Further to the issue of the CFIA targeting a compassionate horse rescuer who followed logical instincts regarding animal welfare, we are now in possession of the letter that the agency sent to Theresa Nolet. For legal reasons, names of individuals have been blacked out, but it is easy to see how the issue has been twisted to suit the needs of the horse meat industry.
Aside from the fact that the CFIA is using intimidation tactics in an attempt to scare away protectors of animals, this issue raises some very interesting legal questions:
—Shouldn’t horse owners be expected to restrain their horses on their own property and, in the event that they are permitted to free-roam, can someone else claim those horses as their own property, or at least give them temporary refuge, sustenance, and veterinary care?
–According to what law is it illegal to treat suffering animals, especially when those animals enter one’s property? If someone should find a lost dog who is injured and takes responsibility by seeking veterinary assistance, is that also illegal?
–If someone refuses to seek assistance for a suffering animal who has wandered onto his/her property, can
that individual be considered negligent in the eyes of the law? Can that person be charged with cruelty to animals?
–The CFIA has issued the accusation that one of the horse owners could not reasonably have been expected to know the health status of the horse who had been administered phenylbutazone. Since the horses are free-roaming and not under his care, why is he permitted to complete an EID for any horses at all, unless they are held for 6 months following round up?
The legal implications of what the CFIA is suggesting in their letter have raised more than a few eyebrows.
Of course, this isn’t the first time that we’ve had to remind the agency to stick to the right side of the law.