The Christmas Pony


Christmas is fast approaching and children all across North America are sending lists off to the North Pole and waiting to sit on Santa’s lap to tell the jolly old fellow face to face what their hearts desire is. At the top of the list for many will be a pony and some of the lucky ones will actually receive one.

Many of these youngsters and their parents will spend the next years taking riding lessons, travelling to different events and collecting ribbons to decorate bedroom walls. However once off to college the horse that meant so much that special Christmas morning will become part of their past with no place in their  future, put away with all of the other  symbols of their youth. The parents make the decision to sell the horse and if the horse is lucky they will be successful finding someone to love and take care of him, if the parents are unsuccessful the horse will be sent off to auction. This is where the Christmas joy ends.

What most people do not know is that because of the high costs of taking care of a horse, and the troubled economy that 80% plus of all horses that go through auction are purchased by kill buyers, people who buy horses at low prices and ship them to slaughter for profit. According to Agriculture Canada over 82 THOUSAND horses were slaughtered in Canada in 2012, averaging 316 horses killed each work day.

The meat is mainly exported to Japan, France and Belgium but is also consumed within Canada as well.

Horses come to the slaughter house from various sources – ex race horses, event horses and the unwanted Christmas pony. Kill buyers in the U.S. are now shipping horses to Canada and Mexico for slaughter. Horses are given many drugs during their lives, many of which are banned from entering the human food chain even if given even only once in its lifetime, yet the government allows slaughter and consumption of these horses based on a Equine Information Document or EID.  The language is loose and set up in favour of the seller, using wording such as “during the time you owned the animal or to your knowledge.”

Obviously if someone has purchased horses at auction they doholiday horses not know the health history of those horses, yet the Canadian government turns a blind eye on a document which states “to my knowledge” selling meat with unknown quantities of drugs not allowed in other livestock  for human consumption.

M.P. Alex Atamanenko currently has a private members Bill C-322 to ban horse meat for human consumption based on the banned drugs and loopholes in the EIDs.

If you want to help stop the slaughter of past Christmas ponies and childhood pets please write to your local M.P. and tell them to stand up against horse slaughter in Canada. To learn more go online research horse slaughter, view videos on Youtube.  Get involved; speak up for these beautiful creatures that deserve so much better than to end up on a plate beside the mashed potatoes in a foreign country. Surely that is NO child’s Christmas wish.

Theresa Nolet O.A.T.S Horse Rescue – Each year I try to send this letter out to as many newspapers across B.C. as possible. Please feel free to send to your local papers etc if you so wish. Feel free to use it and or personalize it, change it etc. if you would like to. I have updated the facts. Feel free to share, the more people learn about slaughter the better.

Look back at our struggle for freedom,
Trace our present day’s strength to it’s source;
And you’ll find that man’s pathway to glory
Is strewn with the bones of the horse.
Author Unknown

In addition to sending letters to the editor,  you may also choose to participate in our postcard campaign.  Please read more here.



  1. Its a great pity all about these majestic creatures ponies or horses, more disgracefull and cruel is to kill them for any reason, much more worst for food in countries where people have abundance of food with level of their living so high. Why do they have to eat horses? The whole business about the trade of these adorable animals, as for many others, STINKS.

  2. I sent post cards to 2 NDP MPP and 5 to Liberal MPP, refrencing Toronto Council unamious vote to support Bill C322 on behalf of their constituents. I wrote 2 letters to Premier K. Wynne suggesting that with her background in Agriculture and her recent efforts in supporting the Ontario Horse racing industry she may be aware of this shamefull unethical throw away culture that has been around as long as the Racing industry itself. She replied to my second letter where I asked that she as head of the Liberal Party of Ontario support Bill C322. Her opening paragraph was
    ” I know how important the horse racing and breeding industries are to the CULTURE and economy of communities of Ontario, and that is why our Govt. will continue to work with the industry to ensure that it has a strong, sustainable future.”
    No where in her reply does she refer to the essence of my letter which focused on BillC322.
    Perhaps with an up coming spring election a reality, many of us might consider writing Premier Wynne.

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