Head vet: ‘We see dying or badly injured horses’

Monday, 25 February, 2013

Belgian on Bouvry feedlot Alberta - courtesy Zurich Animal Protection League

Belgian on Bouvry feedlot Alberta – courtesy Zurich Animal Protection League

The saga surrounding horse meat continues—the media has turned its attention to the conditions of the horses before they were slaughtered. 

The Zurich Animal Protection League says some horses in Argentina, Mexico, Canada and the U.S. were sick and nearly dying before they were slaughtered and exported.   Those countries import horsemeat to Switzerland.

The Swiss Federal Veterinary Office is currently investigating. WRS’s Alex Helmick talks to Thomas Jemmi, deputy director general of the Veterinary Office: 


  1. Has it occurred to anyone, that there is no way of eating any meat, without
    taking the life of the animal? There has never been humane slaughter of animals in the abattoirs of the world. The fact, that abuse of horses has finally come to light, doesn’t change the issue, that inhumane killing is being carried out this very hour, on thousands of other creatures, that will grace you table next week. It’s pretty cut and dried…You eat meat or you do not…

  2. blanche · ·

    I thank you so much for all the information no matter how horrifying it is to see. I have my petitions coming, I realize they need to be submitted by April or before. Every person I have had sign all say the same damn thing. We don’t need to eat horse meat. Canadians don’t need to. Also I will never go the the Calgary stampede for years as long as I can remember and I’m 60 there has been animal abuse, deaths at this whatever-it-is. It’s not something for Canada to be proud of. But the reason for this note is yes the breeders and the racing industry is the issue with the large amount of homeless horses. My daughter who worked for five years saving to pay 5,000 for one horse and then rescued. She has 3 breeders who are her friends all three stopped breeding horses a few years ago. In fact one person had rescued two or three bringing them back to health, she worked with gaited horses and now gives lessons to people who are dealing with arthritis in the lower back and other such injuries (always under the individual’s doctor recommendations) The end of horse slaughter in Canada must go hand in hand with much stricter breeding and racing guidelines. I realize this statement is so complicated but to move forward is the best. And right now all this open information to the public about the problems here and in other countries is the best way to go. Let the people know. As many of my signer stated “In Canada why do we need to eat a horse?”

  3. Barbara Griffith · ·

    Carol Lynn, most of the horses coming from the US are bought at auctions. The BLM was caught selling some wild horses that were in BLM holding pens that is against the law. The wild ones are supposed to be protected by law. I put nothing past the BLM they are one of the most crooked government agencies in existence, but its the breeders and the racing industry is where almost all of the US horses come from. And the ranches that breed quarter horses over breed looking for that magic horse that will make them a lot of money.

  4. Barbara Griffith · ·

    I suspect that most if not all of the horse meat shipped to the EU countries from Canada/Mexico is what is being found in the meat and beef products being removed from stores all over the EU countries. So the consumers have been eating the drug laden garbage for years without knowing it. There is no way to ever know how many people have been injured by the eating of this meat or how many cases of aplastic anemia has turned up in the kids. From the drop in slaughter horses being sold to the slaughter plants since last week, down to about half of what it was before all of this came to light. Sneaking drug laden cheap horse meat into every item that needed meat in it including all snacks such as meat sticks and jerky. These companies are the ones that have been
    ordering so much horse meat from Canadian/ Mexican slaughter plants for years, even when the plants were open in the US their orders were high. It’s been peddled for years that horse meat sells in Europe for $ 20.00 a lb. I don’t think it does or the companies couldn’t afford to use it as a cheap filler in their frozen dinners.

  5. Dennis Davey · ·

    To Head VET, where the hell have you been for the last several years? This BARBARIC business starting with transport, feed lots and slaughter has been deemed cruel and inhumane by Canadian Vets, Horse welfare organizations and the PUBLIC for years. As the head Vet, you should be ashamed of doing nothing for something you clearly knew was going on.

  6. Theresa Nolet · ·

    We need to email, phone these Veterinarians and tell them the truth about where these horses come from! The Swiss people need to know the truth!

  7. Yes they are truly heartless to treat these horses like garbage.

  8. Finally a veterinarian that actually cares!! He said, “These pictures are reality and shocking”.
    Canada, you have no horse welfare for slaughter horses, you should hang your faces in shame, and you have been caught AGAIN!!! You better DO RIGHT NOW by these beautiful animals and put an end to horse slaughter!

    1. That would be the best news ever…I live in Canada and I am sick and tired of the horses being slaughtered in these degrading horseslaughterhouses…Such a waste of life when all life is precious…they are transported from the US after the BLM rounds them up AND sold to kill buyers and trucked for hours and hours to either Canada or Mexico…no food and water and when they are killed it is most inhumane…our Canadian governments turn a blind eye to horse slaughter and I hope Europe makes them return all the profits that they have made on this archaic trade….I detest pro-horse slaughter aholes….anything for a buck but I hope they realize that the European market is wise to this shoddy,inhumane treatment of horses.

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