Monthly Archives: August 2012

The Irony; It Burns! Bill DesBarres Still Busy Whitewashing Horse Slaughter

Standard

BullshitToday’s rock bottom Bill DesBarres moment is brought to you the letters “B and S.”  Yes,  since this is a post about DesBarres there is always going to be some conventional “BS” involved,  but coincidentally or not,  that’s the name given to Bill’s appaloosa breeding operation in Alberta – “BS Appaloosa Partners. “ Looking at this page is like looking at the interwebs circa 1995 via the Wayback Machine – it’s that outdated.  Bill asks “where did 2008 go?”  I too can’t believe it has come and gone.  So have 2009, 2010,  and 2011.

I know nothing about appy lines,  but Bill is probably another one of those breeders who needs a “floor” in order to move his merchandise.   Oh wait,  we in Canada have a “floor,”  and the current meat prices at OLEX (Ontario Livestock Exchange) the week this blog post was written varied from $.05 per pound to $.58 per pound.   So that means your average 1,000 lb horse is currently selling for anywhere from $50 to $580.

If you’re selling a horse you bred  for less than $1,000,  you’re probably not recovering what you spent on breeding and raising that horse to a young age,  excluding any training you’ve put on your animal,  and therefore your “operation” is unsustainable.  Pro-slaughter proponents in the US conveniently forget that everything costs more in Canada too – it costs more to produce,  pay for supplies,  pay for veterinary services,  etc.  Few breeders calculate in advance what it will cost them to breed and raise a yearling. As a result,  even yearlings are often sold at a substantial loss or, at best, at a very modest profit.  So while this will give you some beer money for the short term,  it hardly represents this “wonderful option” Bill keeps regurgitating for our listening and reading pleasure.

Anyway,  circling back to DesBarres – that same Equine Resource publication that was the focus of the previous blog has

Grof Feedlot Gray Percherons

Grof Feedlot Gray Percherons

offered up an article on the slaughter debate deeper within the magazine.  In this article,  Bill makes it seem as though happy horses trot directly into the slaughterhouse,  all while complaining that the influx of American horses is hurting our meat prices due to oversupply.  Now while more horses were slaughtered in Canada since the cessation of slaughter in the US,  we have to ask – has the price for horses gone up?  Have irresponsible owners, animal cruelty,  or abandonment disappeared?  And most importantly,  have the prices for Bill’s appys also gone up during that time?  We know he slaughters them too,  because he told us so in the Spooning and Forking radio show.

He claims that a result of the US ban,  more Canadians are eating horsemeat,  which is available in specialty stores.  Of course this is just something he pulled out of the air,  since he doesn’t offer any independent source for his claims – why would Canadians eat more horsemeat BECAUSE OF the cessation of slaughter in the US?.  Bill,  you’ve got some s’plaining to do here.  The vast majority of Canadians don’t consume horsemeat anyway – it’s a regional specialty in Quebec and some other small markets. He’s also butt-hurt since some of the major chain stores in Canada also attempted to provide horsemeat but were discouraged from continuing due to the reaction from the animal activist element.   What about the consumers at the stores?  Is there a chance they just weren’t interested in eating horses? Gotta blame everything on activists though.

Bouvry Plant from the main thoroughfare

Bouvry Plant from the main thoroughfare

I’m tired of Bill DesBarres attempting to demonize welfare advocates anyway.  Most people who advocate for animals aren’t actually “activists” as he claims.  Activism is associated with taking a vigorous stand, and surely Bill and Slaughterhouse Sue Wallis would like to convince everyone that activists are also anarchists. This is not the roll of most activists, and generally most people would describe activisim of any sort as being synonymous with positive attributes rather than lawlessness.  Without activism,  many people would have lost their rights or been marginalized;  as it is there are not enough activists to uphold all of our current rights.  As a testament to his paranoia,  Bill has his Linkedin profile locked down tight to avoid all those animal activists getting any classified info out of it.  I guess he wouldn’t accept my invitation to connect either.  No worries,  he’s only got two connections,  one is probably Sue Wallis and the other is Olivier Kemseke.  Rather surprising for someone involved in an “international” equine business association.    So that you don’t all rush to look at Bill’s profile and overwhelm him into believing that the animal activists are storming the LinkedIn castle,  I’ve included a snapshot of it here.

Bill DesBarres - LinkedIn profile

Bill DesBarres – LinkedIn profile

Activists exist largely because our civil servants, who are responsible for safeguarding animals and supervising the inputs into the food chain,  do so in a questionable or disrespectful manner towards  their own citizens and those of countries to whom we export foodstuffs.  Alex Atamanenko,  MP for BC Southern Interior,  and author of Bill C-322 to end horse slaughter in Canada,  has said that “It is irresponsible for Canada to allow the sale of meat from horses as a food item when they have never been raised in accordance with the food safety practices required for all other animals.

The Great Horse Slaughter Debate - Page 1

The Great Horse Slaughter Debate – Page 1 (click to embiggen)

Bill DesBarres never mentions drugs in this article.  Why would he?  Both he and Sue Wallis don’t want anything to impinge on their slaughter empire.  In the article,  Bill writes that:

  •  “The slaughter business for the purpose of producing meat for human consumption has been subject to increasing regulations,  scrutiny,  technical development,  improved humane handling,  and increased logistical costs since the commencement of the industry.”

In practice however,  little of this is enforced,  so as to make DesBarres claims almost meaningless.  The Federal Health of Animals Act is not enforced, which would protect sick, pregnant and unfit horses, and prohibit overcrowding; the Recommended Code of Practice for Care and Handling of Farm Animals: Transportation of Horses. is not enforced.  The CFIA does not enforce their own weak rules that slaughter bound horses must not be transported for longer than 36 hours straight and must be provided with feed, water and rest at required intervals. Double-decker trailers are still allowed in Canada. Horses are shipped in crowded trailers over long distances, and often arrive injured, sometimes fatally.  Horses, unlike most livestock, do not travel well.  So, suffice it to say, they don’t always respond well when being transported from kill auctions in the U.S. to federally licensed slaughterhouses in Quebec and Alberta.  Since 2007,  inspectors have been banned from the kill floor for their own safety,  since the adoption of firearms has been implemented to stun animals,  so their role is basically an administrative one now. So how could inspectors intervene when humane incidents have occurred,  as revealed by a CBC probe?

I am sure most readers of this blog and other writings on abuse of horses in slaughterhouses have been made aware of the

The Great Horse Slaughter Debate - Page 2 (click to embiggen)

The Great Horse Slaughter Debate – Page 2 (click to embiggen)

undercover investigations inside horse slaughterhouses in Canada,  revealing serious food safety and horse welfare concerns.  These GRAPHIC videos all  prove that the requirements set out by the government for food safety and horse welfare ALL failed disgracefully.  This raises several concerns:

  • Has the worker who stuns horses multiple times in these videos received proper training to render the horses insensible?
  • If he is properly trained and using these international humane assessments then has the employee realized that he needs to administer one or several more stuns to achieve the correct degree of unconsciousness that he has been trained to look for?
  • If this is the case,  it would strongly suggest that there is a problem with the captive bolt gun or this method is not meeting international humane standards.
  • If he has been trained properly to administer the stun and the horse is indeed unconscious then does he just continues to stun the already unconscious horse for some sort of personal pleasure?

None of these scenarios are acceptable, and the position of the camera has no relevance,  as claimed by the CFIA.  It is quite clear that horses are stunned more than once with one horse stunned ELEVEN times making this facility NON-COMPLIANT,  no matter what angle you view it from.

DesBarres also offers this:

  • “In 2011,  the Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada (HWAC) introduced the first industry audit for horse processing plants.  The meat industry is subject to audits by the government for food safety,  humane transport and handling, and audits by buyers to assure product quality for their customers. “
The Great Horse Slaughter Debate -  page 3 (click to embiggen)

The Great Horse Slaughter Debate – page 3 (click to embiggen)

I’ve never heard of this audit,  and he doesn’t tell us where it can be found either.  Is this really the first industry audit?  If so,  I have to ask what the $^@)%*& has the CFIA being doing before DesBarres came up with his own document?  More importantly,  who,  if anyone,  is using it?  The CFIA do have their own audits,  which don’t seem to accomplish anything,  although recently they acted responsibly by playing a role in admonishing a kill buyer from the US who sent a Phenylbutazone/Clenbuterol contaminated horse through the food supply.  Doesn’t matter,  because the reality is that the humanity of slaughter and transport haven’t improved.  To me,  it’s like asking if you can create a more humane rape,  as a transition to “humane rape” (please no one write that I’m trivializing rape either).  There is quite a bit of evidence available that refutes these naive claims.

European Union inspectors will be coming to Canada for an audit of horsemeat facilities if they have not already come and gone. They will be primarily concerned with dangerous levels of Phenylbutazone (PBZ/Bute), an anti-inflammatory commonly used for pain relief on horses, which has shown up in a series of tests over a five-year period. Phenylbutazone is of course banned from use in animals intended for human consumption in Canada, the U.S., the U.K. and the EU.  The drug is referenced in the  CFIA’s E.5 List of Veterinary Drugs Not Permitted For Use in Equine Slaughtered for Food with Canadian Brand Name Examples (10 March, 2010)All of the products listed carry an indication for use in equine (but not equine intended to be slaughtered for food).

