Monthly Archives: September 2012

What We’ve Got Here is Failure To Communicate…..

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Failure to CommunicateIn September,  Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced that Dr. Brian Evans,  who was making some sort of lateral move (perhaps closer to the door?) was being replaced by Dr. Martine Dubuc Chief Food Safety Officer and Dr. Ian Alexander Chief Veterinary Officer.   Of course,  no announcement from the CFIA can ever be made without the requisite statements about Canada having a “strong food safety system founded on sound science and aligned with international standards.”  Yawn.

Of course,  statements such as these seem contradictory when it’s realized that,  even though it apparently takes two people to replace Dr. Evans,  the CFIA is slashing jobs and budgets  elsewhere.  In April of this year,  Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair`s website foretold of the impending doom,  when he wrote that Less food inspection could mean another tainted food crisis, more serious illnesses or worse.  Over 100 food inspectors,  hired after the listeriosis outbreak (which Ritz mocked) in 2008 will now be slashed,  which puts us at the pre-listeriosis levels in terms of staffing.  In total,  the CFIA will be jettisoning 308 jobs.

Malcolm Allen, NDP Critic for Agriculture and Agri-Food, wrote that “These cuts put Canadians’ lives at risk.  We could have another listeriosis crisis on our hands. People could get sick, or worse, they could lose their lives.”  A new food safety report released by the Conference Board of Canada says rates of food-borne illnesses in Canada are higher than the United States. Canadians suffer more often from salmonella, e. coli, campylobacter and yersinia than Americans, according to the report prepared by the Centre for Food in Canada.

Dr. Brian Evans being interviewed by CBC

Dr. Brian Evans being interviewed by CBC

Horse welfare advocates have no experience with these two replacements for Dr. Evans,  who seems to be perpetually unaware of serious horse cruelty infractions occurring within his purview.  Even though he appeared to be forthright on the CBC video No Country for Horses, he is confronted about cruelty issues and accusations that the inspectors working in Bouvry and Richelieu were ordered to ignore their own rules.  If you`re watching the video – check out the horse at the 1:55 minute mark – this horse is ineligible for slaughtering because it is exhibiting stereotyping behaviour,  – compulsive shaking of its head.

Of course,  now that we have two new people replacing Dr. Evans,  you might think that the organization might be a bit more responsive in issuing food hazard alerts,  yet it was revealed that the CFIA waited nearly two weeksto issue a public health alert after learning that beef from an Alberta plant was contaminated with a potentially deadly bacteria. Even then,  it was not the CFIA that discovered the contamination,  it was the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Agency that made the discovery.  The plant with the contamination problem – XL Foods,  has been suspended from operations for shipping 890,000 pounds of contaminated beef to the US.  Looks to me like this has the potential to become the next listeriosis crisis,  as foretold by Thomas Mulcair and Malcolm Allen.

Unfortunately,  government inability to respond quickly to threats and challenges also doesn`t bode well for our horses.  Most everyone in Ontario is familiar with the backstory here – seeking sources of funding to address a $15-billion deficit, the Ontario government decided to terminate a program that sent $345-million from slot-machine revenues to tracks and horsemen in 2011. The decision will result in the loss of up to 60,000 jobs, according to the draft of a government-commissioned report prepared by McKinsey & Company. By comparison, General Motors announced plans in June to shut down a consolidated line at its plant in Oshawa, Ont., a move expected to cost 2,000 jobs in June of 2013.

A week ago I sent a copy of a CHDC action-alert letter reflecting the concern for up to 13,000 racehorses being slaughtered with prohibited drugs in their system, to both Dr. Martine  Dubuc and Dr. Ian Alexander,  Dr Evans’ replacements.  I figured that if you can’t interest them in the cruelty angle,  at least try to get them to commit to following their own meat hygiene guidelines.  I asked them to clarify how the CFIA intends to ensure that no racehorses enter the slaughter pipeline during this period of crisis when breeders, owners and trainers begin to offload their animals.

