Backstreet Bully’s Revenge

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backstreetbully

Written by:  Heather Clemenceau

“You can’t kill that horse,” said Stacie Clark, who works for the Adena Springs Retirement Program, as she pleaded with management at Les Viandes de la Petite Nation slaughterhouse, for the return of retired Stronach Farms racehorse Backstreet Bully. It wasn’t just small amounts of prohibited drugs that had been given to the horse and thus meant that he was prohibited from slaughter: 21 doses of nitrofurazone, according to Toronto Star journalists Mary Ormsby and Dale Brazao in their article – “Ottawa refuses to say whether drug-tainted horse meat entered food chain.”

Stacie Clark runs billionaire entrepreneur Frank Stronach’s racehorse retirement program in Aurora, Ontario, the town in which I live. In Aurora, it’s impossible to ignore the presence of Frank Stronach and Magna – as a philanthropist, he has funded many public buildings in this town, he hosts an annual hoedown on the front lawn of the Magna headquarters each year, and there are reminders of his influence everywhere. And the individual with whom Ms Clark was pleading with was  Stephane Giguere, the then-Director of Les Viandes de la Petite Nation  (LPN) in St. Andre-Avellin, Quebec.  Bully was alive when she spoke to him too.  Of course, LPN was temporarily closed after an investigation published by the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC) in December 2011 entitled “Pasture to Plate: The True Cost of Canada’s Horsemeat Industry.” According to his LinkedIn profile, Giguere was the Director of the plant at that time as well.stephane

Horsepeople, particularly those of us residing in York Region Ontario or those who are “hard core” rescuers of racehorses know exactly who Stronach is. But it’s a fair bet that the collective brain trust who are employed in horse slaughter itself have no clue who the influential people are, and wouldn’t attach any significance to the name of the man who is the 19th wealthiest Canadian even if it were he who called them up personally. So while the management at LPN may have savored a smug satisfaction by denying Stacie Clark (and her exceedingly wealthy employer),  it was a temporary victory.

Stephane Giguere may have been the recipient of a little `quid pro quo`by Frank Stronach. At least,  that’s what I prefer to think. He’s been vanquished for a while now, allegedly fired from LPN a few months after Bully was slaughtered.  I`m sure many people at the plant including the owners and possibly even people at the CFIA had an “oh shit“ moment after they realized what happened,  and especially after the Star article eventually appeared.

For those of us who believe in karma,  or the principal that where the intent and actions of an individual influence the future of that individual,  you may get particular satisfaction from believing that deferred justice was apparently visited upon Stephane Giguere.  While I personally don’t believe in either karma or ghosts, the idea of “cosmic justice” gives me some peace of mind by imagining that the ghost of Backstreet Bully (perhaps aided and abetted by the Stronach empire) waited for the right moment to exact a little schadenfreudian revenge on Stephane.  And that’s what I choose to believe. While the killing goes on, small victories like this give me strength and hope.

fake papers

Backstreet Bully was not eligible for slaughter. In any case, he was not unwanted. But fake papers ensured that he was slaughtered, despite evidence to the contrary. Omission or falsification of information on EIDs of horses presented for slaughter is an offence. It is very evident when reviewing the EIDs that a pattern emerges and it is very clear to see that some EIDs have obviously been “pre-written” across the top with “Drug-free six months”, and the appropriate boxes checked to agree with this information.

“Victory has a hundred fathers and defeat is an orphan.”

[News conference, April 21 1961]
― John F. Kennedy

About heatherclemenceau

Hopefully as I've grown older I've also grown wiser, but one thing I've definitely become cognizant of is the difference between making a living and making a life. Frequently outraged by some of life's cruelties, and respect diversity. But.....I don't suffer fools gladly, and occasionally, this does get me into some trouble! I have the distinction of being the world's worst golfer - no wait, I do believe that there is a gypsy in Moldavia who is a worse golfer than I. Nor am I much of a dancer - you won't see a booty-shakin' flygirl routine from me! I'm also not the kind of cook who can whip up a five-course meal on a radiator either! And I've never figured out how to get an orchid to bloom a second time. I love to discuss literature, science, philosophy, and sci-fi , or even why Seinfeld is funny on so many levels. Words move me. I'm very soft-hearted about most things, especially animals, but I have a stoicism about me that is sometimes interpreted incorrectly. I do have a definite edge and an often "retro-adolescent" sense of humour at times. I'm a big advocate of distributed computing projects to advance science. Check out http://boinc.berkeley.edu/ if you want to find out more. I'm an eclectic (but not crazy) vegetarian, and as such, it's a personal practice of mine to seduce innocent meat-eaters into cruising the (salad) bars at every opportunity. You would be powerless to resist. I was recently surprised to find that a computer algorithm concluded that I write like Dan Brown, which is funny because I didn't think Dan Brown could actually write. Check out your own style - http://iwl.me/ Oh, and I love impractical shoes and funky hats.

4 responses »

  1. Slaughter is so corrupt. I can’t tell you how many times I see heartbreaking stories of horses who have disappeared for one reason or another. Previous, legitimate owners searching frantically for a horse or horses who have been devoured by the slaughter pipeline. This vile industry must be stopped!

  2. I feel revenge has not happen yet, although this is good! When the person who HAULED this horse to the slaughter plant & the one who ‘issued’ he be sent to the plant suffer incredible pain…then this horse will have had some ‘revenge’!! I also understand the vet on the phone is about as heartless as it gets….that looked into NOTHING. Bottom line everyone that had a hand in anyway of this horse ending up where he did….need to feel incredible hardship, pain, suffering!! Call it whatever you want…
    Never mind the hundreds that go through & nobody did nothing….that was not the case for him!
    I am so sickened what happen to him, I can hardly look at any photos of him…

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