Of course,  that hasn’t stopped Canada from exporting it and relying on the EU to catch our testing errors and omissions.  Additionally,  a recent Toronto Star Investigation revealed that:

“A 2010 U.S. study on animals sent to slaughter found the presence of a particularly troubling drug commonly administered to horses — Phenylbutazone (PBZ), an anti-inflammatory used for pain relief. The drug is banned for human consumption by the U.S., Canada, U.K. and European Union because of documented health hazards, sometimes fatal, including a blood disorder in which the body’s bone marrow doesn’t make enough new blood cells and a condition that triggers chronic bacterial infections. The study’s researchers found 9,000 pounds of meat from horses “with known exposure to PBZ sent for human consumption over the five-year study period.”

“There appears to be inadequate testing to ensure that horses given banned substances such as PBZ do not enter the slaughter pipeline,” the study concludes. “The lack of oversight to prevent horses given PBZ from being sent to slaughter for human consumption … indicates a serious gap in food safety and constitutes a significant public health risk.”’  The EU also confirms that  even a miniscule amount of the metabolites of PBZ can cause disease,  including aplastic anemia –  I wonder how HWAC’s “audit” deals with the shipping of drug-laden horsemeat to the EU?

There is no disputing the fact that horses are purchased at auction and often end up at slaughter with in a week’s time, many direct from race tracks. The race horse industry spends upwards of $50 million dollars a year to ensure horses are not over the accepted drug limits on race day the same way they do with human athletes.  It is well known that race horses receive drugs banned from the human food chain, including Phenylbutazone,  Viagra,  Lasix, and even “frog juice” – Dermorphin.  Why is the Canadian government risking the health of humans by accepting these horses for slaughter? Race horses can easily be identified by their lip tattoos. Yet the government turns a blind eye to this tainted meat being sold for human consumption.   However,  everyone else is catching up to the fact that we are shipping tainted meat.

From the article:

  • “In reality,  horse slaughter is an option that could potentially put an end to much abuse and neglect of horses,  and solve the problem of what to do with the unwanted horse.”

Horse Welfare Organizations wonder why breed associations continue to reward millions of dollars in breed incentives each year, while refusing to use some of that money as funds for horse rescues, funds for gelding, and funds for humane euthanasia.  To me,  that would be a logical place to start reducing the numbers of those “unwanted horses. The public is fed up with the lack of action by those in office who could stop this.  Pro-slaughters generally do not want to discuss this,  as it infringes on their right to do what the hell they want.   Their toolbag is full of dirty tricks, doing a total disservice instead of focusing on true solutions.  They do not want to draw attention to the  never-ending vicious cycle of over-breeding and they generally have no input regarding the imminent litigation due to the immoral implementation of toxic meat posing a public health risk.

Bill now winds up the article with a peppering of paranoia for anyone who isn’t yet convinced that activists are going to ban animals in Canada:

  • “We are very fortunate in Canada that our citizens have the opportunity and the right to own animals”
Alberta Equestrian Federation EID

Alberta Equestrian Federation EID – conveniently provided just in case their “Welfare” programs aren’t all that helpful.

Is he serious?  Who does he think is working to remove the rights of Canadians to own animals?  This is more of that “don’t infringe on my right to abuse animals” and “property rights paranoia.”  Canada is a world-leader in equal rights,  and I’m justifiably proud of the constitutional framework we have created to protect equality.  But I’m truly embarrassed to be Canadian when it becomes apparent that we do not have the ability or desire to protect animals from abuse and cruelty.  Animal cruelty elicits a strong response from most Canadians,  and it is time to extend that response to the protection of Canadian and American horses,  who should never be part of the food chain.

HWAC has no real horse welfare programs,  if they were genuinely concerned about horse welfare,  DesBarres would not try to discredit video evidence.  That speaks volumes.   What they and the International Equine Business Association (with Sue Wallis) ARE trying to make happen is  a form of permanent identification and traceability for horses and to that end,   has contracted with Animal ID Solutions Inc., a Canadian company with operations in the United States.They also plan to utilize Animal ID Solution’s Global Animal Identification Network.

RFID chip

RFID chip

Microchipping for horses was to be the next step after the EID system.  The chip is supposed to integrate with other national and international traceability programs.    Of course,  Animal ID Solutions are going to have global contacts internationally with other RFID-type programs,  which certainly suggests that the IEBA,  HWAC, Equine Canada,  and DesBarres have got to keep this slaughter machine moving full-speed ahead so they can take it all global and find replacement markets for the EU,  if they are no longer interested in our “product” after 2013.   For United Horsemen’s part,  I wonder where they think they will get the money to do this?  Weren’t they having trouble refunding registration fees for the cancelled Summit of the Horse and the truck raffle for a truck that never existed?

More on the topic of Equine Canada,  export markets,  ID programs in a subsequent blog post……..

Equine Magazine Praises Bill “Slaughter Is A Wonderful Option” DesBarres

Standard
Equine Consumers Guide 2012 Cover

Equine Consumers Guide 2012 Cover

Written by:  Heather Clemenceau

Bill DesBarres,  horsemeat pimp and paid representative of Claude Bouvry,  has been honoured by the Equine Consumers’ Guide with  “Reader’s Choice” award for “A Lifetime In The Service Of The Horse.”  Of course, the saccharine-sweet article  doesn’t mention anything about slaughter – so if you need a quick sugar rush,  you could always print it out,  chop it into a million pieces and pour it into your morning cuppa – it’s THAT sweet.

How can it be that a group or person who promotes “humane handling of horses throughout all their life stages” can promote horse slaughter?  And are the editors of this mag truly unaware of the raison d’ être of the Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada (HWAC)?  HWAC’s formation began in response to Canada’s anti-slaughter movement, prompted by the CHDC’s first investigative report, “Black Beauty Betrayed” in 2008. The true purpose of HWAC  is not horse welfare, but the promotion and support of North America’s horse slaughter industry,  aided by the partnership with the elbows-up, stick-swinging, trash-talking Sue Wallis.  If any of its chairs or board members were TRULY interested in protecting the interests of equines,  this organization would have been set up long beforehand,  and it would NOT include slaughter!

Not only should we be offended by this attempt to whitewash the HWAC in a mainstream horse publication,  but we should let the editors know that DesBarres has made a career out of accusing horse welfare advocates of “vicious, unprincipled campaigns of stalking, harassment, and threats” (in an email campaign sent from “info@ieqbassn.org”) and accuses HSUS,  the Equine Welfare Alliance,  Animals Angels etc.  of “terroristic activities.”  I guess he’s afraid of calling people a “terrorist” outright,  so couches his comments in terms that he thinks he can get away with from a libel perspective.  I see what you did there Bill!

In any case, these terms are used by those who believe “hate” is acceptable in our culture.  If you talk with animal rights activists, you will find that many are also involved with humanitarian causes such as hunger, poverty, sweatshops, feminism, marriage equality, LGBT or civil rights.   I don’t know anyone who’s committed a “terrorist” or “terroristic” activity,  unless you’re including every shout-down that occurs on Facebook as a “terrorist” activity.  If that’s the case,  I’m sure the FBI Division of “Facebook Insults and Butt-hurts” will be eager to take your statements so they can get on the case!

With extreme prejudice,  he goes on to claim that these aforementioned organizations “trample on the rights to life, liberty, and property.”   There’s that recurring theme of property rights we hear so frequently in the discussion of horse slaughter.  I firmly believe that if horse slaughter advocates had been around in the 30s and 40s they would probably be screaming at the top of their lungs over the institution of zoning.    Having an unfettered right to do whatever you want with your property is actually a wrong,  and reasonable people understand why. How many of us would want to live next-door to someone who played mariachi music non-stop,  or someone who burns their garbage in oil drums every week?

DesBarres "pays back" his horses by slaughtering them

All the colleagues who praised him in this article are anonymous! And how come the only pic I ever find of him makes him look like a remedial student of Diane Horner’s school of cowboy hip-hop?

I would assume that these magazines are also unaware that DesBarres has  fought against those who seek protection for horses,  by attempting to repudiate footage from four separate equine slaughter plants has been aired between 2008 and 2011 and all showed appallingly cruel treatment of horses, including in the Bouvry plant in 2010.  The Bouvry video was taken Feb. 19th,  and the CHDC linked a Lethbridge radio station playing in the background to that date.  A song list from that day matches what is heard on the video. The RCMP have already determined that it is authentic and that no changes had been made to the videos,  so that should be good enough for anyone,  including DesBarres.  In a court of law it would stand the test of cross examination as evidence.  However,  Bill insists that the video was fabricated somehow,  perhaps with highly-trained stunt horses as a direct-to-video slasher movie.  He must think that the CHDC has a production budget in the millions!

The videos were extracts from 10 hours of film and were taken on random days, which is fairly good evidence that what was presented went on every single day.  The investigation of Natural Valley Farms took place over half a year.  One could surmise that there is a correlation between the absence of CFIA inspectors from the kill box area and the appalling cruelty evidenced in the videos.  The Inspectors have been absent from the floor for several years now by order of CFIA management. The management. order arose from safety concerns raised by and for  CFIA Inspectors in 2007 when firearms began being used to stun the horses – so you could say their roles are basically administrative at this point,  even though it is their job to supervise and monitor the kill box process.

DesBarres has continually praised the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) at every opportunity.  In the Forking and Spooning audio discussion (you couldn’t pay me enough to listen to this dry heave-inducing segment a second time) on the wonders of horse slaughter,  he slaughters all his horses and never considers euthanasia under any circumstances.   DesBarres also partners up with Dr. Martin Appelt of the CFIA,  who is on-hand to promote the deadly Premarin®/Prempro® industry whilst referring to menopause as a “disease”  that requires treatment (apparently,  with Premarin®).  Personally,  I’d rather not get  advice on the function of any of my lady bits from a veterinarian, thank you very much.  Of course the CFIA is not going tell anyone that the conjugated equine estrogen industry originates in the misery of thousands of mares and foals.

