Pro-Slaughter Ethics and That Last Pound of Flesh

Pro-Slaughter Heart - A Scientific Anomaly

Observe the Pro-Slaughter Heart – A Scientific Anomaly

Written by: Heather Clemenceau

Pro-slaughters are free to believe whatever nonsense they wish about veterinary drug contamination in horsemeat.  In the US and Canada,  they have the freedom to remain uninformed and unenlightened.  In fact,  if they’d like to do a few lines of bute directly off a horse’s ass,  it’s hardly my concern.  But  time and time again,  Slaughterhouse Sue Wallis and her band of buffoons have shown us that we cannot allow them to have any input or control over the food supply. What I can’t wrap my head around is the fact that so many pro-slaughters claim that they won’t euthanize because they don’t want to contaminate the water supply (got any proof of that, BTW?) but they have no problem contaminating the food supply!

Pound of Flesh

Pound of Flesh

It’s my own opinion that it’s heartless and generally illegal to deny an animal pain-relieving medication,  especially when a veterinarian or farrier indicates that it is in pain.  I can’t decide which is worse – denying an animal medication because it might affect the ability to wring those last few dollars off of it,  or “buting” it and sending it to slaughter anyway.  We’ve just met an individual who has no qualms about doing either – she will let her animal suffer in pain because she doesn’t believe in lessening pain,  but she will or has already “buted” him as a sort of last resort,  or perhaps it’s a final insult to horsemeat eaters.

The opinion of this particular horse-owner appears to echo that of Slaughterhouse Sue Wallis of Unified Equine and the International Equine Business Association.  That is,  denial that veterinary drugs are harmful in the food supply, along with the accusation, thrown in for good measure, that the FDA stipulations about veterinary drugs are “made-up” and “mostly a joke” manufactured by anti-slaughter welfare advocates.

This pro-slaughter owner is proposing that she will drive her horse,  suffering from ringbone for a few years now,  to Fort MacLeod Alberta to be slaughtered at the Bouvry plant.  This highly impractical and unnecessary journey will purportedly be undertaken so that he “won’t be wasted.”  Instead of being euthanized or shot at home where he has apparently lived  for many years with one owner,  she will load him up in a trailer,  (after having a vet pull a negative Coggins and providing an Export Certificate issued by the USDA) and deliver him,  after a 1.500 mile/16 hour drive, to the slaughterhouse personally.  The owner also operates under the belief that she may actually be able to be with him during his final moments on the kill floor.

Naive Assumptions of Pro-Slaughters

Naive Assumptions of Pro-Slaughters

I’m really struggling to be diplomatic here.   How is it possible to believe that you will be allowed on the production (kill) floor of a slaughterhouse,  moving along at a fast pace,  whilst spending a few quiet, reflective moments with your horse in the kill box before he is stunned?  Does she have any comprehension of what actually happens on a kill floor?  The irony (you know pro-slaughters are destroying my irony meters – I’m going to have to send them a bill) is this – pro-slaughters accuse animal welfare advocates of being all caught up with unicorns and such;  meanwhile,  this woman herself seems to be living in a fantasy world where the kill floors are inhabited with smiling dolphins,  frolicking golden retrievers and top-hatted pandas who will escort her horse across the Rainbow Bridge.  Furthermore,  when an animal nears death,  it’s now on its own timeline,  not ours.  We can’t choose to euthanize it or otherwise end its life on our schedule.  If your animal is diagnosed by a veterinarian as non-viable/in pain/unrecoverable injury,  it is now our responsibility to humanely euthanize him or her to avoid further suffering.  This particular person wants to squeeze in this disposal of her horse at a slaughterhouse when it’s convenient for HER (perhaps she’s got a plan to come up here with a trailer of horses anyway),  based on some schedule she has for coming to Canada.

On a very serious note,  please check out these undercover videos of Bouvry,  submitted to the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (and verified by the Canadian government) – CAUTION – GRAPHIC.  This whole escapade is pretty fvcking insensitive.  Aside from the fact that this won’t happen for a gazillion reasons, one of which is liability,  and there are serious fines,  so the CFIA tells us anyway,  that can be levied against you if you make false declarations on the EID,  which is exactly what she would have to do in order that he be slaughtered in Canada.  So please don’t mess with the food supply,  K?  We Canadians don’t say “eh” we say “fvckin’ eh!” and we will throw a beaver at you.  But not a real beaver,  that’s cruel.

What are the current fines? What will the new fines and penalties be under the Safe Food for Canadians Act?

Welcome to Canada!

The Act will implement tougher fines and penalties for activities that put the health and safety of Canadians at risk. Anyone convicted of an offence by way of summary conviction under the Act would face a penalty of up to $250,000 and/or 6 months imprisonment for a first offence, or more for subsequent offences.

