Year-End Wrap-Up and 2018 Highlights

Once again, another year has flown by and we’d like to close it off with a compilation of some of the stories that caught our eye and some campaigns that we’ve been working on.

Below is a small appetizer of what transpired in 2018.  As 2019 dawns, the fight to eradicate horse slaughter from our great country continues.  We are cheered that the number of horsemeat exports are dwindling but alarmed at the growth of the live horse industry to Japan.

During the year, a number of petitions surfaced against the live horse industry.  If you haven’t already signed, please do.

All can be found on our facebook site; just scroll down.

We cannot stress how important it is that you liaison with your MP; remember that as they are elected democratically, they are there at your behest and work on your behalf.  Essentially, you are their paymaster, so let them know how you feel about the horse slaughter and live horse exports industry.

Finally, the picture that we’ve chosen to lead off our Year-End Review is a family portrait of three horses.  Idyllic and heart-warming until you realize that this picture was taken at one of Bouvry’s feedlots and these horses are destined for slaughter.

Thank you all for supporting the CHDC this past year and if you can find your way to help us continue the struggle, please consider a donation – no amount is too small.

Your friends at the CHDC.

JANUARY, 2018

We kicked off the new year by helping Belinda Lyall launch BC Horse Angels website on facebook.  Horse advocates across B.C. and the rest of Canada are very familiar with Belinda’s tireless efforts to rescue and rehome horses at risk of slaughter.  A registered non-profit since May 2017, BC Horse Angels focuses on rehabilitating those horses who are lucky to find their way to the rescue and placing them in forever loving homes.  Belinda is always passionate about her mission, and you can read more about her by going to this facebook site.

TRANSPORTATION:

Montreal Caleche – Photo MTL Blog

The new Mayor of Montreal, Valerie Plante,  promised to phase out the Caleche (Carriage) trade in that city if elected.  Her administration released a report on the industry stating it would cost at least $20 million dollars to modernize the stables and conditions for the horses.  Mayor Plante has stated in the past that she prefers to dismantle the industry completely. As of today’s date, the Caleche industry is fully operational in Montreal but is scheduled to be legislated away in 2020.

The ugly issue of Canadian extended transport times for all animals raised its head again with an excellent article by Jessica Scott-Reid in Toronto’s Globe and Mail. The government of Canada has been teasing the public with promises to update the regulations but again, to date, the government has stalled with any changes and animals of all species continue to be transported across this vast country in extreme weather and insufferably cramped conditions for long periods of time.

This was horrifically illustrated on January 31, when a trailer carrying 21 slaughter bound horses crashed in Saint Barnabe, Quebec causing the deaths of five horses.  The trailer appeared to have originated from Ontario and was likely enroute to Viandes Richelieu slaughter plant, Bouvry’s eastern plant.  At this time, it is unknown what penalties have been imposed on the driver or the transporter of the rig.

ACCESS TO INFORMATION:

The CHDC released two Access to Information documents – the first ATI was with regard to a shipment of horses flying out of Calgary airport to Kagoshima, Japan that was flight-delayed in September of 2017.  The 106 horses, described as Belgian crosses, were loaded in 28 degree (Celsius) temperatures and were denied water and food for 33+ hours.  You can read the ATI particulars here.

The second ATI was with regard to ante-mortem and post-mortem horsemeat condemnation reports for 2015 and 2016.  Bouvry’s two slaughter plants were the only plants information was received from.  Top of the list, the most common conditions were melanoma and serous atrophy at both Bouvry’s west plant and Viande Richelieu in Quebec.

What is curious about this ATI is the number of reported condemnations is mysteriously low for the tens of thousands of horses that are actually slaughtered at both of these plants over a two-year period, leading one to conclude that slaughter horses are typically in good to outstanding health when slaughtered or (and most likely) the number of horses that have serious disease issues are being slaughtered and entering the food chain as ‘safe to eat.’

FEBRUARY, 2018

We announced the top three winners of the CHDC Short Story Contest.  Without a doubt, deciding the winners was challenging as all the entries were outstanding and showed a broad range of subject matter.  However, one short story stood out and that was The Story of Kate by Lillian Tepera from Ontario.  You may read all three top stories here on our blog.

HORSE MEAT:

Photo – The Globe and Mail

Six years ago, the inclusion/substitution of horsemeat in beef preparations rocked the European continent resulting in eventual criminal charges for some meat wholesalers.  Canada was not without implication with frozen horsemeat from the defunct Neudorf, Saskatchewan slaughter plant.