By praising DesBarres,  the mag (un)knowingly downplays or ignores:

  • Documented lack of enforcement by the CFIA
  • The pressure placed on workers and veterinarians  to ignore  cruelty violations and to instead keep the slaughter lines going while animals suffer.
  • Undercover surveillance footage that shows horses being repeatedly bludgeoned.
  • DesBarres’ accusations that animal advocates,  a large section of their readership,  are borderline criminals merely for exposing cruelty.  Most countries protect their whistleblowers – but animal activists and those who video cruelty in slaughterhouses are routinely excoriated.
  • Virtually non-existent testing protocols for phenylbutazone and other veterinary drugs – sampling frequency too low to be meaningful for public health purposes.
  • They lend credence and legitimacy to someone who denies factual and legitimate evidence that horses are being inhumanely treated.

Contact the Equine Consumers Guide here

Putting Horsemeat on the Table – Canadian Influences and Enablers – Infographic

Standard

Written By:  Heather Clemenceau

For some time now,  after seeing the Infographic created by Republic of Horse  – “Slaughter:  Industry Influences on Government,”  I have known that we needed a similar graphic to represent those influencers and enablers in Canada.  While some of the associations that have been mapped out in the following Canadian infographic do not directly enable horse slaughter,  they are complicit in that they are silent against the practice.  At the very least they seem intent on preserving the status quo and ignoring the very real threats created not only by horse slaughter,  but by the power of Big-Ag lobbyists and governments who are willing to be influenced by them and their client base.

In the murky world of government lobbyists,  few resources have been applied to investigating corruption or undue influence. Canada has again been scolded on the international stage for its “lack of progress” in fighting corruption by a watchdog agency that ranks it among the worst of nearly 40 countries. The poor rating places Canada in the embarrassing company of countries like Greece, Hungary, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia – although New Zealand and Australia are also among the 21 countries in the bottom rung.  Transparency International, a group that monitors global corruption, put Canada in the lowest category of countries with “little or no enforcement” when it comes to applying bribery standards set out by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.  Apparently,  the punishment in Canada for corruption is that you are given a majority government.

Gerry Ritz Crackers

WARNING: Gerry Ritz Crackers consist of 100% Transfats.  Consuming Gerry Ritz Crackers may cause you to abandon economic principles, bury your head under the sand, and make inappropriate remarks about dead people, while pink-slipping and pink-sliming Canadians

According to the Ottawa Citizen,  Agriculture Minister and failed ostrich farmer Gerry Ritz is the most lobbied official in Canada,  exceeded only by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.  Gerry observed that farming ostrich allowed him “the opportunity to get used to working with lesser life forms” much like he sees “sometimes on the floor of the House of Commons.”

"Lesser Life Form" my ass!

“Lesser Life Form” my ass!

This infographic (downloadable here),  along with the one prepared by Republic of Horse,  and Jane Allin’s graphic of the PMU Industry, expose the hand-shaking and back-patting relationships, endorsements, and interconnectivity between the US and Canada.  In Canada,  we can clearly see the tentacles of the Bill DesBarres’ Horse “Welfare” Association of Canada extending themselves into the breed associations,  farming groups,  Big Pharma, veterinary colleges and associations, and Equine Canada.  By way of the lobbyists in the IEBA,  we are influenced by Big Ag,  Dow and Monsanto,  Humanewatch and other organizations that not only advocate for horse slaughter,  but advocate for GMOs and against the EPA and indeed consumers in general.

It was a learning experience for me to create this graphic.  People are waking up to what is being done to horses.  Very few people condone what is being done, but the industry does everything it can to cover it up because they know it is not humane,  no matter terminology they use.  DesBarres likes to refer to slaughter as “humane euthanasia,” and a “wonderful option.”    Contact your breed associations – contact everyone,  and let them know what they are endorsing when they associate themselves with the Horse “Welfare” Association of Canada,  Bill DesBarres,  and Slaughterhouse Sue Wallis.

Canadian Horse Slaughter Influences and Enablers

Canadian Horse Slaughter Influences and Enablers – Click to embiggen.  Want the chart as a stand-alone PDF file?  Click here

US Version - Republic of Horse

US Version – Republic of Horse

"Web of Evil" Graphic by Jane Allin

“Web of Evil” Graphic by Jane Allin – illustrating the connectivity between the Unwanted Horse Coalition, breed associations, and the PMU Industry

Here are the resources that were reviewed in compiling this infographic.  Many thanks to the members of the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition in the sourcing of many of these resources and their input into the graphic.

  • Kropius Rodeo Stock is based in Fort Macleod, Alberta, Canada,where Kody Kropius and his father Benny Kropius raise top of the line bucking horses and bulls!http://kropiusbuckingstock.tripod.com/
Bill C-322 in Canada, to stop the slaughter of horses for consumption

Bill C-322 in Canada, to stop the slaughter of horses for consumption

“Centaurs” of Attention? La Palette Protest – August 17, 2012

Standard

Tonight is the first night we’ve been back at La Palette  after their self-imposed “holiday” to catch up on repairs and renos,  you know,  just like the french do in France (after they have a humiliating experience with a restaurant inspector).  The announcement on their web page left me wondering exactly what renos they might be undertaking,  given that they’ve had an adversarial relationship with the protesters who have been camped out front almost every week since February 2012.

I can tell you that more than once I glanced upwards towards to the roof of this former horse stable,  to see if co-owner Shamez Amlani was standing up there with a boiling hot cauldron of bacon grease,  rather like those medieval “anti-personnel” fortifications that consisted of incendiary devices  or other flaming projectiles lobbed at enemy combatants during castle sieges.  Alas,  the “renos” did not consist of gunpower, quicklime,   flame throwers,  or napalm,  but Shamez is forever inching those plants out closer towards the sidewalk,  trying to push us further away from the front façade of the restaurant and towards the collection of derelict pre-WWII bicycles,  which he probably believes creates “shabby chic ambiance.”

I’d have to say that,  IMO,  the bikes  offer all the ambiance of  an episode of “American Pickers”  of the “Jersey Shore” meets “Hoarders.” You don’t want to brush up against this rusty junk – there are sharp bicycle fenders pointing

I Want to Ride My Bicycle!  Shabby Chic Elegance or Eyesore?

I Want to Ride My Bicycle! Shabby Chic Elegance or Eyesore?

out at right angles towards pedestrians as they walk by.  The Queen Street West drunks are particularly uncoordinated tonight,  snatching a protest sign  and lurching uncontrollably  into storefronts,  falling into pedestrians,  faceplanting on the sidewalks,  and narrowly avoiding that rusty tangled mass of junk.  I hope anyone coming into contact with these pre-industrial relics has recently had tetanus shots,  although I suppose when you’re drunk and lurching along Queen Street West late at night,  your physical well-being is already a low priority.

Anyway,  our protest group had speculated that at least part of the reason for the temporary shutdown was due to the excitement of the protest immediately prior,  where protest devotee Bob

Mounted Division

A Supporter from the Mounted Divison

was again manhandled by Shamez.  Shamez is really teetering on the precipice of arrest now – that bad boy can’t seem to keep his temper under control,  and Bob’s defenceless sign was mangled once again – now it has a permanent crease down the middle after La Palette’s chief horse-hater struck at Bob through the sign.  You’d expect that a clean air/bicycle activist would be a peaceful sort of person,  no?  I also wouldn’t blame you if you opined that it seemed like a direct conflict for such an activist to turn around and serve non-food animals who have been treated with prohibited drugs and then transported long distances and cruelly slaughtered, to his restaurant patrons.  Shamez seems to confirm,  as recounted in this blog since April,  that he’s hardly the zen-priest of pacifism,  logic,  or reason.

By definition,  assault  and/or battery consists of physical contact with another person without their consent.  An injury need not occur for an assault to be committed, but the force used in the assault must be offensive in nature with an intention to apply force,  which is surely does.  Typically,  people with bad tempers accompanied by poor life skills and/or coping mechanisms find themselves making physical contact with someone  as part of their argument.  Just sayin’


By now,  you may be asking yourself, dear reader,  WWBD  (What Would Bob Do)  after yet another altercation in front of the restaurant?  Bob and the other protesters conferred and in the end,  cops attended the scene,  and had  convo with Shamez that fortunately for him,  did not include a taser, handcuffs,  or a late-night phone call to a sleazy lawyer in a banlon suit.  The cops concluded their visit by advising Shamez that if he causes another physical altercation with a protester,  he will be charged.

Although we have no still pictures of this event,  we do have this incredible,  remastered, eyewitness video:

I guess this means that Shamez will now longer be mistaking the protest as a “Pro- La Palette” event,  as he has claimed in the past?

Modern Marvel?  You be the judge.......

Modern Marvel? You be the judge…….

In case you were thinking that Shamez was always the “Centaur of Attention” at his restaurant,  guess again.  It seems that his chef may also hold delusions of grandeur.  Don’t all chefs have delusions of grandeur though?  It is only food, after all, and chefs are not deities.  So whenever you see those big white plates with microscopic portions on them, you can feel validated for thinking that chefs take themselves far too seriously.  On his Facebook page,  Chef Brook Kavanagh makes the rather unbelievable  claim he is teaching a National Geographic course?  Seriously?  I thought a Discovery show on French topics might discuss the Maginot Line,  the French Revolution,  or Churchill on the Battle of France,  but no,  Brook claims he is TEACHING it.  This is a show about technology.

I know that some of these programs have teaching modules, but how could horsemeat possibly represent the subject matter for this show? Judging by the Facebook pics, it looks more like the History channel featured *something* on horsemeat.  Or perhaps it was a show on trichinosis?  I wonder if it was a segment dealing with the ramifications of leaving meat out at room temperature and consequently barely passing their Public Health inspection?

