Observations From A Lindsay, ON Feedlot

Grof Feedlot 2The CHDC visited a feedlot in Lindsay, Ontario on the weekend of May 30th.  We do regular checks on this location and have made some observations from visits in the past year.

Horses are no longer kept in the front pens facing the main road (Hwy. 36).  Previously, horses were seen in these front pens, but in the past year, only beef cattle or no animals are seen out front from the road.

Grof Feedlot 3For the last couple of years, horses are no longer being kept in the large back field.  Over the years, we have published pictures of horses from the back field, but overall, fewer horses appear to be kept at this property.  We can only speculate that less horses are going to Richelieu Meats in Quebec through this kill buyer, or he’s using another property to move the horses through.  At times in the past, sometimes 50 to 60 horses were observed here, but in the past year, only 10 to 15 horses were seen at a time in pens at the side of the property.

On past visits in recent months, horses with yellow and white auction tags were noted.  On this weekend’s visit there were more horses in the side pens – probably about 20.  About half were young Belgians.  This breed is commonly seen at this feedlot.  The CHDC’s main blog picture of Belgians was taken at this location.

Why are young Belgians here?  Are people breeding them for slaughter?  Are breeders Grof Feedlot 1dumping their supposedly inferior animals to this kill buyer?  Does he have contracts with local draft breeders to fill his contract with Richelieu?  And finally, why would anyone do such a business and sell horses in this way?

It raises many questions on an ethical level and it leaves this person feeling that some Belgian breeders have betrayed their horses and instead of protecting their beloved breed, they have abandoned them instead.



  1. SERIOUSLY I think there has to be medication out there or to be invented to make horses sterile for stallions and for mares …. this is getting so sad horses are being treated like cattle ..I think ..these back yard breeders need to stop .. producing unwanted horses and people need to either breed raise and keep their own horses a life time instead of making money off them or not have horses at all!!!!!!!!!!!
    it should be come a law.. you need to qualify and you need to be a registered breeder to have foals

  2. I have read that a horse is worth $25,000 shipped live to Japan. They use horse meat for Basashi that you eat sliced thin raw…it is a delicacy over there and needs to be fresh…so they want the horses to arrive in Japan live. This will only stop if the government forbids shipping live horses for meat….totally unnecessary torture for a horse. Bombard your MP with mail and emails and have this practice banned for good.

  3. Yes they are breeding for slaughter it’s call farming.
    In a YouTube video you see alot of young Belgium Horse’s.
    Last year I read a article about farming horse’s for slaughter.
    Don’t recall who wrote the article. It’s been almost a year ago.
    The Japanese like heavy horse’s. Most horse’s that are live shipped in cargo crates are Belgium Horse’s.

  4. Tama eller · ·

    All horse owners have an obligation and responsibility to care for their animals in a humane way. Most people do not take the time to find them good homes, that’s what the rescues end up doing. Sending horses to auction is inhumane, call a vet have them put down humanely if that is your goal! And stop the breeding, it insane how many horses are here and sold to slaughter! No more excuses from ignorant people. Be responsible. Same with dogs and cats!

  5. It is not illegal to observe a building or a lot from the the roads and highways, which are public property.

  6. If drafts are not in demand, why are they being shipped multiple times per week from Calgary to Japan? Clearly, they are money-makers if entire shipments of draft horses are being prepped every week to be sent to Japan for slaughter.

  7. I thought it was common to see the draft and belgians at higher levels on the lots in Canada and bordering states due to the Premarin Industry up there ?

  8. meagan · ·

    It seems a lot of horses, especially drafts, that go for meat come from the amish. Out of all the draft horses belgian horses are less likely to get scratches/ mud fever due to their lack of feather. Since they are primarily chestnut they are not a prone to sun burn as greys. They are also not as prone to overheat since they are not black. They also cross well with smaller horses to make nice commercial size carriage horses. They tend to have good heads and are very relaxed and easy going. So maybe the overflow of belgians (in the meat pen) is the result of them as a breed favored
    by the amish, then, sadly thrown away by the amish if they are not useful any more.

  9. Leona · ·

    Just damn sad

  10. It would be a bit odd I would think. it is my understanding the draft breeds get less per pound for meat than other larger horses because they have such big bones, so less meat….That said, so many in search of ‘perfection’ are willing to dump anything that does not meet their standards…. so sad how we treat such beautiful creatures…

  11. I agree 100 percent – I have long suspected certain horse breeders (the Belgium breeders in particular) of breeding for the meat industry. I suspect Haflinger breeders of doing the same. I know of one duck farmer who is now breeding Haflingers.

  12. Victoria McCullough · ·

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart For your insight in this article Finally this observation tied to your conclusion is so relevant But take heart my northern friends We are about to close the Borders In three huge Bills and equate FDA and USDA language of Livestock and Title 21 Will win Love to you all Victoria McCullough

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. Looking forward to hearing the news! By the way the Canadian Belgian Horse Associaton has links to the slaughter regs on their web site. Loni

  13. Valerie Neilson · ·

    Those Belgium breeders should be held accountable for this happening to these beautiful Gentle Giants.

  14. Michelle storace · ·

    An investigation needs to be done to find out what’s going on

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