In late 2017, the University of Guelph initiated a CFIA-funded study of sausages and found that food fraud was still prevalent, years after the 2013 horsemeat scandal.  One of the pure pork sausages contained horse DNA.  Attempts to discover the brand and store names where the sausages were sold were largely thwarted as Heather Clemenceau explains in her blog piece ‘Horsemeat Adulterated Sausages – Where Deception and Detection Intersect.’

Photo – Chatham Daily News

HORSE RACING:

The possibility of quarter horse racing being dissolved at Casino Ajax loomed large in February when rumours started to swirl that the slots were being pulled from that venue.   It wouldn’t be until October that a deal would be reached to retain the slots and horsemen breathed a sigh of relief.

Meanwhile, an ongoing investigation into race fixing cleared standardbred tracks Leamington Raceway and Dresden Raceway by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

South of the border, a veterinarian and a pharmacy were sentenced in a case of extreme horse doping with an opioid drug forty times more powerful than morphine.  The Louisiana vet, Kyle James Hebert, earned a jail sentence of fifteen months and a $10,000 fine for drugging horses between 2010 and 2012.   The pharmacy was sentenced to five years of probation and a fine of $200,000.  The drug Demorphin aka ‘frog juice’ has plagued thoroughbred racing for years and has not been approved for use in humans nor animals.

EJIAO:

Photo – Horse and Hound

Last year, we told you about the fad for donkey milk and face creams made from donkey milk, this year we learned that ‘ejiao’ – a gelatine like substance made from boiled donkey skins –  is severely decimating the donkey population globally.  Ejiao has no reputed health benefits, but the Chinese market for it is extremely and illogically popular.  China has tried to dissuade people from cashing in on this unsubstantiated cure-all that uses as many as four million donkey skins each year.

HORSE HEALTH:

Groundbreaking research by a Swedish University showed promise in the development of a protein-based vaccine against strangles, the most highly reported disease in horses world-wide.  It is anticipated that the vaccine will be available in the UK by 2020.

MARCH, 2018

HORSE HEALTH:

In March, we learned that bisphosphonate drugs used for the treatment of navicular disease in horses has an unintended and disturbing side effect, according to renowned orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Larry Bramlage.  The drug disrupts the natural healing process for horses that are injured and subjected to heavy training, largely race horses.

Furosemide or lasix as it’s commonly known has been a favourite drug in horse racing since the mid-70s.  Originally prescribed to prevent pulmonary hemorrhage or bleeding in horses when under heavy exercise or racing, its usage has become controversial in the last few years.  It has been reported that approximately 90% of all race horses in America use lasix.  In the UK, the drug is allowed in training but not on same day racing.  At Oaklawn racetrack, an incentive program awarding bonus money to non-lasix drugged horses has shown that since its inception four years ago, there have been more non-lasix winners than lasix winners.

Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) reared its ugly head with a horse that tested positive for the disease being euthanized in Alberta.  With no known cure, this viral disease can be a source of infection for other horses and is a reportable disease to the CFIA.

HORSE SLAUGHTER:

The statistics on horses slaughtered in 2017 showed a dramatic decline of 38% from 2016.  There were 33,494 horses slaughtered at Canadian plants in 2017 and 54,100 in 2016.  The downward trend is largely due to the cessation of horses slaughtered at Les Viandes de la Petite-Nation in Quebec (LPN – also the source of the CHDC’s December, 2011 investigation) and the March 1, 2017 EU directive stating that horses intended for slaughter must domicile in Canada for six months prior to slaughter.

South of the border, a ban on slaughtering horses for meat was renewed in the U.S. Congress after it was included in a massive spending bill that President Trump signed. America continues its horse slaughter industry by shipping their horses north to Canada or south to Mexico.

LIVE HORSE EXPORTS:

The CHDC released our eighth video regarding the exports of live horses to Japan for slaughter.  The CHDC has been reporting on the live horse export industry since 2012 and continues to lobby against it.  All the videos can be found on our youtube channel.

TRANSPORTATION:

The CHDC along with 15 other animal protection organizations and 2 veterinarians joined Humane Society International – Canada in issuing a joint letter to Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay, calling on the Canadian government to improve Canada’s transport regulations for all animals.