Try as I might,  I couldn’t find any independent verification of the claim of teaching a Discovery Channel show,  so I’m am throwing shade on this claim,  even though I totally believe that he is telling anyone with a pulse that horsemeat is just fab.  But when Teacher Appreciation Day rolls around,  I’ll have to give you a pass – sorry!

And now,  for a revelation that will give any attention whore pause…………wait for it……….

The last and most interesting development for the evening  is that an anonymous tipster,  who ate at La Palette and saw our protest outside,  reached out  to me via the blog.  One half of

La Palette Receipt

La Palette Receipt

the couple who dined there described Shamez’ demeanor as “perpetually pissed-off” on this evening (weekly jousts with protesters and cops might have that effect).  Ventilation was also terrible – the tipster described the place as being full of greasy smoke – the host apparently discourages patrons from sitting up front where the air is fresher,  because of the protesters!

I guess there’s nothing like greasy smoke for shabby-chic ambiance – but if it were me Shamez,  I would have made “improved ventilation” one of the “renos” that you were going to complete during the shutdown.  Other notable comments were that these diners felt that,  although they enjoyed their entrees,   they were overcharged for tiny portions  (there must be an inverse relationship between the size of the chef’s ego and the portion size – the bigger the ego of the chef – the tinier the portion?) and that the place was generally “underwhelming”  for various reasons. No wonder Amlani feels that he has to rely on the serving of horsemeat to prop up the resto – perhaps $18 for an entree “the size of your fist” isn’t going to cut it.

Is the National Post Biased in Favour of Horse Slaughter? (Or are they biased against the NDP?)

Standard

Is the National Post biased in favour of horse slaughter?

Some of you may have seen journalist Kelly McParland’s disparaging commentary,  “NDP MP Puts Emotion Ahead of Jobs in Attack on Horse Meat Industry,” in the National Post on July 24, 2012.

Sinikka is interviewed at Calgary Billboard Officlal Launch

CHDC Executive Director Sinikka is interviewed at Calgary Billboard Official Launch on July 23, 2012

Even if we don’t care about McParland’s opinionated drivel and his bashing of the New Democratic Party, what is truly disappointing is the fact that the Post hasn’t bothered to publish an opposing view by way of a letter to the editor. Such a letter was sent to the National Post on July 25, 2012, by Canadian Horse Defence Coalition Executive Director, Sinikka Crosland, who attended the Calgary press conference at the site of the Stop Slaughtering Us billboard. You may read the CHDC letter at the end of this blog post.

Since news coverage is traditionally respected for factual reporting that presents both sides of issues, a simple medium for keeping people up-to-date on happenings, we question why writers like McParland are permitted to prattle on at length, expressing their opinions ad nauseum, while opposite sides of issues that they present may never be raised at all. If this strikes you as poor journalism, please feel free to express your views to the Editor of the National Post.   Please also refer to Vickery Eckhoff’s excellent examination of the Wall Street Journal’s reporting on horse slaughter.

Your message may be something as simple as:

I have read Kelly McParland’s article in Full Comment, NDP MP puts emotion ahead of jobs in attack on horse meat industry, and I would like to ask why the National Post has not published any letters to the editor on the cruelty and human health risks surrounding the issue of horse slaughter. Neither has the Post covered this issue in an in-depth article. To allow Mr. McParland to express his short-sighted views on the subject, without permitting the facts to be aired, presents a very unbalanced picture that is contrary to what many believe news reporting should consist of. Is the National Post actually a Tory publication?

Or you may decide to write your own opinion piece entirely. Please visit www.defendhorsescanada.org for more information on horse slaughter.

Also please feel free to circulate this alert on behalf of the horses.

© Frances Bull

© Frances Bull

CHDC Letter to Editor of National Post:
Dear Editor,

RE: NDP puts emotion ahead of jobs in attack on horsemeat industry, by Kelly McParland

Kelly McParland’s uninformed article begs a response as well as an invitation to seek out the truth for himself rather than relying upon foxes in the henhouse to supply the facts.

There is no point in speculating at length whether horses are treated with “any less care than cows, pigs, sheep, chickens or any of the other animals that humans eat”. Certainly, those deaths are not free of suffering either. But let’s not deviate. We’re talking about horses here, a species of animal that is not easy to kill humanely. Undercover video evidence of stunning practices at four separate equine slaughter plants in Canada speaks for itself, revealing a horrific account of panicked “flight” animals attempting to flee their tormentors and sustaining multiple stun wounds that cause extreme pain but not insensibility. Footage shows one horse being stunned eleven times (www.defendhorsescanada.org, Investigations, Pasture to Plate). This cruelty should rattle the cage of even the most weak-kneed animal welfare laws and principles. Horses have long been regarded our companions and working partners, animals with whom humans have enjoyed a close relationship. Would we tolerate such abuse of our beloved dogs and cats?

If McParland is not concerned about what drugs may be present in horsemeat shipped overseas, surely it wouldn’t be a stretch to consider health risks to Canadian citizens who eat the product. Horsemeat is consumed to some extent in Quebec. McParland notes that the CFIA has a “zero tolerance for phenylbutazone” in horsemeat, and certainly the agency has made that statement. However, when horses enter the slaughter pipeline from many directions, and profit is the driving force for those involved in the horsemeat business, it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to realize what actually happens behind the scenes. The Equine Information Document required by the CFIA invites fraud; undercover photos taken of these documents at a Canadian slaughter plant in 2011 revealed sloppy documentation and missing data. Phenylbutazone is the most commonly prescribed veterinary drug in Canada and the U.S. for injuries and inflammatory conditions in horses. Sellers wishing to offload their lame horses at auctions frequently use “bute” to mask the symptoms, and thoroughbred racehorses run on the drug. Somehow, that “zero tolerance” concept begins to sound like a pipe dream.

Lastly, such a defensive rant from Kelly McParland, as he attempts to discredit the NDP party, can mean only one thing. He’s afraid of change and the effect that new, environmentally sustainable and sensible policies would have on Canada.

Now what was all that rhetoric about emotions?

Sinikka Crosland, Executive Director
Canadian Horse Defence Coalition

Please support Bill C-322 to end horse slaughter in Canada

Please support Bill C-322 to end horse slaughter in Canada

Bute – It`s What`s for Dinner!

Standard

When I first saw this gem of a conversation,  it really called out to me.  It needed a response.  Looking at it,  I just couldn’t believe the wealth of material it offered.  It was/is overwhelming.  That noise you just heard dear reader?  That is the sound of neurons withering. The more I read these types of  posts the more I realize that I’m in need of some kind of prophylactic.  Once again we are venturing down the path of rejecting or banning any science that happens to conflict with the pro-slaughter personal philosophy, politics,  prejudices,  or paranoia.  These snippets of posts truly indicate that for every complex problem,  there is an answer that is clear,  simple,  and wrong.  I hope I never feel so compelled to respond to another bute posting by a pro-slaughter – their continual claims about bute are kinda of like saying “She Bangs” is William Hung’s best song.  It’s also his only song,  and if you’ve heard him sing,  you know he shouldn’t give up his day job!

Thank you to the lone anti-slaughter proponent who used reason and logic to counter these statements.  Thank you Shedrow,  for your excellent treatment of these same passages,  as you always do.  Props to you both!  I applaud you both as “Warriors Against Claptrap.”  I thought it might be interesting to “tag team” the comments of individuals who want to make scientific claims,  but can’t quite subject themselves to the same scrutiny that real scientists do every day.

Most of these arguments put forth by the pro-slaughters are really a form of science denialism.  Here’s one of the best quotes on scientific denialism (this is a real movement BTW) by Martin McKee,  an epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.  He studies denialism,  and has identified six tactics that all science denialists use.  “I’m not suggesting there is a manual somewhere, but one can see these elements, to varying degrees, in many settings,” he says (The European Journal of Public Health, vol 19, p 2).

  1.  Allege that there’s a conspiracy.  Claim that scientific consensus has arisen through collusion rather than the accumulation of evidence.
  2. Use fake experts to support your story.  “Denial always starts with a cadre of pseudo-experts with some credentials that create a façade of credibility,”  says Seth Kalichman of the University of Connecticut.
  3. Cherry-pick the evidence:  trumpet whatever appears to support your case and ignore or rubbish the rest.  Carry on trotting out supportive evidence even after it has been discredited.
  4. Create impossible standards for your opponents.  Claim that the existing evidence is not good enough and demand more.  If your opponent comes up with evidence you have demanded,  move the goalposts.
  5. Use logical fallacies.  Hitler opposed smoking,  so anti-smoking measures are Nazi.  Deliberately misrepresent the scientific consensus and then knock down your straw man.
  6. Manufacture doubt.  Falsely portray scientists as so divided that basing policy on their advice would be premature.  Insist “both sides” must be heard and cry censorship when “dissenting” arguments or experts are rejected.

Sound familiar?

Here we go!

.

“So here is a big question for all people out there. Bute. Although I’m not sure I heard it mentioned too much before the AR’s realized that the horse slaughter ban was not working and there was indeed going to be a push for horse slaughter to come back. Now as I see it “Logically. I get the fact that it’s something that is not to be put in the food chain. It’s not about that. It’s about a withdrawal time. Now Anti’s will say “there is no withdrawal time for bute” And technically they are correct. There is no DOCUMENTED. And I stress the word “documented” over and over again. a withdrawal time for bute simply does not exists in horses because. It has never been tested for. And really that makes sense. Why test a drug in a animal that there is no slaughter for human consumption for in your country at the time. But it doesn’t mean it does not have a withdrawal time that can be discovered. Cattle have a withdrawal time for all the same drugs. So it’s not a the drugs that lingers in the blood stream for the life time of the animal. I also like to say re treating of the animal is needed which would also lend itself to the concept that the liver of the horse purifies itself of all the drug that is ingested. See I think once a withdrawal date is figured out it would be extremely simple to work around the problem. A simple quarantine would do the trick. 30 days in a feedlot for example. what do you think?”