When the offence is serious or knowingly or recklessly puts Canadians lives in danger, such as tampering, penalties are up to $500,000 and/or 18 months imprisonment for a first offence proceeded by way of summary conviction, or more for subsequent offences.  Anyone convicted of an offence by way of indictment will face even higher fines and penalties.

Current Legislation

Current Penalties

Safe Food for Canadians Act

Canada Agricultural Products Act Summary Conviction– $50,000 fine and/or 6 months imprisonment Indictable Offence– $250,000 fine and/or 2 years imprisonment(Amount of the fine for an subsequent offence could be higher if designated by regulation) For most offences:Summary Conviction (First offence)– $250,000 fine and/or 6 months imprisonmentSummary Conviction  (Subsequent offence)– $500,000 fine and/or 18 months imprisonmentIndictable Offence– $5,000,000 fine and/or 2 years imprisonmentFor certain serious offences*:Summary Conviction (First offence)– $500,000 fine and/or 18 months imprisonmentSummary Conviction (Subsequent offence)– $1,000,000 fine and/or 2 year imprisonmentIndictable Offence– Unlimited fine and/or 5 year imprisonment*: Tampering, providing false information, failing to comply with an order, or knowingly or recklessly causing a risk
Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act Summary Conviction– $50,000 fine and/or 6 months imprisonmentIndictable Offence – $250,000 fine and/or 2 years imprisonment
Fish Inspection Act Summary Conviction (First offence)– $20,000 fine and/or 3 months imprisonment  Summary Conviction  (Subsequent offence)– $50,000 fine and/or 2 years imprisonmentIndictable Offence (Corporation)– $250,000 fineIndictable Offence (Individual) – $100,000 fine and/or 5 years imprisonment
Meat Inspection Act Most offencesSummary Conviction– $50,000 fine and/or 6 months imprisonmentCertain serious offencesIndictable Offence – $250,000 fine and /or 2 years imprisonment
Food and Drugs Act Summary Conviction– $50,000 fine and/or 6 months imprisonmentIndictable Offence – $250,000 fine and/or 3 years imprisonment

Dr. Richard Arsenault, director of the meat programs division for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA),  thinks that the regulations are working.  “It’s extremely well respected in terms of compliance,” he says.  Obviously,  he hasn’t met our little case-study!  His statements are alarming from a food safety perspective due to drugs that are banned in animals raised for slaughter but are regularly administered by horse owners and veterinarians, including common wormers, vaccines, diuretics, NSAIDS,  and analgesics.  It is because of these very drugs that Bouvry and Richelieu slaughterhouses in Canada previously issued a statement that they would no longer accept Thoroughbreds for slaughter.

EID Disclosure - Horse cannot be slaughtered if this form is honestly completed

EID Disclosure – Horse cannot be slaughtered if this form is honestly completed

“This includes the non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug, Phenylbutazone (also known as “bute”), a painkiller given to 90% of U.S. horses and nearly all racehorses on and before race day. Bute is a known human carcinogen. With no acceptable withdrawal period, even a single dose in any animal sold for meat is banned by the EU, FDA and USDA.”

In conclusion,  there is no way this horse can ethically be slaughtered in Canada (not that horse slaughter is ethical to begin with).  If the owner is honest with respect to the EID,  and if Bouvry is acting in accordance with the CFIA’s own regulations regarding prohibited drugs such as Bute,  the horse would presumably be declined.  Then what could conceivably happen?  She would drive him all the way back to the States after completing even more paperwork?  It is my sincere hope that someone on the pro-slaughter side will rise to the occasion and educate this poorly-informed woman before she makes a series of mistakes and presuppositions that will prolong the pain and anxiety for this horse,  a pet she has apparently had since childhood.  Driving your horse to a different country when you could simply euthanize him at home and render him (if that service is available and that’s what you want) is the nadir of foolhardiness.

“The pound of flesh which I demand of him Is deerely bought, ’tis mine, and I will have it.

I am sorry for thee: thou art come to answer
A stony adversary, an inhuman wretch
uncapable of pity, void and empty
From any dram of mercy.”

Pro-slaughters,  you are now free to  go back to your lives as usual – unresponsive,  uninvolved, and uninformed.  Call the paramedics,  and charge the defibrillator, because……….

You have just flatlined

…… have just flatlined

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 if you want to find out more. I'm an eclectic plant-based eater, 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 - Oh, and I love impractical shoes and funky hats.

21 responses »

  1. Just when you think they can’t be any more ignorant, they outdo themselves. Strangely, I put this issue in my week’s recap, but you obviously handled the logistics far better than I could hope to.

  2. I am actually hoping for a quiet few days – maybe the horse-eating freaks will take it down a notch or eleventy-three. I actually have other blog topics in the queue that I’d like to get around to finishing….LOL

  3. I am not pro-slaughter! But I do know someone who took their horse to Bouvry (Fort McLeod) and it was taken to a separate stall/ room and shot there. She said it was like a big box stall. She was with him to this point and he did not go through the main area. She said they will do this for individuals bringing in private horses. So this person may be right that she can stay with her horse. Still don’t know why anyone would do this…. even from a cost perspective…fuel and time add up pretty quickly!