APRIL, 2018

HORSE MEAT:

In Ireland, the Department of Agriculture launched an investigation into possibly contaminated horse meat due to alleged ‘bogus’ paperwork, coinciding with the rise in horse slaughter statistics there.   On this side of the pond, horse advocates have loudly complained about the fraud of Canada’s Equine Information Document for years which has largely fallen on deaf ears.   In the CHDC’s 2011 investigation into a Quebec slaughter plant, Les Viandes de la Petite-Nation, we illustrated the absurdity of the documents; having examined 63 EIDs during the course of this investigation, not a single EID  passed scrutiny and conversely showed a sham of the entire EID system.

HORSE SLAUGHTER:

In a chilling expose, Animal Welfare Foundation and Tierschutzbund Zurich released a report on horse slaughter plants in Latin America, mirroring what we have witnessed happening in Canadian plants for almost a decade now.  The report illustrates the cruelty and the lack of traceability for these horses and can be accessed here (viewer discretion advised).

Cocoa & Bella – Photo – CBC

On April 30, we learned that a woman’s two horses were stolen and shipped to slaughter without her permission.  Kathy O’Reilly and the plight of her beloved horses Cocoa and Bella emphasized the dark side of the industry in Canada where it appears that there are not enough checks and balances in place at Canada’s largest horse slaughter plant, Bouvry Exports in Fort MacLeod, Alberta.  Using allegedly forged documents, Wayne Jubb was charged with theft, trafficking stolen property and ‘uttering’ forged documents (‘uttering’ in legal jargon means the ‘using’ of forged documents, not necessarily the creation of the documents).

TRANSPORTATION:

The effects of long haul transportation has been studied for years and yet another study from Australia indicated that behaviour is instrinsically linked to the time horses spend in travel.

One of Canada’s top newspapers, the Globe and Mail, covered the live horse shipments from Calgary to Japan in an April 20 article by journalist Wendy Stueck.

Against OIE regulations, Canada continues to ship horses crammed up to four per crate in sub-zero winter and hot summer temperatures for upwards of thirty hours (industry regulations stipulate it is acceptable to transport horses for up to 36 hours). Shipping horses in multiples, and allowing horses’ heads to touch the top of the crate, is in violation of the government’s own Health of Animals Regulations.   As we have seen with past slaughter investigations over a decade now, oversight by the CFIA is wrought with rule breaking, nay saying and sometimes chilling indifference.  The article quoted the CFIA saying ‘horses like travelling together’ while industry cheerleader Bill desBarres from the pro slaughter organization Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada spewed similar rhetoric that the industry is ‘highly-regulated and animal welfare is a priority,’  this in spite of the fact that there have been horse deaths.

MAY, 2018

HORSE CRUELTY:

Always on our radar, a couple of cases caught our notice.  The first occurred in Manitoba in which animal cruelty charges were laid against the owners of a 35-year-old Appaloosa mare who was found in starving condition and was subsequently humanely euthanized.  Apparently, it is not obvious to some that horses have to be fed, watered and vetted.  In another case in Alberta, a two-day-old foal was stolen from a Raymond property and found dead a short distance away.  Foul play was suspected and to date, no one has been charged in this case.

In Ontario, a grisly case came to light when thirteen horse carcasses were unearthed and fifteen sickly horses were found on a rented farm in Aurora.  Three people (David Lee, Jason Leroy and Victoria Small) have been charged under the OSPCA act.  The family has a history of fraud and animal abuse.  Three court dates have been set however the family has yet to appear on any of the days.

A recent University of Guelph study linked extreme and intense exercise to hundreds of deaths of Ontario racehorses between 2003 and 2015. The focus was on thoroughbreds, standardbreds and quarter-horses used in racing.  Despite the common knowledge that racehorses have suffered catastrophic injuries for decades due to repeated and vigorous exercise – especially when under the age of five years – combined with a lethal cocktail of drugs, they continue to suffer fatalities and studies such as this are not heeded in the racing industry as much as they should be.   You can read Peter Physick-Sheard’s article here.

May, 2018 marked ten years since the death of thoroughbred racehorse Eight Belles.  Jane Allin covered the distance of those ten years in a blog post ‘Eight Belles – Racing 10 Years On’ for Tuesday’s Horse.  Jane’s reports on Horse Racing should be mandatory for all horse advocates and can be found here.