I think you’re guessing,  that’s what I think.  It’s the metabolized compound that can kill youThe doctors and veterinarians who attempted to refute Dr. Marini et al’s study expected pro-slaughters to accept their supposition even though it exemplified an argument from ignorance,  which started out as an appeal to authority.  How did this happen?  Sue Wallis and Dave Duquette asked everyone to accept the word of a veterinarian who is an expert in his own field (body scoring),  but who is commenting on a field outside of his area of expertise. Dr. Henneke supports the assertion that bute exits the system completely.  So what?  He’s not a toxicologist.  When you want to discuss the Henneke scale,  Dr. H is one guy to call.  Similarly,  if Einstein makes a suggestion about relativity,  you’d better listen. If he tries to tell you how to ride a horse,  you can tell him to keep his day job.  Read Dr. Marini’s response here.

In a survey, 96% of respondents said they used nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to control the joint pain and inflammation in horses, and 82% administer them without always consulting their veterinarian. More than 1,400 horse owners and trainers were surveyed to better understand attitudes toward NSAIDs.  Additionally,  99 percent of horses that started in California last year raced on bute, according to Daily Racing Form.

In the US, Canada, and the EU, bute is not permitted to be used for food animals. PERIOD. That simple acknowledgement renders any other discussion on toxicology rather moot (not “mute”). There are no safe levels for known carcinogens,  which is why it’s pointless to discuss to what degree bute is or is not eliminated from the tissues. Harm is assumed.  Discussions of toxicity or “safe levels” are reserved for non-carcinogenic effects. Non-carcinogens are assessed with a different type of dose-response study than that for carcinogens.

Furthermore, the “precautionary principle” is recognized in international law, and it of course stresses that the absence of scientific certainty about a risk should not bar the taking of precautionary measures in the face of possible irreversible harm.

.
“commission a study, and petition the fda, usda, cfda and the eu to change their laws and there you go.
k so would they? what loops would you have to jump through?”

The cost of most of the basic and translational biomedical research in the U.S. is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Unfortunately, the NIH budget has been stagnant for the last few years.  Who will pay for this study?  A proper study on the health effects of consuming bute may have to follow participants through their lives for 20 years or so.  And you would have to conduct a study of current horsemeat consumers,  because no epidemiologists will subject non-consumers of horsemeat to a study of contaminated food unless they were already typically eating it,  because that would be unethical,  as it would be unethical to ask people to start smoking so you could study them.

There are over 8500 references to bute on the Pubmed database.  Are you suggesting that we don’t yet have sufficient data?  If you have anything less than a study of this calibre (20 years or so) then you may as well be publishing the results in the New England Journal of “Who Gives a Rat’s Ass.”

.
“No need to worry much about what will be approved and for what withdrawal time. Markets demand issue free food sources. A quick test of the animal to show it is substance free and it gets the stamp on its butt and off it goes. First nations have 100,000 animals that are good to go till the rest of the market gets in line. Its like sports testing , what ever happened before is mute as long as the test comes out good. Export operations have other countries to deal with other then the US so why would they even consider trying to convince any of them that this or that is safe. I always wondered why the pro people just don’t give the AR’s a win on the bute issue and move on. Trying to convince anyone that any chemical will be OK come a certain point is a tough sell.”

The gold standard for testing drug residues is liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Chromatographic techniques are used in order to separate compounds, and mass spectrometry to identify them.  You need equipment and/or a lab in order to conduct a test of this quality.  Again,  where would this equipment be housed?  Furthermore,  you would need to test a helluva lot more animals than the CFIA currently tests,  which is somewhere around 1% of all animals slaughtered.   Currently Canada relies on the EU to catch our errors and omissions.  Wonder how long they will tolerate that?

Speaking of sports testing,  it’s interesting to note that a competitor for the Tour de France (in France, where they serve horsemeat) came under scrutiny after testing positive for Clenbuterol. It was suspected that he ate contaminated meat, although I don’t believe anything was proven.

I think Canada has just found a way to win at the Olympics in 2016! Who is the host country in 2016?? Next time we host the summer Olympics is the opportune time to eliminate a good chunk of competitors from France, Kazahkstan and Kyrgyzstan this way. Go Gerry Ritz! Team Canada all the way!

.
I think the study would have to come from the USDA or FDA to be recognized, wouldnt it? I cant see them accepting a commisioned study by an intrest group.”

For a minute there I thought he wrote “inbred” group – you know how you scan through something when reading quickly?  Here’s the thing,  science trumps politics any day.  Science SHOULD inform politics,  but unfortunately,  that doesn’t often happen.

Karl Popper wrote about the scientific method and what makes a good study.   It is possible for “special interest groups” to conduct legitimate studies if all the correct procedures are followed.  If you have a theory that metabolites of bute are harmless or that withdrawal times could be established,  then you must start with your theory and create your study from there.


“But to get it done right now you need to figure something out you know what? What if you tested after they were hung? any part of the horse can be tested then and could you not put a horse to different uses. Say if she has bute she’s fertilizer…, kind of a deal.”

So you’re going to leave these horses at the bleed rail while you send a sample off for the liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry tests?  Of course that will seriously mess with your production scheduling.  It would be a logistical nightmare,  because although mass spectrometry tests are quick (relative to other tests) you must either have a lab (with trained technicians) on the premises or you must send your samples out to a lab or university.  Meanwhile,  your horses are still hung up (literally) on the bleed rail waiting on the results.

“Another question…sorry again for my lack of knowledge here. When I do toxicity tests on paint samples, I

liquid chromatograph-mass spectrometer

This is not a photocopier – it`s a liquid chromatograph-mass spectrometer

get info based on certain test parameters (3-5 depending on what the part is used for in the car). I also send a paint sample to the state lab. They do studies to see how long certain chemicals in the paint stay in the body…all a result of lead-based paints they used 60+ years ago. Why couldnt a simalar process be put in place for this bute stuff? If they know how long it lingers in tissues, they can put a hold on the animals until that time frame is expired, then do a drug sample of the horses as they process them. It might be a little bit of a bugger to start off, but within a couple of weeks, it would flow like a well oiled machine….if you’ll pardon my pun! Hehehe”

Please don’t apologize for your lack of understanding.  We’re pretty much used to it by now.  It’s your mantra really,  isn’t it?  I’m honestly glad you’re not in charge of the food system,  what with your analogy that testing meat is comparable to testing paint samples.

“If you had a stream line way to test a carcass. would that not be the surest fire way to do it? of course I don’t know what the test would be.But I would think a quick test ought to be developed. It’s not that it’s a impossible situation. You just got to figure on how to get around it till you have a system in place to work it right. the inspectors have been refunded and slaughter (should) be back. I think this is something that needs a thought.”

I’ve just described how it would be.  It has been developed.   And I’ve got news for you,  You’ve all been “getting around it” for years and it’s come home to roost,  hasn’t it?  Getting around regulations is hardly a  “best practice” for a business now,  is it?  Getting around rules gets you in deep shit,  just ask Enron.

“I think if you had a sure fire way you’d havce a premium. If food saftey is a issue you pay your safest countries good dollar and give a premium.”

“I like the post above that allowed for the non-buted horses to be sold for human consumption and the positive ones for commercial application. Still using the animal’s carcass in a positive manner. No one ever said human consumption was the only viable market.”

And you send the pharmaceutical grade horsemeat to the poor countries?  According to the EID,  they’re all “non-buted” aren’t they?  What are the other “viable markets?”  Dog food isn’t one of them,  since collies and other breeds of dogs are sensitive to ivermectin wormers.  The only proper thing you could do with the carcasses is throw them away, incincerate them,  or mass compost them.  Keep the skins,  hair,  hooves, and process them into other by-products.  Not sure the cost of killing the horse would make the sale of these by-products cost-effective either.  Or you could simply euthanize them,  which is what happens to 90% of all horses that die in the US and Canada each year.


“EU isn’t the only market for horses; Asiatic countries count for a great deal if the market. And since we have been giving Bute for decades and slaughter has only been banned 5-6 years for human consumption, why is this an issue now? Test the meat like they always do, always have done, always will do (just like beef, pork, poultry) and move on.”

“don’t forget south american market as well for horse meat! caribbean nations love their horse meat as well.”

I see that the milk of human kindness overflows.  I thought Sue Wallis was going to donate horsemeat to “underprivileged countries” that had billions of starving people? And those markets haven’t caught on yet.  So,  like other big corporations who have poisoned unsuspecting citizens of 2nd and 3rd world countries,  let’s dump this shit on these brown-skinned people who haven’t yet caught on.  This poster clearly believes in that old saying “Caveat Fornicata – Let The Person About To Get Fvcked Beware.”

“I don’t have a problem with anyone being against slaughter, it’s just that not many are willing to offer up a better idea in place. They are going to have to die. That’s just real life…so what do we do with them?”