These drugs could include:

Table 1.  Therapeutic Medications Routinely Used and Identified as Necessary by the Veterinary Advisory Committee — (Racing Medication and Testing Consortium [RMTC] draft list of therapeutic medications, 2005) 

1. Acepromazine 17. Dipyrone 33. Omeprazole
2. Albuterol 18. Flunixin 34. Pentoxifylline
3. Aminocaproic Acid 19. Fluprednisolone 35. Phenylbutazone
4. Atropine 20. Fluphenazine 36. Phenytoin
5. Beclomethasone 21. Furosemide 37. Prednisolone
6. Betamethasone 22. Glycopyrrolate 38. Prednisone
7. Boldenone 23. Guaifenesin 39. Procaine Penicillin
8. Butorphanol 24. Hydroxyzine 40. Pyrilamine
9. Cimetidine 25. Isoflupredone 41. Ranitidine
10. Clenbuterol 26. Isoxsuprine 42. Reserpine
11. Cromolyn 27. Ketoprofen 43. Stanozolol
12. Dantrolene 28. Lidocaine 44. Testosterone
13. Detomidine 29. Mepivacaine 45. Triamcinolone
14. Dexamethasone 30. Methocarbamol 46. Trichlomethiazide
15. Diazepam 31. Methylprednisolone 47.  Regumate
16. DMSO 32. Nandrolone 48. Dermorphin

Instead,  what I received back from Dr. Alexander was this:

Dr. Ian Alexander letter

Dr. Ian Alexander letter

As you can read,  it completely misses the salient points – those being that racehorses,  the ones who are now being declined by Bouvry and Richelieu for complicated drug issues that do not pass muster with the CFIA`s own meat hygiene manual for horses may be entering the food chain,  and what was the CFIA going to do about it?  As form letters go,  I`ve seen more articulate letters to Santa Claus.  To knowingly send a horse to slaughter for human consumption when that animal has been administered non-permitted drugs is a federal offence.  This concern cannot be over-emphasized, as illustrated in a U.S. study performed on 18 American racehorses who were sent for slaughter after receiving phenylbutazone, Dodman et al, 2010 Association of Phenylbutazone usage with horses bought for slaughter: A public health risk.  Food and Chemical Toxicology 48:1270-1274.

Phenylbutazone, an anti-inflammatory drug, is a carcinogen and even tiny amounts can cause aplastic anemia, particularly in children.  Clenbuterol, a bronchodilator that is used in the racing industry not only to enhance breathing but to build muscle, can cause symptoms of acute food poisoning (gross tremors of the extremities, tachycardia, nausea, headaches and dizziness).  Not only that,  but how do the CFIA plan to explain away the existence of dermorphin (frog juice) in horses sent for slaughter in Canada?  And why does it seem as if the racing industry can detect drugs in horses more expediently than can the CFIA?

I swear I would last a maximum of one week in a government job – I couldn’t stand the obfuscation.  “Processing”  is something you do to a roll of Kodak film,  not to horses!  With talk like that,  Dr. Alexander is about as credible as Bill DesBarres and his BFF’s  Slaughterhouse Sue Wallis and Dave Duquette.

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Not Rah-Rah about Raw – La Palette Protest – September 21, 2012

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Written by Heather Clemenceau

Not Rah-Rah about Raw Meat

Just not feelin’ raw meat…….

Hello dear readers,  and welcome once again to our version of the Occupy movement,  on Queen Street West in Toronto!  A couple of recent protests with a smaller number of advocates in attendance have proven to be about as pleasant and soothing to the nerves as trying to shit in a public bathroom when the stall door lock is broken and you have to keep it shut with your hand.  La Palette co-owner Shamez Amlani no doubt  feels that when our attendance is in smaller numbers,  he is free to resort to douchebaggery,  and when the numbers are larger (more witnesses?) he retreats inside where his only offense is to scowl determinedly from behind the bar.

One recent attempt to get under our skin consists of having someone stand out in front

La Palette serves up raw horsemeat on Queen Street West

La Palette serves up raw horsemeat on Queen Street West (photo courtesy of Frances)

of the resto with crackers and a plate of horse tartare – uncooked horsemeat.  While some may not appreciate this tactic,  it personally bothers me very little – you know what they say about “loss leaders.”  Each sample of horsemeat that Shamez hands out free on the street is one that he cannot sell.  If I were going to recommend another tactic that works equally as poorly,  I’d suggest he also start using Groupon,  which has been shown to be an ineffective acquisition tool for customers,  primarily because curious, cost-conscious  people try a service once,  and never return.  IMO,  freebies and deals like Groupon don’t work for restaurants because while you’re devoting your time servicing a discounted customer base,  any people willing to pay top dollar for any service are often left unaccommodated.  I’ve no worries that Shamez would ever follow my business advice,  because if he did he would have gotten out of horsemeat for all the reasons I’ve accounted for in previous blogs.