    • I wonder then how it might be done? They use .22 at Bouvry, so surely they would not discharge a firearm in a box stall?!? They would have to use a bolt gun. From a cost perspective I don’t get it either, because if you don’t have a recent Coggins, you must get a vet to pull one, plus any other health requirements or export papers. You have to pay for gas. This person would have a 16 hour drive or 1500 miles. And for what purpose? So the meat isn’t “wasted?”

      • And of course this horse HAS had bute……. Wouldn’t she need an EID? Americans don’t even know what an EID is. I wouldn’t either if I wasn’t an anti-slaughter freak. No one told us anything when the EU changed the rules that every owner must give an EID to the buyer. DUH? Whut’s a EID?

  4. How about the poor horse that is allegedly in so much pain he must have his life ended? But he won’t be in too much pain to travel 1500 miles trying to balance himself on sore feet only to meet an executioner? Huh? Yet this person doesn’t believe in euthanasia because it may contaminate the ground water. I guess I should come clean and make a confession. I had knee surgery awhile ago and I was on painkillers. I contaminated the hell out of the ground water because I was at the barn and relieve myself in the run in shed while I was on those drugs. Oh noooes! Somebody better call the environmental police on me!

  5. Well if we were that adamantly opposed to “groundwater contamination” we wouldn’t own horses at all. Most people don’t know that partially empty wormer tubes (we often don’t dispense the whole dose to a horse) that aren’t disposed of properly end up polluting groundwater or even rivers, poisoning fish. Wormers are toxic to fish. I always used to dispose of used tubes and sharps at the pharmacy and hoped that they were disposed of properly after that. You also have to watch out for poo-eating dogs if you’ve wormed your horse recently too. Leaching manure piles can also cause pollution. My boarding barn recycles all their manure, of course they have about 120 acres, most of which is just for hay/alfalfa. Pros don’t make much sense period. They glom onto one factoid and run with it, to the detriment of all other truths. Like the pro who is fixated on the possibility that I live in Toronto (I don’t). Like, so what?

  6. Another super posting, Heather. What a dimwit this woman is. She can’t even let this poor horse have the dignity of a humane death at home so she can get beer money. Disgusting. Will cross-post on our blog.

  7. According to the Conservative Government of Canada the horse meat industry is a thriving healthy business, making billions. They do not care about the inhumane slaughter of horses. Horses are simply another food source. Even if all horse owners, breeders ect. in the civilized horse industry were totally responsible & none of these horses went to slaughter there would still be a horse meat industry available. There are ranches in Canada that breed horses without drugs for sale abroad. They call it harvesting horses. This is a revolting terminology! You harvest corn, not horses! These horses run on fenced ranges & receive no drugs. This is why buffoons like Conservative MP Bruce Stanton can send me emails assuring me of the quality of the horse meat. He does not see the inhumane treatment of these flight animals. At the moment there is no humane way to slaughter horses in great numbers. but the Temple Grandin’s & Sue Wallis’s of the world are working on it. Horses have been socialized, companion animals for centuries & Canada needs to set an example for all the world to see….Canada does NOT eat or slaughter horses…..Canada loves & respects its horses…..This is the Canada I want to live in….next time vote accordingly…the Green Party & the NDP are far more understanding of this issue.

    • People sometimes question why it’s bee suggested that supporters for the Calgary Billboard wear orange, which is the colour of the NDP. I understand that some don’t want horse slaughter to be a partisan issue, but it already is. The NDP is the only party which supports us, despite giving facts to MPs and Senators for months. Canada has a fantastic framework to support equality, but we truly lag when it comes to animal welfare, and for that I’m ashamed.

  8. There is another drug that horses are given and that is rabies vaccines. Many Vets in the US urge horse owners to have their horses vaccinated especially in states where there is increases of rabies in the wild animal populations. You might not know if your horse was bitten until it’s to late. It is 100 % fatal.The reason I’m bringing this up is another reason to stop horse slaughter for human consumption. Does anyone really think that the greedy breeders that are raising horses like beef cattle for slaughter don’t give the horses this vaccine if it is recommended by their Vet? Of course they do. Would You or I or anyone knowingly eat meat that this vaccine had been given to the animal? The answer is no. But the consumers in the EU don’t know about it, yet.

    • I believe the CFIA position on vaccines is that they are permissible in food animals. The rabies vaccine is created from inactivated tissue culture derived products. Right now I can’t be sure what the position of the EU is on vaccines. There are rabies vaccines for cattle; not sure if they are universally given – perhaps only in areas where there have been rabid skunks observed.

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