURE!! Equine Canada should be about the welfare of the EQUINE in CANADA and horse slaughter is NOT about the welfare of the equine. Damn right I will be asking!!!

  7. Terri Russell · ·

    Had anybody actually asked?

    1. Their stance has been, as long as it’s a humane death – including by slaughter for human consumption. Equine Canada has been quiet – avoiding the subject. However horse federations under Equine Canada, such as Alberta and SK have been outspoken on their pro-slaughter stance. All the horse federations are partners with the pro-slaughter Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada. Also, why is Agri-Food Canada a partner at all? The CHDC has approached Equine Canada in the past – they take the “humane death” stance, as does the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) and their American counterparts, the AVMA as well as the AAEP.
      I just checked the Animal Welfare Committee of the CVMA. It includes Dr. Gord Doonan (CFIA) and Dr. Terence Whiting, of Manitoba’s Agriculture and Food.

      1. Al Patterson and Jack deWit are both on the OEF and Equine Canada Boards. Here is the OEF’s Position Statement on the humane treatment of horses, advocating slaughter as an option: http://horse.on.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Position-HumaneTreatmentofHorses.pdf

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