90% of horse owners already have this one figured out.  But there are many suggestions,  this list is not comprehensive either:

Many solutions have been proposed, most supporters of the GAO report stopped reading when they got to the part where it recommended a slaughter ban –

  • Ban slaughter and a transport to slaughter.
  • Enact an export fee of around xx.xx dollar value on any horse leaving the country, where xx.xx is a sum that is significant enough to deter illegitimate export but not financially restrictive on actual horse owners.
  • Distribute the money collected to be used for gelding clinics, funds for retired racehorses, owner assistance programs, hay banks, grants for adoption, care of seized horses, euthanization clinics, and PROSECUTE offenders who neglect and abuse. Horse registries should collect a breeding TAX which again, is distributed to cover the above. Although it’s not a major source of donations right now, bequests also help occasionally. And never forget that education is key to responsible ownership.
  • Enterprising business people SHOULD see an opportunity for composting/rendering of horses, perhaps on a mobile basis. Without slaughter, people might start actually TRAINING their horses instead of dumping them at an auction. Obviously, the availability of slaughter is not a preventative for abuse, case in point – the largest neglect case in Texas’ history took place at a property owned by a vet just outside of Dallas, when Dallas Crowne and Beltex were open.
  • I would also like to see offspring that are approved in order to be accepted into a breed registry, which is what the warmblood registries require – when was the last time you saw a warmblood on a feedlot?
  • The fact that breed registries show a decline is positive, but since horses live an average of 20 years, it will take several years to see the effect of the decline. Bouvry and Richelieu have already published an accounting that states that they will no longer accept TBs, ostensibly because of the drugs and the fact that most racetracks have invoked no-slaughter policies. We don’t sell cat and dog meat at the end of their lives; breeding of cats and dogs and irresponsible ownership still plague us, because no solution to horse slaughter is without problems. Animal ownership is never without problems, because there are always going to be people who aren’t willing to look after their animals, and the presence of slaughter does not change that. Certainly slaughter is problematic, no?

What everyone is whining about is not much different (aside from the fact we are dealing with sentient animals) from what happened to the Airline industry in the US after September 11. Demand for air travel was reduced after the terrorist attacks, while at the same time use of the internet made it possible to book travel plans and compare the prices of the various airlines – this FORCED the airlines to compete on a cost basis. Then of course the airlines experienced dramatic fuel costs and had to cut back on amenities that had been taken for granted for decades. The industry wasn’t expecting any of this and certainly wasn’t prepared, but they were COMPELLED to act or cease to exist. The cessation of horse slaughter would compel similar reaction from individuals, breeders, and others in the industry. You can’t fix slaughter with all the current players. The Trent Saulters and Dorian Ayache’s will always be around, causing transport accidents and morphing into new business entities, running from the law and avoiding paying their fines. The industry is hardly made up of the most outstanding citizens.

The point is that, despite the best laid plans, people, governments, and organizations tend not to react until a problem reaches critical mass – that’s human nature unfortunately. Of course, necessity is the mother of invention, right? Lastly, I’m not buying any claims made by Wallis, Duquette or DesBarres.

“ll for whoever wants to open the plants it’s up to them nobody else. Again it’s a choice. If some one wants to choose to open a slaughter plant it’s there deal. If they do humanley and do things all properly it’s there decision. Simple.“

Let me drop a fat “no” on that one.  It’s the government’s job to regulate chemicals and toxins,  and citizens have an expectation that this will be done with adherence to the “precautionary principle.”  The public has a legitimate concern that chemicals used in drugs,  commerce, and foods,  will be prudently evaluated for unreasonable risk. Risk is a function of exposure and hazards presented by a chemical over its lifetime. Unreasonable risk adds consideration of technical, economic, and societal impacts. Canada is implementing a law that requires screening of chemicals in commerce to ensure that the government identifies, evaluates, and takes appropriate action for those chemicals posing the highest risks.

“Yes it is about choice…., that is what AR’s want to do take away your choice. You really haven’t understood this page at all have you? It’s simple AR’s are lying to push there agenda down every ones throat. we explain it to people why they are lies. The more I talk to you the more I understand you don’t care about folks choice to do what they deem right. Your more about controlling the slaughter issue. we discussed bute allot of good examples were given to get around Bute and you bring up Marketing…, Now is that a real reason to stop slaughter? don’t think so. Cause it is the owners of the plants choice to do it correctly If they wanna take the chance that the market may not be there later. Where does that concern you? It doesn’t. But because you are a anti you make it your decision to try to push beliefs on any body who will listen.., that’s not going to work here. If you don’t like the way the page is run don’t comment it’s not hard to understand really.”

Gimme a break!  (shoutout to Nell Carter)  Reasonable, rational people who are not fact-challenged,  UNDERSTAND,  even if they do not ACCEPT.   No one cares if you ACCEPT the response,  only that you UNDERSTAND the response.   Blaming the messenger never changes the facts,  because a fact cannot be insolent – and you have no right to be offended merely because you don’t like or agree with said fact.

If you are going to argue badly,  why bother to do it at all?  Too many people are merely mimicking what rational discussion sounds like to them.  For the only ways any views can be reasonably challenged are by the supported claim that (1) the conclusion is not true, (2) that the evidence is not true, or (3) that the evidence is insufficient to justify the conclusion. The only ways you can have mistaken beliefs of any sort is to have faulty evidence — evidence that is not true or that, even if it is true, still does not support your beliefs.


Anyway,  this has been another instalment of “Simple Answers to Simple Questions.”  The bute ship has sunk,  so please stop re-arranging the deck chairs.

 

Letter Writing Campaign to End Horse Slaughter – Email Us Your Letters Now!

Standard
Join the children's letter writing campaign!

Join the children’s letter writing campaign!

  • This campaign began as an effort to help Save North American Horses from slaughter, Equine Welfare Alliance in cooperation with Congressman Jim Moran Letter Writing Campaign to Congress and the President of the United States,  and in Canada Alex Atamanenko,  MP of BC Southern Interior.  We are asking everyone to engage their friends, family and associates in the civic process of affecting positive change through the petitioning of their governments.
  • We now have entered into Phase 2 of the project which is a multifaceted approach which in addition to children writing letters (phase 1), we are also now gathering letters from adults, focusing on a media campaign to help educate the general public on the issue of horse slaughter and how fight to end the slaughter of US horses once and for all.
  • We have a radio PSA which is available, we will be focusing on getting the word out into our local papers as well as national media outlets through; articles, radio interviews, TV coverage, handing out flyers at local events both horse related and non horse related. We are open to new ideas and suggestions and welcome contacts with media.
  • For more information on the horse slaughter issue please visit:
  • These three sites are dedicated solely to eradicating horse slaughter for human consumption in the US and Canada as well as the transport and export of US horses for slaughter.  Our goals are:
  1. The passage of Senate Bill 1176 and House Bill 2966 the American Slaughter Horse Slaughter Prevention Act
  2. Ensuring the defunding of the inspection of horse slaughter by the USDA in the Ag Appropriation Bill by the inclusion of the Moran Amendment
  3. Passing Canadian Bill C-322 An Act to amend the Health of Animals Act and the Meat Inspection Act (slaughter of horses for human consumption)
  • Final date for submission of American letters is September 15th, 2012 with presentation in DC on September 20th, 2012. In addition, the videos being collected by  Saveourhorses.org will be presented as well as the signatures from the Change.org petition.
  • Remember we are also still collecting letters from children at the same address and the Children’s page is located here on Facebook  or on the web at the Equine Welfare Alliance.
  • Address Canadian Letters (one page maximum please)  to:

Click Here to Mail Your Letter!

Alex Atamanenko, MP for BC Southern Interior

(Please remember to include your full name and at least the town/city you live in).

<——– Click the Gmail Icon to send your letter!  I’ll print it and send it on for you!  Easy Peasy!  If you use internet email only – email me @campaigntoendhorseslaughter@gmail.com

In the letters we recommend the following talking points.

    • Taxes/Budget – the food safety budget was cut.taking away money from inspecting animals we raise as food and which we eat, to inspect a meat not raised under food safety guidelines.  Money would be better spent ensuring that better inspection of current food stuffs be completed so that outbreaks of listeria, e coli, salmonella, etc do not occur and lives are not lost as a result.
  • Food Safety – we have strict guidelines under which our food animals must be raised, yet horses are not raised for food under those food safety guidelines.  We give our horses which are banned by the FDA, CFIA and EUFSA from use in ANY animal intended for human consumption at any time in it’s life.  Currently CFIA tests about 600 out of 400,000 animals for Phenylbutazone contamination.  The FDA classifies horses as companion animals.
  • Horse Slaughter was not and is not humane.
  • There are other options to handle horses who’s owners find themselves in financial straights and those options are being expanded all over the country.  It’s time the govt and  the breed registries get behind these options.  Hay banks, shelter in place programs, retraining options, low cost gelding and euthanasia.

In addition if you are physically mailing your letter via the Facebook campaign, please include a copy of it, also if you have a horse, cut off the label on a product you use, de-wormer, Bute, etc… and attach it to the letter and make a copy as well.

Slaughterhouse Sue and Bill DesBarres – The IEBA Emperors Have No Clothes!

Standard

The Emperor Has No Clothes

Written by:  Heather Clemenceau

For those of you who have forgotten, Hans Christian Andersen’s fable about The Emperor’s New Clothes involves an emperor commissioning two tailors to make him a set of clothes. According to the tailors, who set out to dupe the Emperor, the new clothes will be invisible to anyone who is either incompetent or stupid. And so the emperor parades about naked rather than admit to being incompetent or stupid, all the while being applauded on all sides by sycophantic courtiers and subjects. Everyone pretends to see the remarkable clothes. However, a child cries out, “he hasn’t got any clothes on.”

Whether clothing or facts – the invisible and non-existent look very much alike.

Show your compassion - kill horses now!

Show your compassion – beat the rush! kill horses now!

This parable is of course very similar to the viewpoint that Slaughterhouse Sue Wallis and Bill DesBarres,  and the rest of their sycophantic followers in the United Horsemen’s Group and the Horse Welfare Association of Canada maintain – that everyone who cannot see their viewpoint must be an idiot or a knuckle-dragger of single-digit intelligence.