“I run a small India restaurant and we were busy right after the groupon, but very few of the customers came back to eat. Plus, those that did visit spent the minimum and barely tipped our staff.”

Returning for the moment to the wisdom of offering uncooked meat to anyone who passes by – any meat,  including horsemeat of course.  I wonder how many people were initially aware that they were eating raw meat,  since this information wasn’t being provided to passers-by who took a sample?  This info might have been even more meaningful in the context of La Palette’s failure to achieve an unconditional pass from the Toronto Board of Health – Dine Safe Program.  Toronto Public Health also offers an advisory on food handling,  particularly as it concerns raw meat and cross-contamination.   IMO,  the serving of raw meat should not be allowed anywhere,  and municipalities are beginning to crack down on this practice,  because there will always be people who are determined to treat their bodies as a garbage dump, at least until they come down with a parasitic infection,   as evidenced by this comment from a foodie freak on a food blog:

“Until we fight the battles necessary to establish the fact that what ever we decide to put into our bodies regardless of perceived risk, is our decision and our right, the battles will never end. There will always be a new perceived risk with the psychopaths in government there to save you from yourself. Even if they kill you in the process. If you continue to fight each of these issues as an unique event, and try to argue the unique merits of a practice you will still fighting new battles that the system creates when the end of time arrives. Asserting your rights to what you put into your body and your absolute right to contract, is the only sane tactic and the only way we are going to win in the long run.”

Raw meat glorifies food porn and features terrible food safety.  Caveat emptor,  dumb-ass.  And it’s not a “perceived risk” either,  there is a quantifiable risk on several fronts.  From an expert:

“Raw meats or undercooked foods leave you at risk of infection of parasites or a slew of other illnesses,” says Dr. Michael Mansour of the division of infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital.

According to NYC’s Department of Health, restaurants must notify diners when food isn’t cooked to required temperatures — either verbally or by printing this on the menu. Basically, it’s buyer beware — though the DOH says it will investigate complaints of people getting sick from eating raw food.

Of course,  New York isn’t Toronto,  and despite my trepidation with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA),  I give high marks to Toronto Public Health.  Toronto Public Health

"Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are." Brillat-Savarin


“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.”
Brillat-Savarin

received the Crumbine Consumer Protection Award, consisting of a bronze Crumbine medallion and engraved plate, at the Annual Educational Conference of the National Environmental Health Association, on June 19 in Columbus, Ohio. This was the first time in its 56 year history that the award was presented to a local food safety jurisdiction outside of the United States. As a Crumbine Award winner, Toronto Public Health joins an elite group of local public health agencies that have demonstrated “unsurpassed achievements in providing outstanding food protection services in the community.”

The selection jury noted that they were particularly impressed by:
➢ Innovative and new ideas in the realm of consumer protection with technically savvy items like a phone application for consumers
➢ Transparency, with daily website posts
➢ Internationally recognized program with strong impacts felt across the United States and elsewhere

Toronto won for its restaurant inspection disclosure system – red, yellow, green signs on the doors.  La Palette is acutely aware of how this system works.

Toronto Public Health - La Palette earns a conditional pass

Toronto Public Health – La Palette earns a conditional pass

And congrats on that, because on the 10th anniversary of its groundbreaking restaurant inspection disclosure program, Toronto Public Health has become the first non-U.S. health department to win a prestigious award for “unsurpassed achievement in providing outstanding food protection.”

The city’s health department will receive the 56-year-old Samuel J. Crumbine Consumer Protection Award for DineSafe, an internationally recognized program that posts inspection results for Toronto eateries online and in their front windows.

So while Shamez is busy handing out the pharmacological version of Canadian horsemeat on the street (the EU will decline to accept American and Canadian sourced horsemeat come August 1, 2013,  but it will still be good enough for his customers)  I’ve been busy promoting this blog and the concept that horseslaughter and horsemeat are poor consumer and humane choices.  Case in point – this blog,  at the time of writing,  has received over 2,000 hits on La Palette related subject matter only,  not including Facebook penetration or hits on the individual images.  Some of my La Palette blogs rank higher in Google than the restaurant website itself,  depending on search terms and the geographical area of the searcher.  It’s the Queen Street West version of the Occupy movement.  Social media plays a huge role in shaping the views of society on a myriad of issues, and those media are also playing a role in shaping people’s opinions of dining establishments.  Social media has dramatically changed the world of protesting.

