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Transport of Live Horses For Slaughter
 By Winniefield Park   •   21st Oct 2018   •   406 views   •   0 comments
Transport of Live Horses For Slaughter


Earlier in 2018 the rules governing the horse slaughter industry in Canada changed and at the time some speculated that it would be dealt a crippling blow. The changes came about because of the European Union’s requirements that any horse intended for meat must be proven drug free for six months prior to slaughter. This means Canadian horses and horse brought from the United states must stay in a feedlot for six months before they can be slaughtered for meat. This, says horse advocates, opened the door further for paperwork to be fudged. But if paperwork wasn't falsified, it meant added expense for the owners of the horses as they pay for extra feed and care. And that, hoped many would slow down the pipeline

But, has the new requirement or anything else throttled the horse slaughter industry in Canada? Apparently it has been business as usual, and other issues have cropped up. The Canadian Horse Defence Coalition has launched a suit against the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for the overcrowding of horses in live transport to overseas meat markets.

The regulation states that any horse over 14 hands high must be transported in its own shipping crate. They must be able to stand in a natural head up position.

The CHDC claims that the CFIA repeatedly ignores overcrowding of animals. CHDC has videos of large draft horses shipped together with their heads touching the tops of the shipping crates. The CFIA has argued in the past that horses are social animals and are more comfortable when allowed to travel together as long as they have sufficient space.

As if the slaughter of horses hasn’t been a contentious enough issue, the transport of live horses overseas has raised even more ire from animal rights and anti-slaughter groups. Early in 2018 the CFIA was taken to task when it was revealed that horses in transport were going 35 hours without food or water—as per the law. New laws would reduce that time to 28 or 30 hours but many agree that is still far too long.

Another issue is the culling of feral herds. In the past horse herds in Alberta have been culled to limit the population growth. One destination of culled horses was to the slaughter pipeline. This summer indigenous and animal rights groups, scientists and other experts met to discuss the fate of these wild herds. The government claims that the feral herds come from escaped logging and farm horses and come under the ‘Stray Animal Act’. Not so say many, and they deserve to be protected as an important part of the area’s heritage.

Meanwhile, the search for Molly, a Clydesdale gone missing has attracted attention around the world. Her owner fears that someone may have stolen her gentle giant to be sold for slaughter. It wouldn’t be the first time. Last May an Alberta man was charged for stealing horses and selling them for slaughter. He also forged the required livestock manifest and ownership papers when selling the horses to the plant. Clearly, not much has changed.

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