Canadians see horse sales lag in wake of European scandal

From:  The Western Producer – Barb Glen – March 11, 2013

Sold to kill buyer - Oct 2012 - Drayton Valley, Alberta - photo Tierschutzbund

Sold to kill buyer – Oct 2012 – Drayton Valley, Alberta – photo Tierschutzbund

The price for slaughter horses in Alberta has been cut in half by recent discoveries in Europe that beef has been combined with horsemeat in some European plants and products.

Bruce Flewelling, an auctioneer who buys and sells horses for slaughter, said prices are now at 25 to 30 cents per pound, down from 40 to 45 cents before the European food scandal began about three weeks ago.

The two Alberta plants that handle horses have reduced the number of animals processed in recent weeks because of reduced European demand, he added.

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  1. Here is a positive letter to share in response to my contacting US Senator Ayotte:
    March 26, 2013

    Dear Ms. Brown:

    Thank you for contacting me regarding horse slaughter. I appreciate hearing from you.

    As you may be aware, on March 12, 2013, Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) introduced the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act (S. 541) in the Senate, which was referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. If enacted, S. 541 would prohibit horse slaughter operations in the United States and end the annual export and slaughter of approximately 150,000 American horses abroad.

    I believe that all animals, whether domestic or wild, should be treated decently and humanely. In addition, I want to ensure that our nation’s food supply remains safe. Although I am not a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, please be assured that I will keep in mind your comments should S. 541 come before the full Senate for consideration.

    Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. As your Senator, it is important to hear from you regarding the current issues affecting New Hampshire and our nation. Please do not hesitate to be in touch again if I can be of further assistance.


    Kelly A. Ayotte
    U. S. Senator

  2. Obviously, Canada, Mexico and the United States must all work together to end horse/equine slaughter. As for what we are going to do with “unwanted” horses – well, government funding of horse rescues will create jobs and help the animals. I don’t support euthanasia unless medically necessary. As for “wild” horses, donkeys and other equines – it’s their world too. There’s no evidence that “wild” horses and donkeys are given Bute or other drugs or that the meat is tainted, but it’s not a health issue – the issue is animal welfare. We should be learning from our vegan animals (rabbits, horses, cows, pigs and such) rather than harming them.

  3. Canada has been linked to the toxic horsemeat scandal since earlier on this month when the Swiss released test results showing Phenylbutazone in horse meat imported from Canada. Of the almost 90,000 horses that are slaughtered annually in Canada less than 1% are tested by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for toxic substance yet the North American racetracks regulators are revealing the types of substances found in the race horses whom they are testing (a great majority of slaughtered horses are race horses) which include a variety of banned substances such as cobra and cone snail venom, blood doping agents, phenylbutazone, Viagra, cancer drugs and, now, “frog juice (Demorphin, which has never undergone any drug trials on humans).” This is the horsemeat that ends up in the European and Asian markets. We here in Canada do not know how much of that horsemeat comes back in manufactured form on our food shelves. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is keeping mum in an effort to prop up the Canadian billion dollar horse slaughter industry rather than putting the health of Canadians first and foremost. Shame on you CFIA.

  4. Barbara Griffith · ·

    What people like desBarres may find themselves out of a job. Without US horses to fill up the Canadian slaughter plants they will shut down. Canada don’t produce enough horses of off set the loss of US horses. Here in the US everyone is working to stop US horses from going to slaughter. I hope this time we win.

    1. jean robertson · ·

      Barbara, I found this on Yahoo Abolish Horse Slaughter Canada, “The U.S. is not authorized to export horse meat to the E.U.” 2011/163/EU. No markets are available if more slaughter houses were opened in the US. Now the EU has to realize the same meat is being routed through Canada and put a stop to that.

    2. When the tide turns watch how quickly Desbarres will change his colors.

  5. Anne Streeter · ·

    Most horses sent to slaughter have toxic substances in their systems. Less than 1% are tested. Do the math! Not a safe product for human consumption!

  6. These people are such idiots. First they say the killing of the horse has been affected because everyone is worried right now because of the horsemeat scandal. And then they say, oh but there is one benefit to the controversy it has encouraged people to try horsemeat. Such desperate fools that talk circles! Anyone that promotes the killing of the horse by constantly sharing lies is sick and evil and proves that they have no horse welfare in their heart. Bill DesBarres get a life, get a heart – you lost your soul somewhere!!

    1. There is another issue as well. Violence against women and “sexual” crimes are much higher near horse/equine slaughterhouses. Now, isn’t there enough violence against women in the United States and Canada already? Isn’t it better to build a humane society that looks after animals rather than slaughters them?

  7. Love how desBarres says “….Canadian product is highly regarded by importers because of its audited and inspected slaughter plants and its attention to animal welfare.” Yes, horses are a “product”. No, Mr. desBarres, horses are companion animals and working partners not a meal.

    1. Forgot to add, “attention to animal welfare”. On what planet does that happen ’cause it doesn’t happen on this one.

      1. jean robertson · ·

        The CFIA tests less than 1% of the horses slaughtered. Guess desBarres didn’t see the feedlot videos showing no attention to animal welfare in Canadian feedlots. With all the prohibited drugs in North American horsemeat it is now wonder the likes of him thinks it is a wonderful “product.”

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