Equine Canada – Slaughter Promoters?

cropped-grof-feedlot1.jpgIn 2010, Equine Canada released a study on the horse industry in Canada.  Some facts that came out of it are that the live horse industry contributes 375,248 full-time jobs to the economy and the total capital investment in the pleasure riding sector generates$3,727,568,223 to the economy, much more than the minute $90 Million that the slaughter industry generates for a small number of interests.

Also from the Equine Canada 2010 report: Canadian horse owners incur more than $6.5 Billion annually in expenses to maintain their horse operations which is spent supporting other local and national businesses.  More than $4.8 Billion is represented by unpaid labour provided by horse owners, or family members for the care of their horses.

Once a horse is slaughtered then that horse is gone, support for his care no longer contributes to the economy.

In the last debate on March 31st, one MP said that passage of C-571 could cost 600 jobs.  This is not true.  Each slaughter plant is licensed to kill multi-species.  They will turn back to killing beef and other species.  Despite this,  Equine Canada relies on the debunked GAO report to support it’s erroneous conclusions about horse slaughter.  Despite being first and foremost,  an organization to promote horse sport,  they have put themselves into the position of “slaughter apologist” to CHDC’s supporters. 

A staunch supporter of the CHDC recently wrote to Equine Canada about their stance on horse slaughter.  Below is the response from EC and what the horse supporter wrote back:

logoFrom: marbour@equinecanada.ca
Subject: Equine Canada
Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2014 19:34:48 +0000

Dear :

Firstly, thank you for taking the time to express your thoughts and opinions on this very important topic with us. I am responding on behalf of Mr. Patterson who is currently travelling. While we do respect our members’ rights to hold differing views, as the national organization representing all sectors of the industry, we must endeavor to take a more global position for the well-being of the industry.

We understand and respect that horse owners have their own personal choices and values to address when the end stages arrive for their horses.  This is why we are implementing an Equine Lifecycle Management Policy — as developed by our national Health and Welfare Committee which is comprised of some of Canada’s leading equine veterinarians — it will assist our industry in maximizing the horse’s quality of life and death in Canada. It can be found on our web site here.

We have been and will continue to advocate for humane handling of horses as they enter the processing system.  We too have been dismayed to learn of incidents and handling procedures that are frightening and sometimes harmful to horses.  This is why we have been involved in developing training programs with the Canadian government, processors and the renowned Dr. Temple Grandin; several of our members represented Equine Canada at these training sessions, and we continue to advocate for proper oversight and staff training.

The reasons we are advocating for the classification of horses as livestock are for the very reasons you state – the taxes our industry pays on feed, bedding and other staples to maintain our horses places a financial burden on owners, already burdened by increased input costs and an oversupply in the marketplace. Unlike owners of cows, chicken and pigs, which are classified as livestock, we pay GST on inputs, these owners do not.

Classifying horses as livestock will, or we believe should accelerate the introduction of a traceability system for our horses. Although conscientious owners such as your self do keep up to date medical records, many do not, and as we know, horses can change ownership several times over in their lifetimes.

In terms of the influx of horses from the United States, we hold that this has been detrimental to our industry in several ways.  Whether this has come about from the closure of processing plants in that country, or as a result of the severe economic downturn a few years ago, the ‘flood of horses’ has served to dramatically drop horses prices in this country. We receive expressions of concern from across the country as people see the bottom drop out of their businesses.

Our industry is a complex one, filled with many views, many struggles, triumphs and passion. We appreciate and support your involvement and hope that you can understand our position on these matters.



Michael Arbour, CMAChief Financial OfficerDirecteur financiermarbour@equinecanada.ca
Tel / Tél : 613.287.1515 x 108Fax / Télec : 613.248.3484Toll Free / Sans frais : 1.866.282.8395 100–308 promenade Legget DriveOttawa, Ontario, Canada  K2K 1Y6www.equinecanada.ca

To: marbour@equinecanada.ca
Subject: RE: Equine Canada
Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2014 14:27:26 -0600

Mr. Arbour, what are you talking about?  “You must take a more global position for the well-being of the industry.”  The only “industry” you have talked about in your letter is the slaughter industry.

