Over recent weeks, the issue of exporting live horses for slaughter has achieved well-deserved media coverage:
iPolitics – Legalized Cruelty – The Gaps in Canada’s Animal Transport Laws (by Dr. Maureen Harper)
Live exports are a topic that first drew the attention of CHDC in 2012, when we received and examined compelling evidence of multiple horses crammed together in wooden crates before being flown from Calgary to Japan for slaughter. We wrote repeatedly to the CFIA to complain about this practice that was not only inhumane but illegal, breaching two sections of the Health of Animals Act.
We asked you, our supporters, to bring momentum to the issue by writing to the CFIA and to your Members of Parliament. You worked hard for the horses. Our legislators as well as the CFIA received a flood of correspondence on the issue. In fact, they responded with the predictable defence mechanism – a form letter that beat around the bush, insisted that the horses were being humanely treated, and declared that the CFIA veterinarian in charge could essentially bend the rules and break the law.
Together we continued to pelt the authorities with our letters expressing dissatisfaction and outrage.
In October 2016, we sent a team of volunteers to Ottawa to speak with MPs, the CFIA, and a representative with the Ministry of Agriculture and Agri-Food. CHDC hired a professional lobbyist to help us organize this, and our goal was to deliver hard-hitting evidence that the horse slaughter industry (consisting of Canada killing its own and sending horses overseas to meet the same fate) is inherently cruel and dangerous in terms of human health and safety.
At the end of those meetings, we were able to compile a list of potential allies in government. We have corresponded with those legislators since, answering their questions and building rapport. It is our hope that ongoing dialogue with them will result in another bill to stop horse slaughter and exports to slaughter, similar to three attempts at legislation proposed by former MP Alex Atamanenko between 2010 and 2014.
Building on power in numbers, we continue to network with other animal and horse groups in North America and Europe. Our ongoing political strategies will soon find us in Ottawa once again. Due to concerns about animal welfare violations occurring in feedlots, at auctions, and during transport, we are increasing our field surveillance and evidence-gathering resources.
And that’s not all that CHDC is involved in.
We are so proud to introduce Candy (gray mare) and Flower (dark bay mare), two beautiful horses who are now enjoying life under the protective, caring umbrella of CHDC.
Candy was equine companion/family member to our beloved colleague and CHDC director Marie Dean, who tragically passed away from cancer in April 2015. By providing care for Candy, we remember and honour Marie and her dedication to the welfare of horses everywhere.
In 2016 CHDC adopted Flower as a companion to Candy, who had lost not only Marie but her long-time horse buddy, Johnny. Candy and Flower enjoy each other’s company in a lovely equine facility and are frequently visited by Ontario-based CHDC directors who make sure that their every need is met.
CHDC is a registered, non-profit organization dedicated to ending horse slaughter in Canada. While we are not a charity and cannot issue tax-deductible receipts, we promise that your kind donation, of any amount, will work hard to end the cruel and callous exploitation of horses in our country.
Candy and Flower are two precious, living examples of the endearing nature of horses – intelligent, personable beings who should never be butchered for the meat industry.
Please consider a donation to the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition so that we may continue our volunteer work. Please do it for Candy, for Flower….and for so many more like them who want nothing more than to live, to feel the wind in their manes, the sun on their backs, and to experience the compassionate care that should be theirs.
Once again, we thank you so much for your ongoing support and commitment to the welfare of horses in Canada!
Your friends at CHDC