SHARK teamed up with a Canadian veterinarian, Dr. Jean-Jacques Kona-Boun, and a Canadian Law Professor, Alain Roy to expose the dark side – and illegality –  of rodeo in Quebec in its video (graphic, viewer discretion advised).

INVESTIGATIONS:

Access to Information documents were released for US horse loads that were admitted or rejected for immediate slaughter for the period covering July 1, 2017 to August 31, 2017, as well as two loads from June, 2017 and one from September, 2017 also being included.  A total of 2,808 horses were admitted at Bouvry’s Fort MacLeod plant and its eastern arm, Viandes Richelieu.  Rejected loads included one with misidentified horses, one with a dead horse and another load that was turned back carrying thirty horses which had a stallion mixed with four mares.  You can view the entire document at this link.  If you recognize any of these horses, please let us know (scroll down to the link at the bottom of the CHDC blog post to link to the pdf and photographs).

On May 9, there was a botched Korean Air flight that was forced to return to Edmonton airport two and a half hours after take off, allegedly due to mechanical difficulty.  The report from Voice for Animals also stated that the airport personnel continued to try to conceal the loading by shining bright lights aimed towards them as well as parking vehicles strategically in order to prevent photos from being taken.  As the photographers are always  careful to remain on public property where legally photographing is allowed, one wonders why the airport personnel is so eager to hide what they are doing and also where the directive came from to deliberately block views of the loading.  Here is the Voice for Animals report from the CHDC blog.

JUNE, 2018

E-PETITIONS AND CANADIAN GOVERNMENT:

The Canadian government tabled their response to E-petition e-116 on June 4.  This anti horse slaughter petition was initiated by Shelley Grainger on August 23, 2016 and was presented to the House on April 19, 2018 by Liberal MP Mark Holland.  The government is obligated to respond to each petition and this is their response here.   The response was as expected and very disappointing as it seems to be the same left over jargon from the previous Conservative government’s playbook.  Interesting to note here is that when the last anti slaughter bill was being debated in the House in May of 2014, the entire Liberal caucus that was present (30 were present for the vote) voted in favour of the Private Members Bill C-571, including our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and our Agriculture Minister, Lawrence MacAulay.  It is rather ironic and extremely distressing to conclude that upon election in 2015, the Liberals seem to have had a collective change of heart about this issue and are quite content to maintain the status quo as previously set by the Harper Conservatives.  Come election time, on October 21, 2019, this mercurial attitude is one that will be steadfastly remembered not only by the thousands of horse advocates that have campaigned tirelessly for decades to eradicate horse slaughter in Canada but the tens of thousands of animal advocates across Canada in general.

CHDC Eastern Director, Shelley Grainger, started another E-Petition (e-1699) on June 13, 2018 for Canadians to sign opposing the live horse shipments exported for human consumption due to the ongoing violations of both the Canadian and IATA regulations.  Once again, MP Mark Holland agreed to sponsor the petition.

In June we also found out that the government of Canada/Agriculture Canada will now be blocking access to the monthly horse slaughter statistics citing ‘the consolidation that has taken place in 2017 in terms of the number of establishments slaughtering horses.’  Essentially, as there were only two slaughter plants fully operational in 2017 with the same owner (Bouvry’s east and west plants), we can deduce that the government has succumbed to the wishes of industry and private ownership over the rights of its citizens to be allowed access to this information.  Horse slaughter has always been a hot button issue in Canada; the number of Canadians who oppose the practice far outweigh the number of Canadians who agree with it.  It now appears that the Liberal government that campaigned on a promise of greater transparency has decided to flip flop on that issue as well.

TRANSPORTATION:

On June 11 at Edmonton airport, a 747 full of crated horses bound for Japan were unloaded and returned to the feedlot.  One can’t imagine the stress these horses went through during this.  Contacts from Voice for Animals learned that the reason had nothing to do with the horses, so we can only assume that there was a mechanical issue with the plane.

CALE (Canadians Against Live Export) with assistance from the CHDC issued post cards opposing the live horse trade to be addressed to Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and made available to everyone to send out to MacAulay or their MPs.

CALE once again held a protest on June 21 protesting against the live horse industry.  The protest was held at the Harry Hays building which houses the government of Canada’s operations.