Equine Canada’s role is to promote equestrianism…FULL STOP.  Shoveling horses into the Davidson Img 3slaughter pipeline in no way, shape or form, promotes equestrianism.  Instead of trying to kill them in the most horrendously cruel and inhumane way possible, why don’t you instead, require your membership to contribute to an “insurance program” for the humane euthanasia of all horses in Canada.  THAT would promote equestrianism.  THAT would be humane.  THAT would ensure that no horse in Canada suffer, be terrorized, or be tortured at the hands of a money grubbing Government.  This would also stop the over-breeding of all horses if each owner had to contribute accordingly, and could be easily instituted and would be welcomed by at least 80% of the population, because seriously, there is no way in hell you are going to make a traceability system fly in this country.  As stated previously 80% of Canadians are opposed to horse slaughter.

Equine Canada has sold out to Big-Ag and a money-grubbing Government.  You should be deeply ashamed, but I’m pretty sure you aren’t.

No horse slaughter in Canada Mr. Arbour.  If Equine Canada refuses to do what it is supposed to do, then you can expect a fight.

I will continue to encourage equestrians to hand in their memberships to all Provincial (pro-slaughter) organizations.  I will continue to fight to ban horse slaughter in this country.

Equine Canada is a traitor and has no business representing the true equestrians in this country.



  1. Horseowner · ·

    Stop breeding so recklessly. Period. Backyard, racehorses, quarter horses people with a stallion out with a herd. Stop it! Next ones to stop are starting horses too young and breaking them down by 8 years and younger, just to flip them and make a buck. Stop it! Trying to train your own horse instead of seeking help you need it causes dangerous horses, stop that too. The overpopulation and unusable horses are the leading cause. Slaughter is only the result of people being selfish. I am worried if there isn’t slaughter people will try to kill their horses themselves or let them starve to death or live in pain.

    1. I was also curious why Michael Arbour’s name was made public on here and not the person that wrote the email was not? If you believe in something you shouldn’t hid. Seems cowardly.

  2. Barbara Griffith · ·

    This is what is going on here in the US. The Quarter Horse Association encourages over breeding for the fees they charge for registration of foals. There have been members that have cancelled their memberships but not enough to make a dent in the number of Quarter horses sold at auctions and bought by killer buyers. The same with the racing industry, thoroughbreds and quarter horses are the two breeds that are most often found on the slaughter trucks. There seems to be a interest in retraining TBs for jumping and the show ring. What happens to the horses after their days in the show ring is unknown but the horses may have a good home with their riders as most of these people own the horses. A number of the riders bought the horses from trainers that wanted rid of the horses. They also had help with the training from friends. They are also winning ribbons. You can’t knock all horse shows. There are snotty people out there that just want the prestige but these people don’t sound like that some of these horses were literally brought back to health through hard work and wanting to save the horse.

    1. andalvin1962 · ·

      Barbara, you’re so right about the Quarter Horses. For example, for January to March 2012, kill buyer Bruce Rotz of Shippensburg, PA shipped 165 Thoroughbreds, 116 Standardbreds and 1084 Quarter Horses to slaughter in Quebec.

  3. Okay, interesting. I am AGAINST equestrianism, or as I call it, Yahooism (read Gulliver’s Travels). Equestrianism is what sends horses to slaughter. You just can’t be in favor of equestrian sport and then say I do not support horse slaughter because, the sad truth is, you do.

    Check out Nezorov Haute Ecole


    1. V Fisher · ·

      Equestrianism is not what sends horses to slaughter. People are what send horses to slaughter.

      1. Let me rephrase my words. Equestrians are people who take part in Equestrianism. They send horses to slaughter.

    2. I’m an equestrian. I’ve never sent a horse to slaughter.

      1. I do not mean to generalize. However, some do. Those who give no thought in countries where it is acceptable do. And, I recently became against organized equestrian sport. I understand there are some places that are nice. Still, I recently read a book called “The Horse: Crucified and Risen” by an Alexander Nezorov. It is very interesting and has changed my outlook on the “human-horse” relationship.

        Look it up: Nezorov Haute Ecole. The first thing that comes up is website.

      2. I do not mean to generalize. However, some do. Those who give no thought in countries where it is acceptable do. And, I recently became against organized equestrian sport. I understand there are some places that are nice. Still, I recently read a book called “The Horse: Crucified and Risen” by an Alexander Nezorov. It is very interesting and has changed my outlook on the “human-horse” relationship.