Like the Emperor,  Wallis and DesBarres aren’t wearing any clothes (unfortunately, some visuals you can’t unsee,  but if all else fails,  perhaps a little steel wool and industrial bleach might be in order?) and to that end,  she and Bill DesBarres have aligned themselves with professional lobbyists who will task themselves with the responsibility of convincing the gubbermint that Sue and Bill are indeed  splendid “emperors” for the pro-slaughter cause!  And if they can’t convince everyone,  they’ll just attempt to force through pro-slaughter legislation no matter what the 80% have to say about it………. Wallis’ “brand” is underfire and she’s been publicly shamed on many issues.  Recall that after Sue Wallis was summarily kicked out of Mountain Grove Missouri,  she threw all her toys out of the pram and huffed,  “Discussion’s over. Make all the noise you want.  We’re going into business.”  To that end,  Wallis has apparently contracted with a couple of lobbyists who can pitch horse slaughter in a way that she and DesBarres are apparently unable to do (anyone who has followed my other blog post on Wallis knows that she is suffering from “hoof ‘n’ mouth” disease).

Organization Structure - IEBA Gang of Five

Organization Structure – IEBA Gang of Five

T. Howard Mains, Co-President – Tactix Government Consulting Inc.

Howard Mains is a maple syrup farmer who has made his entire career one of downplaying the risk of pesticides, herbicides, and dioxins in food, promoting Big Ag over organic farming, while making sure that government policies are aligned with the corporate objectives of companies such as Dow and Monsanto.  He has “developed and implemented several product defence strategies,”  which basically means that he makes his living defending the products of Big Ag and Big Chem by lobbying the government to convince them that products like herbicides typically containing dioxin, such as 2,4-d,  otherwise known as Agent Orange,  isn’t really all that bad. Mains is part of a group of American and Canadian lobbyists who assert that reviews by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, confirm that pesticides in approved uses pose no health threat.  Now,  I’m not in a position to claim what exposures to pesticides are or are not “safe,”  but dioxins are among the most toxic chemicals ever made by man;  they are chemically very stable and therefore break down extremely slowly in the environment. Furthermore,  dioxins bioaccumulate – they collect in fatty tissue, and become concentrated in animals higher up the food chain. This fact is not in dispute.

Howard Mains organic food tweet - threatened by organic food?

Howard Mains organic food tweet – threatened by organic food? And who are the “Toxic Terrorists?”

Most people are familiar with the most dangerous form of dioxin used during the Vietnam War – defoliant Agent Orange. War veterans exposed to Agent Orange have developed chronic  lymphocytic leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease and non-Hodgkins lymphoma and diabetes. Many children of veterans exposed have been affected by their parents’ exposure to the chemical and show a wide range of symptoms.  But one doesn’t need to have been exposed to a massive overdose of dioxin in order to gain the attention of the Canadian Cancer Society;   acting on the precautionary principle, the British Columbia and Yukon branches of the CCS have called for a moratorium on the cosmetic use of pesticides.

howard mains - public scientifically illiterate

Howard Mains – public scientifically illiterate

As a consumer (and a scientifically literate one at that),  I can tell you that I no longer trust any government agency,  particularly the CFIA,  which,  as we know,  has been using the EU as a dumping ground for toxic horsemeat. The CFIA is hardly transparent or accountable as any Canadian horse advocate knows well enough by now, and the knowledge that Mains has or will be lobbying them on his own or on behalf of the IEBA (International Equine Business Association) as a front for Slaughterhouse Sue Wallis is hardly comforting.   Curiously,  Mains appears to be silent on the issue of Phenylbutazone and Clenbuterol recently found in horsemeat that originated from Canada,  and the use of non-food animals in the food system.  Perhaps we haven’t heard from him on the issue of horsemeat (yet) so long as payment from the IEBA or Sue Wallis is a prerequisite.  Slaughter Spin-Meister Sue may not actually have any money to pay lobbyists or invest in her slaughter empire,  even though she has maintained that she is actively engaged in renovating slaughter plants that she doesn’t actually own.  What could possibly go wrong?

Explain these canines?

Explain these canines?

Big Ag lobbyists like Howard don’t really seem to like vegetarians/vegans or people who want to live more organically or off the CAFO grid.  That’s not to say that organic foods don’t come with some of their own issues,  because of course they do. But Howard Mains thinks that anyone who doesn’t fall in line with Big Ag, CAFO  thinking must subscribe to repeating scary campfire stories about chemicals and must by default be an anti-technology, anti-business, anti-progress ideologue whose diatribes are not based on science. The science actually proves that dioxin has been found in milk, cheese, beef, pork, fish, chicken, and other animals, as well as soil and sewage sludge.  According to the FDA,  although dioxins are environmental contaminants, most dioxin exposure occurs through the diet, with over 95% coming through dietary intake of animal fats.  Agent Orange was widely used in Ontario on Crown land up until the 70s. 

Howard Mains doesn’t discriminate only in favour of herbicides either.  In a Power Point presentation of his own creation,  Mains states:

“The current scientific evidence indicates that the general public need not be concerned as levels of BPA present in food do

Children's letter writing campaigns exploit children,  but this is OK Howard?

Children’s letter writing campaigns exploit children as “enviro-terror lobbyists?”

not pose a health risk. ”   I’m not sure what “scientific evidence” Mains attributes to this reasoning,  since there is plenty of evidence that Bisphenols exert detectable hormone-like properties  and the Pubmed database contains over 3,000 references to Bisphenols. Endocrine disruptors cause developmental,  neurological,  and immunological effects in both humans and wildlife.

Although Mains appears to be loathe to acknowledge it,  casual use of phenoxy herbicides are directly correlated with environmental hazards.According to the Canadian Environmental Law Association, “Pesticides have been either associated with, or more often, are suspected as contributing to, impaired cognitive development in children, increased rates of cancer, brain tumours, asthma, and immune system problems.” Pesticides have been linked to breast cancer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas. A study by the Stanford University’s School of Medicine indicates Parkinson’s disease is linked to home pesticide use.

Toronto’s former Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Sheela Basrur, states, “The use of lawn care pesticides is a public health issue of growing concern. When risks to human health are unnecessary or uncertain, the wisest course of action is to substitute alternatives rather than incurring risks that may prove unacceptable in the long run.” The World Health Organization estimates that 220,000 people die every year from pesticide poisoning and three million people are poisoned. You have to connect the dots here – when governments are lobbied to accept the use of products that are not in the best interests of its

Gerry Ritz - Most Popular with Lobbyists!

Gerry Ritz – Most Popular with Lobbyists! @lobbywatcher collects and consolidates tweets to see whose doors swing open the widest to people paid to influence government policy.

citizens,  lobbyists have to accept some of the blame!

And although Slaughterhouse Sue and her United Horsemen’s followers are quick to complain about children’s anti-slaughter letter writing campaigns,  Howard Mains has no qualms about employing children in his own Power Point presentations minimizing the impact of pesticide use.

Mains was also involved in a NAFTA Chapter 11 dispute against the former Quebec NDP Environment Minister Thomas Mulcair and the Province of Quebec when it came to banning sales of herbicide 2,4-D.  Mains represented Dow AgroSciences and Monsanto,  who are perpetually concerned about the economic issues surrounding a ban of their products,  against the Province of Quebec.

The Dow AgroSciences case against Quebec was the result of changes to the province’s Pesticide Management Code, first tabled in July 2002, banning the use of several pesticides for residential lawn applications. Mains,  representing Big Chem,  challenged (or bullied?) the government to “prove that 2,4-D did not pose an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment, provided that the instructions on their label are followed, as concluded by Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency decision on the re-evaluation of 2,4-D.”  Although the Government of Quebec had the right to regulate the sale and use of 2,4-D,  they were LOBBIED and coerced to back down to Dow and Monsanto in this example.  Mains was also part of a group of people working within the landscaping industry who had lobbied Quebec’s National Assembly to take 2,4-D off of its list of banned products.

For this and other reasons, a recent report released by the Union of Concerned Scientists gave Dow and Monsanto a stern talking-to about what the term “sustainable agriculture”  actually means, and why what they’re doing isn’t it.  Research also suggests that pesticides such as Roundup may also be linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma.  Unsurprisingly, Roundup/glycophosate wreaks havoc on beneficial insects, amphibians, and birds who are foolish enough to try to exist in their natural habitats. Take note,  Howard Mains.

Keep Calm..........

Keep Calm……….and try not to lose your shit

Knowing that most disease is idiopathic – without known cause or mechanics,  it behooves governments to utilize the precautionary principle.  Researchers investigating the long-term immune effects of dioxin have found that exposure to dioxin during development or while nursing diminishes the capacity to fight infection later in life. The study, published in Toxicological Sciences, reported that mouse pups born to pregnant mice that were exposed to a small amount of dioxins had fewer white blood cells that normally kill the flu virus and more of a different kind that increases lung inflammation.

The study entitled, “The aryl hydrocarbon receptor affects distinct tissue compartments during ontogeny of the immune system,” aimed to identify the critical windows of exposure where fetuses are most sensitive to dioxin’s harmful effects. Pregnant mice were given a dose of 1,000 ppt dioxin either during pregnancy, lactation, or throughout pregnancy and lactation. After dosing, mothers and pups were kept dioxin-free. Researchers then infected mothers and pups with a non-lethal dose of the influenza virus.