Jessica Scott-Reid, animal advocate and freelance journalist, asked the age-old question all animal advocates keep asking:  When is Canada going to update their antiquated transportation regulations?  These have not been updated for upwards of forty years and Canada has some of the worst standards in the western world.  Horses in particular are denied food and water and allowed to be transported by road, rail and plane in cramped conditions in all extreme weather conditions for up to 36 hours.  Contrast this with the EU that has far shorter transport times – no species is allowed longer than a window of 28 hours.  VACI (Voiceless Animal Cruelty Index) ranked Canada 45th out of 50 countries surveyed in 2017 while developing countries as Kenya and India ranked top of the list.  Surely, a great and progressive country like Canada can do better than this!  Here is Jessica Scott-Reid’s excellent article as it appeared in an Opinion piece at CBC news.

ACCESS TO INFORMATION:

In an effort to learn more about what our government is hiding in this age of ‘transparent government’, the CHDC requested the U.S. counterpart’s FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) for our ATI for horses shipped from July 1 to August 31, 2017 (see May Investigations above).  The FOIA gave us far more information which included descriptions of each horse including tag numbers, colours, breeds and tattoos as well as the names of the transporters (aka kill buyers).  Standardbreds and quarter horses continue to be top of the list for the number of horses dumped to slaughter.  A dozen of the horses were blind in one eye; although legal to transport partially sighted horses in Canada, special provisions have to be taken according to the transport regulations as per the CFIA web site.

JULY, 2018

HORSE DRUGS/DISEASE:

The FDA released a communication regarding safety concerns and potential health risks to people exposed to altrenogest products used to suppress estrus in horses and pigs.  The drug appears to have adverse affects that suppress the reproductive cycles in women and lower libido in men and can be transmitted epidermally.

A case of  Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy (EHM) a common viral disease was found in Saskatchewan when a 19-year-old gelding tested positive.   EHM is not a reportable disease in Canada.

The CFIA is proposing a new program to curb the spread of EIA by horses although the project is being met with mixed reviews in this Alberta Farmer Express article.

HORSE ABUSE:

In July, animal advocates held their breaths while the annual animal abuse event in Calgary heralded as ‘The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth – the Calgary Stampede – got underway.   Since 1986, 60 horses have died at this two-week fright fair and this year another horse was added to the statistics.  A horse was euthanized during the Chuckwagon races.

With temperatures rising in across Canada, Equine Guelph put out downloadable pdf to educate horse owners on the adverse effects of hot weather:

The legal limit is 32 degrees.

By now, most horse advocates appreciate the dangers of sending their horses to auctions, which often is the first step down the slaughter pipeline.  Uncaring owners continually dump used up or unwanted horses in all conditions and of all ages.  The CHDC published a horse advocate’s observations at a rural auction on their blog.

EQUUS FILM FESTIVAL:

The annual Equus Film Festival took place in Orangeville, Ontario from July 20-22 and the CHDC was a proud sponsor.  Several directors and advocates attended the event which celebrates all aspects of the horse through diverse film productions.

AUGUST, 2018

CHDC NEWSLETTERS:

The second newsletter for 2018 was published on August 2 hosted by Vertical Response.  If you wish to receive the CHDC newsletters, sign up by completing the form in the lower right hand corner of our web page.

HORSE ABUSE:

Chained Horses – Photo – Northumberland News

The OSPCA were alerted to an abuse case regarding two horses in Hamilton township chained to trailers with one horse’s halter deeply embedded in its head. The OSPCA have limited powers and a resolution in this case is unknown.

US Racing published the story of racing royalty Zenyatta’s half brother Souper Spectacular.  The thoroughbred colt was purchased for $1.15 million as a yearling

Zenyatta – Photo – US Racing

in 2008 and after several years of a lacklustre career in racing was retired to Live Oak Stud in Ocala where he was gelded.  Allegedly sold to someone for a second career training, his life spiralled down where he ended up in an obscure auction being sold for $390 underweight with rain rot.   Luckily, his life made a turn around with his new owner who had no idea of his regal breeding but was determined to rehabilitate the once flashy horse.

HORSE SLAUGHTER:

Agriculture Canada released the horse trade summary report for the second quarter of 2018 which includes statistics up until the month of June.  Although meat exports recorded a decrease of 23.1%, the live horse export trade has skyrocketed by 91.3% from the same time period last year.  The top country we exported horsemeat to was Japan, followed by Switzerland and France.  Through CETA (Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement), Europe is entitled to an unlimited amount of horsemeat, duty-free.