        Look it up: Nezorov Haute Ecole. The first thing that comes up is website.


      3. The website does not support your position on horses being sent to slaughter by equestrians.

      4. I said some do. And that is a fact. Obviously a pro-equestrian website is going to say whatever they like. I, though, as a recent student of Nezorov Haute Ecole, I know the truth.

      5. You’re on the wrong page. You’re posting on an anti-slaughter group page. Please go over to Equine Canada and tell them. Thanks.

      6. If you are riding a horse and telling others you’re against riding horses. Well, that strikes me as counterproductive, to say the least.

    3. V Fisher · ·

      bucephalus7777777: If riding without a bit would stop sending horses to slaughter, that would be easy to fix. Instead, we are fighting the very organizations that are supposed to be on our side. They have sold out and decided that having lots of money is far better than supporting their membership. 80% of Canadians are opposed to horse slaughter. I’m sure a large number of that 80% consists of equestrians, people who own horses and compete, or ride, or simply own a horse for the sheer joy of owning such a magnificent animal as a horse. These are petty arguments, as I’m sure you love horses, as I do, but if we don’t get ourselves on the same page, and do something about the Provincial organizations and Equine Canada, and don’t forget the PC pro-slaughter Government, our friends and companions are going to continue to be sent to a terror filled death. Please, keep riding without a bridle, and keep forming trusting relationships with your horses, but also, PLEASE join the fight to help stop horse slaughter in this country. Thank you.

  4. andalvin1962 · ·

    Last November, the CHDC wrote to each province’s equestrian federation as well as Equine Canada and various breed associations to apprise them of the CHDC’s HPI program asking for assistance in funding this program. Not one of them responded. Not one. So it seems that they don’t care about the horses that they supposedly love and support as much as they’d like the members to think.

    1. V Fisher · ·

      I honestly don’t think the majority of members of these Provincial organizations know they are supporting horse slaughter. I was a member of HCBC for many years and never looked at the information that was sent to me or went to their website to see what was going on. I joined entirely because I had to have their insurance in order to compete. The second I did realize they were pro-slaughter I gave up my membership and told them why. I never received a response back. That was years ago, and since then I have done what I could to spread the word and ask everyone to hand in their memberships until the pro-slaughter support stops. They still aren’t listening, however, I have become a major pain-in-the-backside for them, and I believe we are making progress. Spread the word!

  5. cheryl bowe · ·

    We in the U.S. would appreciate your total refusal of horses from the United Sates for slaughter in Canada. We made our stand in 2007, closing the slaughter houses in our land. Many horse owners here are unaware that their beloved pets go from auction to slaughter. The kill buyers lie to us and you. The paperwork is a joke. Our horses are tortured in transport, feed lots and processing plants. Shut the border. Refuse to torture our horses any longer. Let the large breeders, the racing industry, drug industry and quarter horse association humanely take care of their own product of over breeding and culling. The BLM uses your slaughter facilities to dispose of our wild horses. You need to close your borders and refuse our horses. It is a dirty filthy industry, full of lies, deceit and the added bonus of “tainted” meat full of Bute, antibiotics and wormers. Our politicians are either blind to the truth or paid off. We can’t seem to get it stopped, and need you to do the right thing. If you want to kill horses, raise them there on your land and slaughter away to your hearts content.

    1. V Fisher · ·

      Cheryl Bowe, we are doing everything we possibly can to stop horse slaughter in Canada. It is an uphill battle as our Government supports it, as do all the Provincial horse organizations and Equine Canada. We would like the U.S. to pass its S.A.F.E. Act and stop transporting your horses over the boarder. I understand this Act is sitting on Congressman’s Frank Lucas’ desk going nowhere. Maybe you could help to get it off his desk and in for a vote. We all need to pull together.

      1. V fisher you are right we have to band together…against slaughter.

    2. 73% of the horses slaughtered in Canada come from the United States. If you stop shipping across the border there would be no horse slaughter in Canada.

  6. We no longer support Equine Canada & all their affiliates…we no longer show A circuit because of their support of the horse slaughter INDUSTRY….these people bite the hand that feeds them…

  7. Reblogged this on Comedyflyer's Blog and commented:
    I know longer support Equine Canada & all their affiliates…we no longer show A circuit….

  8. You have to dig deep to see who is on the side of the horses, to help them and to protect them.

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