Weirkick“Things like spreading a message and amplifying a message to lots of people are really effective when done online,” said Matt Stempeck, a research assistant at MIT’s Center for Civic Media.

Horse Sense vs. Non-Sense – 10 More Enduring Myths From The Pro-Slaughter Posse

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Written by:  Heather Clemenceau

Art © Heather Clemenceau

© Heather Clemenceau

© Heather Clemenceau

I’ve always had a interest in debunking false lore and hoaxes.  Usually  I’ve spent my time debunking pseudo science,  near-death experiences,  and alien abductions,  but the same flaws in thinking/rationalizing that lead to those belief systems can be found elsewhere.  And the pros don’t disappoint!  They continue to be dogmatic in their approach and persist in their beliefs even after shown evidence to the contrary.  Perception and reality are not the same animal.

1. We don’t have a right to tell other people/nations what to do/eat

When it comes to North American horsemeat,  the EU is certainly going to tell us what to do

– their expectation is that North American horsemeat will fall in line with their protocols,  not ours.  And countries frequently DO tell other countries what to do when it comes to prohibited trade or financial transactions.  Although I’ve heard this argument frequently on Facebook,  I’ve also heard it on the street and seen it in newspapers in Toronto – many of which seem to be linked to the whole La Palette horsemeat “promotion” that seems to be happening in Toronto – many foodies claim they should be able to eat whatever they want.  Frighteningly,  they even claim that if animal is enroute to slaughter,  there is,  accordingly to them,  no reason to treat it humanely.

© Heather Clemenceau

Do we have an obligation to avoid negligence or breach of duty?  Do we have a duty or obligation to protect people,  even if they do not live in North America,  from eating something they shouldn’t eat, or something they don’t know they are eating?  We also have a legal liability in many cases, even if the person assumes harm – these are basic consumer protection laws.  There is a branch of law referred to as “product liability.”  In the US and Canada the claims most commonly associated with product liability are negligence,  liability,  and breach of warranty claims.  Even if there is no negligence, i.e.- insufficient or faulty testing,   public policy demands that responsibility be fixed wherever it will most effectively reduce the hazards.  The CFIA and Agriculture Canada  and their counterparts in the US, can anticipate some hazards in the form of drug or parasitic contamination,  and guard against the recurrence of others,  while the  public cannot.

How many plaintiffs have sued tobacco companies for harm and won, despite the warnings?  Over time,  tobacco companies,  scared of the issue of product liability,  retreated to 2nd and 3rd world countries where they advertised heavily to the brown people who either didn’t understand the dangers or whose governments were not active in protecting them.  Ironically,  this is where some of the Pros suggested the next markets might lie……….and they sound quite a bit like Big Tobacco when they suggest it.

I’m not suggesting that horsemeat is the “new tobacco,”  but despite what many pros claim about people having the “freedom” to eat whatever they want and assume the risk,  that’s a myth,  and we must put the remains of that myth in the shredder once and for all.

2. Rescues are looking for any opportunity to steal horses

There are good and bad rescues out there.  Some rescues need their own rescues,  and others

© Heather Clemenceau

are run by thinly-veiled animal hoarders.   However,  I have honestly never heard of a rescue going onto a property and stealing someone’s horses without the benefit of the law behind them.  Don’t the pro-slaughters realize that rescues operate in conjunction with sheriffs,  who can also seize debtors goods?  Most people believe that animals in need are generally seized too late rather than too early or without merit.  Another oddity I’ve noticed is that if a rescue goes under and its animals are seized,  it’s “just desserts” according to the pro-crowd,  but if a horseowner starves his animals and they get seized,  it becomes a “property rights” issue that must be defended against.  How hypocritical.

When the property rights fanatics at United Horsemen heard about Nancy Skakel and her Shagya arabs,  they looked up long enough from their feedbags to pull some quantum moronics.  They strongly suggested,  or outright claimed that the rescue(s) had stolen Skakel’s horses,  when her neighbours should have made it their civic duty to help her by pulling down her derelict buildings,  even though she was trying to run them off her property.  Then they went on to try and ingratiate themselves in the White Salmon and Goldendale communities.  Skakel had had run-ins with the law since at least 2005 as well as with her neighbours,  who over time,  simply got fed up with her.  She couldn’t  pay her bills but kept breeding more horses,  while letting them run loose on roads for at least 5 years.  She also admitted to letting her prized stallion lay in his stall for four days until he died with no veterinary care or humane intervention after he was kicked by a horse.