BLUE SKY RADIO:

Sargon with Kim Wilson

Blue Sky Radio, CKMS 102.7 FM, out of Waterloo, Ontario interviewed the owner of stolen and slaughtered horse Sargon, Kim Wilson August 23 who gave updates on the case.   As well as Kim Wilson, Blue Sky Radio have interviewed advocate Dr. Maureen Harper (July), CHDC President, Sinikka Crosland (in September), Belinda Lyall, BC Horse Angels (May), Kimberly Hale, Go and Play Stables (May) among others.  Interviews can be found on our home facebook page (scroll down) and the Blue Sky facebook page.

SEPTEMBER, 2018

LEGAL:

In September, the CHDC announced that they had filed a judicial review on August 31 in the Federal Court by lawyer, Rebeka Breder of Breder Law firm.   The lawsuit challenges violations to the Health of Animals Regulations when live horses are shipped by air cargo to Japan for slaughter.  As legal costs can be prohibitive, we asked our supporters to help with donations to our legal campaign.

The press release can be found on our blog, CTV National News media covered it and as well Rebeka Breder was interviewed by Global News.

MEDIA CAMPAIGN:

In an effort to raise awareness of horse slaughter in Canada, the CHDC is funding an advertisement in the October/November issue of Equine Wellness magazine.  Advertisements can sometimes be very dear and if you would like to see more publicity going to this issue, we asked you to please donate to the CHDC in order that they can do more of these ads.

STOLEN HORSES:

Molly, a six-year-old pregnant bay Clydesdale, was allegedly stolen from her farm in a small town west of Edmonton on September 22.  Owner Cindy Thomas fears that the mare may have been stolen for meat.  The RCMP and Bouvry Exports slaughter plant were both notified with no results.  Molly’s plight was shared nation-wide and a gofundme campaign raised $7,500 for information leading to her safe return.  Covered by major news outlets across Canada, to date there is no sighting of Molly.

The International Horse Registry published a blog piece on what to do if your horse is stolen or goes missing with good and up-to-date information.

UPDATE ON THE SLAUGHTER TRADE:

The CHDC published an update on the horse slaughter industry illustrating in Part 1 how the American businesses eclipse Canadian values.

Part 2 – Bouvry Exports feedlots shows recent photographs from Canada’s largest horse slaughter plant.  Go here to view the report.

OCTOBER, 2018

BOUVRY EXPORTS:

Canada’s largest horse slaughter plant in Fort Macleod, Alberta was implicated in a fine laid against a consulting firm by the Alberta government for violating the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act on September 12.  The consultant, Ginger Ada Rogers, pled guilty to knowingly providing false or misleading information in connection with soil sampling she was hired to do for Bouvry Exports.  Rogers was fined $28,750 and as well prohibited from submitting any reports to Alberta Environment and Parks for three years.  Bouvry Exports was not charged and the consultant’s firm, ACER Environment, no longer exists.  As this charge goes back to 2015, one can only speculate to the amount of wastewater contamination that was allowed to happen to nearby lands because of the fraudulent lab results.

Slaughter facilities cause untold damage to the surrounding environment as the CHDC has shown previously captured on video with the illegal dumping of horse blood into the Qu’Appelle River in Saskatchewan when the now defunct Natural Valley Farms horse slaughter plant was up and running.

On October 12, a small group of very dedicated supporters held a protest at the Bouvry plant in 120mph winds.  The supporters were met with positive reactions from passing traffic as well as negative gestures from the slaughterhouse workers.

MEDIA/CONFERENCES:

CityNews Edmonton’s Rachelle Elsiufi took a closer look at Canada’s horse slaughter industry with commentary from Dr. Sandie Hucal of Free Spirit Sanctuary in Alberta and Belinda Lyall from BC Horse Angels.

Animal advocate and bare foot farrier, Paola di Paolo, attended the Animals and Us conference at the University of Windsor on October 11-13.  Paola’s presentation was ‘Contested Meat – From Working Equines to Pasture Pets to the Dinner Plate’ and her report on the conference is available to read on our blog.

E-PETITION 1699:

E-petition 1699 to halt the live horse shipments to Japan for slaughter closed for signatures after 120 days with a total of 8,688 signatures.  The government has 45 days to respond.