“These results illustrate how dioxin exposure in the womb, and/or during nursing, can permanently impact the development of the immune system. They also reaffirm the significance of the impacts of early exposures to harmful chemicals which can result in long-term changes that affect normal biological responses later in life. One notable aspect of this study was that changes in immune response were observed even though the pups were exposed a few times to a low-level dose of dioxin. This means that short-term exposures (as opposed to long-term, continuous exposures) can have significant long-term impact, especially if these exposures occur during important early developmental stages.”

True to form,  any lobbyist defending 2,4-D,  pesticides,  or even phenylbutazone use, would claim that much of animal research isn’t translational to humans.  I guess that’s why research shows that cell phone microwaves cause long term memory loss in rats or phenylbutazone use can cause serious side-effects in horses,  but neither of these things harms people.  Evidently,  we are of a different,  more bullet-proof mammalian stock.

Thank you Sir,  may I have another?  Certainly,  dear reader;  this brings us to our second IEBA co-conspirator,  Steve Kopperud:

Steve Kopperud, Executive Vice President – Policy Directions Inc.

Steve Kopperud is executive vice president of Policy Directions Inc., a Washington, DC government affairs/specialty communications company specializing in animal production agriculture, nutrition, agribusiness, biotechnology, animal health and welfare, food, farm policy, trade and ag research and human health-related issues.  Kopperud was senior vice president of the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), for nearly 18 years prior to joining Policy Directions. Kopperud considers himself an authority on “animal activist assaults on animal agriculture and food technology.”  He coordinates the Washington, DC-based Farm Animal Welfare Coalition (FAWC), a national coalition of farm, ranch and input organizations involved in livestock/poultry production.  Kopperud again continues along the theme of scientifically unenlightened consumers as “liabilities” along with the ever-present threat of animal and environmental activism.  Steve has made it his life’s mission to protect Big Ag and biomedical research from animal rights and environmental “radicals.” I daresay,  if Slaughterhouse Sue ever decides to leave her semi-literate poet hubby for a guy in Washington,  Steve would be the ideal partner – he hates anyone who strives to preserve the environment as much as she does!

From the AFIA's latest propaganda "meating."  They're not referring to human vegetarians either.

From the AFIA’s latest propaganda “meating.” They’re not referring to human vegetarians either.

In his capacity as VP of the AFIA,  Kopperud wrote:

“AFIA’s goal is to ensure this rewrite of programs touching AFIA members most directly is rational and economical, while ensuring basic income protection for farmers, a future for appropriately funded ag-research, a continued priority on  federal programs promoting exports, a rewritten conservation title that puts arable land back into protection, a permanent disaster program that keeps the feed industry in the delivery system and public recognition that the “demands” of animal rights groups are self-serving and out of touch with feeding America and the rest of the planet.”  Holy crap – that’s one sentence – it’s a tragedy when bad things happen to good sentences!  Note to Steve – when the “demands” are made by increasingly larger and better organized groups,  you can be sure that those “out of touch” groups are actually becoming the norm.  Corporate accountability is the way of the future.  Get used to it.

Kopperud is regularly quoted by Humanewatch followers of Rick Berman.  Suffice it to say the Humane Society of the United States has been on his radar screen for many years. He writes:

“The greatest sin of HSUS is its arrogance. The organization and its leaders honestly believe because they deem a practice to be “wrong” or “unacceptable,” the world must stop and embrace that definition.”  Steve is hard at work countering ethical vegetarianism,  because anyone who cares about the planet,  the environment,  and animal cruelty is anathema to the organizations he represents.  So again,  he is the ideal foil to Slaughterhouse Sue in that you can count on him to downplay,  ignore,  and spin any of the well-known issues that animal welfare advocates have about horses and horsemeat.  Assuming that the IEBA truly gets off the ground and doesn’t get spun into some new business entity by Wallis,  it will be Kopperud’s role to oppose and marginalize any persons or any groups who promote horse welfare.  Indeed,  he believes that animal abuse does not exist in any food production system.  As we know,   Big Ag in various States in the US seeks to make it a crime in MN, Iowa and FL to document by camera or video even illegal agricultural activity. These bills supported by Big Ag  (Monsanto specifically in Iowa) and were obviously unconstitutional, self-serving and though thankfully defeated. If Big Ag wants to win the “food movement” back, trying to toss people in jail for documenting even illegal dangerous activity where our food is made is not the way.

What happened to Snow White when she ate the poisoned apple?

What happened to Snow White when she ate the poisoned apple?

Kopperud targeted much of his remarks against HSUS for its work toward the U.S. horse slaughter ban.  “The unintended consequences of this national campaign to ban horse slaughter waged by HSUS is that we now have over 110,000 neglected and abandoned horses in this country. There has not been one word from any activist organization as to how we will care for these  animals,” Kopperud said. “HSUS, with their leader Wayne Pacelle, is a very savvy organization. ” HSUS frustrates the lobbyists because they won’t come out to play.  Kopperud and the rest of the lobbyists want HSUS to be in the shelter business, which is why Rick Berman and Humanewatch constantly rag on them re: shelter donations.  If HSUS would just “know their place,”  the people the lobbyists represent could just continue to breed too many dogs for the market just like the AQHA overbreeds for the market. Not to be out done,  Kopperud also blasted the Quizno’s sandwich shop chain for its recent move to sell products from crate-free pork and free-range eggs as part of a green initiative, saying the firm caved in to pressure from PETA on these issues. Kopperud wants all animal-exploiters to work together.

Lobbyists and the Fortune 500 companies they represent would like to deny you your free speech rights as well.  In a letter to Consumer Reports, Kopperud has defended the industry’s rationale behind food disparagement laws, claiming that they “do not repress free speech, but rather compel a speaker to think twice about opportunistic or false statements and the damage such rhetoric can do. . . . Food disparagement laws, as tools to make more honest our national discussion of food safety, are the ultimate consumer protection.” The AIF speaks more bluntly in literature aimed at farmers: “Animal rights activists . . . threaten the survival of today’s farmers and ranchers. . . . It’s time to fight back! . . . ”

Lead by lobbyists,  the food industry has worked quietly state-by-state while avoiding a controversial national debate. So far, thirteen state legislatures have approved product disparagement laws–Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas. Other states are considering similar measures.  Do you believe that,  based on Sue Wallis’ alignment with Kopperud,  she would really implement CCTV in horse slaughterhouses?  I wouldn’t bet a kidney on it and I don’t give a shit what Temple Grandin thinks will happen either.

Further, Steve Kopperud, coordinator for the Food Industry Dioxin Working Group is afraid the media will have a field day with the EPA limits. And then what might happen? “You will have a whole lot of folks running in circles saying there’s nothing safe to eat, it will scare the crap out of people.”  Boy,  it doesn’t take much for the food industry to freak out over potential government action!

Members of the The Food Industry Dioxin Working Group (hint – they will not be advocating on your behalf):

American Farm Bureau Federation
American Feed Industry Association
American Frozen Food Institute
American Meat Institute
Corn Refiners Association
International Dairy Foods Association
National Chicken Council
National Grain & Feed Association
National Meat Association
National Milk Producers Federation
National Oilseed Processors Association
National Pork Producers Council
National Renderers Association
National Turkey Federation
Pet Food Institute
United Egg Producers

What do all these individual issues have to do with horse slaughter?  Lobbyists for horse slaughter will do for horse slaughter what they are trying to do for CAFOs – normalize them or portray them as animal-friendly mom and pop establishments,  employing  “best practices,”  animal welfare, and professional business ethics,  while they are nothing whatsoever like that.  Always remember that it costs them money to adhere to standards,  just as it would cost a lot of money to slow down the dis-assembly line of horses or any other animal,  as an attempt to make the process more “humane.”  It costs money to implement and audit CCTV cameras (not that they want anyone to see what’s going on to begin with),  otherwise,  the industry could have done it already!  The horrors of horse slaughter and drug contamination will be downplayed or proclaimed to be non-existent. There is no traceability in Canadian or American horses and no way to guarantee horses are drug free – not that either of those issues matter to lobbyists for Slaughterhouse Sue and Bill DesBarres.  Lastly,  if lobbyists are pitching drug-tainted meat to sell to consumers,  well,  that in my opinion is some pretty dirty lobbying.

Gerry Ritz Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Gerry Ritz – Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Does Canada even take food safety seriously?  Apparently not,  what with Gerry Ritz’ comments at the listeriosis scandal whereby he joked that 22 people had died – On September 17, 2008, Agricultural Minister Gerry Ritz made national news when comments he made on an August 2008 conference call with government officials were made public. Ritz was quoted as saying, “This is like a death by a thousand cuts. Or should I say cold cuts.” Then, when told of a death in PEI, Ritz said, “Please tell me it’s (Liberal MP) Wayne Easter.” Ritz apologized for his remarks, but various groups called for his resignation. Jack Layton responded by saying, “Canadians are dying because of the mismanagement of our government… there should absolutely never be that kind of humour…. It illustrates the government is not taking this matter as seriously as they should.” A spokesman for Prime Minister Harper released a statement saying Ritz’s comments were tasteless and completely inappropriate. Stephen Harper refused to seek Ritz’s resignation.

This is a moral and ethical imperative that both Canadians and Americans must address without delay in their respective countries  The Europeans have been well-justified in placing restrictions on Canadian and American-produced meat products, such as hormone-laced beef, Ractopomine-treated pork, and chlorine-washed chickens. It’s time for them to stop imports of drugged-up horses, where the food safety case is even more obvious,  at a time when Canada is cutting back funds for inspections to pre-listeriosis times. Civic action, such as all our efforts-to-date,  has helped to transform the policies of some of the world’s biggest corporations.  Canadians don’t want their horses butchered, shrink-wrapped, and air freighted to Europe.   It’s a barbaric, unsafe, discredited business.