HORSE AUCTIONS:

Kaylen Small reported on the Vold Jones & Vold Beaverlodge auction that took place on October 13.  After photographs were shared on social media showing horses with injuries, the Alberta SPCA started an investigation.

OSPCA:

At the end of October, we learned that the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) was planning to pull back from investigation cruelty case involving livestock as part of their restructuring due to funding shortages.

NOVEMBER, 2018

HORSE BLOOD FARMS:

Click to Sign Petition at Change.org

In the CHDC November newsletter, we publicized the disturbing treatment of mares kept on horse blood farms in Argentina and Uruguay.  The pregnant mares are harvested for their blood which produces a hormone called Pregnant Mare’s Serum Gonadotrophin (PMSG) which is used to regulate the ovulation cycle of other farm animals such as pigs, cattle and sheep.  The Animal Welfare Foundation/Tierscutzbund Zurich produced this video on the industry (view discretion advised).

The CHDC initiated a change.org petition for you to sign as well.

REMEMBRANCE DAY:

Each November 11, we try to honour the horses that have fought in wars in some way as they too were casualties.  This year, the CHDC laid a wreath at Beautiful Joe Park in Meaford, Ontario.  Beautiful Joe was a dog from Meaford whose story inspired the 1893 bestselling novel Beautiful Joe which helped to publicize worldwide awareness of animal cruelty.

HORSE SLAUGHTER STATISTICS:

Canadian government horse slaughter statistics were in for the third quarter of 2018.  Over the same period last year, there was a 18.1% decrease in the number of US horses imported for slaughter and a 19.5% decrease in horsemeat exports abroad.  The live horse exports however continue to rise showing an alarming 70.1% increase over last year.

DECEMBER, 2018

LOBBYING DAY IN OTTAWA:

On December 4  a contingent of CHDC directors and horse advocates from various organizations spent the day meeting with MPs to press the issue of horse slaughter home.  This day we asked that you also contact your MP as well.

Never forget – we are their voices and they are depending on us to help them.

SUMMERVIEW FEEDLOT:

We received footage of young horses in the Summerview (Bouvry) feedlot that showed beyond a doubt that a large number of Belgian and Percheron drafts were being held, likely for the Japanese market.

HORSE ABUSE:

A case of horse neglect surfaced in Ontario in the township of Waterford which garnered outrage and media attention in early December.  As a result of the OSPCA taking a long time to act,  Brenda Thompson (Whispering Hearts Rescue) and Michael Zimmerman (a former MPP) formed the Animal Welfare Watch to close the gap the OSPCA seems to no longer be able to fulfill with respect to the timely intervention in animal neglect cases.

Mid-December, advocates were dismayed to learn that Wayne Jubb failed to turn up in court – yet again.  Allegedly, this is the seventh court appointment he has failed to attend.  On May 2, Jubb was charged with the theft of Cocoa and Bella, forging ownership papers (the Equine Information Document that our government insists is a secure method in order to ‘prove’ ownership and traceability) and selling them to Bouvry Exports (see April above).  Another court date has been set for January 14, 2019.  As this case garnered much media attention, advocates are holding their breath anticipating that owner Kathy O’Reilly finally receives justice for her horses and the courts find their way to imposing adequate sentence for Jubb’s actions.

LPN – Photo – La Terre

We were happy to share some good news for animal advocates with the possible closing of Les Viandes de la Petite-Nation (LPN) slaughter plant in Quebec.  LPN was the focus of the CHDC’s 2011 expose, Pasture to Plate.  Although the plant has not slaughtered horses since 2017,  their focus on deer in the last year and a half turned out to be unprofitable due to a number of unforeseen circumstances.

Edmonton CityNews ranked Rachelle Elsiufi’s report Calls for Change in Canada’s Horse Meat Industry (see October above) number 8 in their top 10 stories of 2018.

Molly – Photo – The Western Producer

On Christmas Eve, Molly, was found and returned to her owner, Cindy Thomas (see September above).  Molly’s disappearance and subsequent reappearance remains a mystery but is just the Christmas miracle Cindy was praying for.

Finally, we would like to share with you an opinion piece by CHDC lawyer, Rebeka Breder, as it appeared in the Vancouver Sun.  We are very fortunate to have such a passionate animal advocate in our court.

FROM THE DIRECTORS OF THE CHDC, WE WISH YOU ALL A HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Photo: Courtesy of Sandra Stutz

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