Yet Duquette is outraged that  the “animal rights” folks have these horses,  even though she was charged.  This is one of the dumbest public displays of stupidity by Duquette and company ever, and that’s really saying something.   I for one am thankful that they continue to out themselves in yet another display of dumb-fuckery.  I have no idea if Duquette actually went in and repaired Nancy’s property, but if he really wants to make a difference,  why not promote any of the low cost gelding clinics in Washington,  promoted by the National Equine Resource Network?  Oh, never mind.

© Heather Clemenceau

3. Transportation is Heavily Regulated so horse injuries are minimal

The horses photographed by Animals Angels at Dennis Chavez’ feedlot obviously arrived there in terrible condition.  Had Animals Angels not documented the horses flailing on the ground unattended and without humane euthanasia,  how would the laws against such cruelty have been enforced?  Who loaded those animals on the trailers and how long were they there before they collapsed in the dirt on Chavez’ feedlot?

© Heather Clemenceau

The civilians tracking Three Angels and Terri’s Farms did so in order to document their chameleon operations and egregious avoidance of transportation laws.  A mere two months after the FMCSA ordered the closure of Lebanon, TN based Three Angels Farms because of flagrant safety violations, the agency was issuing another notice to Terri’s Farm under charges that it was operating as a chameleon carrier.  Terri’s Farm was shut down before any other serious accidents could occur (thanks to the efforts of private citizens and truckers), but chameleon carriers can go for much longer without being caught, often with serious consequences. If the FMCSA is so concerned with safety, shouldn’t they be doing more to prevent this?

The Animal Law Coalition contends that commercial transportation of Equines to Slaughter Act is unenforceable:

GAO has also confirmed that USDA/APHIS has not – and cannot – enforce transport regulations for equines sent to slaughter. 9 CFR Sections 88.1-88.6. Changing a few words here and there in the regulations will not make transport of equines to slaughter humane.  USDA/APHIS allows the kill buyers and haulers to fill out and provide the documentation – which is routinely missing, incomplete or inaccurate – relied on for enforcement. It is impossible to enforce regulations when the information to determine violations is supplied solely by the kill buyers and haulers, the very people USDA/APHIS is supposed to be regulating.

A 2010 Office of Inspector General report confirmed APHIS lacks the resources and controls to enforce regulations for humane transport of equines to slaughter. Not only is the information relied on for enforcement supplied by the kill buyers and haulers, APHIS continues to approve of new shipments to slaughter by kill buyers or haulers that have outstanding unpaid fines for violations of humane regulations. The current regulations do not give APHIS the authority to refuse approval. 

OIG also found there is no  adequate system for tracking the information, such as it is, that is supplied by the kill buyers and haulers about the horses. It is very difficult to track what happens to the horses, meaning enforcement is virtually non-existent. Also, APHIS often does not receive any information from kill buyers or haulers. OIG noted in 2011 that for the past year or more, APHIS had not received the required paperwork, owner/shipper certificates, from kill buyers or haulers for any horses sent from Texas to Mexico.

On top of that, APHIS only has two agents to try to enforce these regulations. Your agency is hamstrung by its own regulations and cannot assure humane transport of equines to slaughter. There is every reason to think your agency could not even begin to assure humane transport of horses within the U.S. to newly opened slaughter facilities. “

Lastly,  this compilation of both deliberate and accidental injuries to horses in transport was made thirty-six months after making a Freedom of Information Request of the U.S.D.A.  regarding violations of the “Commercial Transportation of Equines to Slaughter Act,” the documents were received. The 906-page FOIA includes almost 500 separate photographs of severe and alarming  cruelty of horses due to the horse slaughter industry that happened on U.S. soil. (EXTREMELY GRAPHIC) http://www.kaufmanzoning.net/favideo/demo_video.flv (EXTREMELY GRAPHIC)

4.  Slaughter operations are a desirable type of employment and anyone should be happy to work in any of them.

I guess your answer depends on what your definition of “desirable employment” is.  I can think of at least 100 different types of work I’d rather do,  some of them possibly not legal either,  which would be preferential to working in a slaughterhouse.  I’ve always wondered why we haven’t seen Mike Rowe (of Dirty Jobs fame) filming a segment in a slaughterhouse.  I’ve seen film of him in a sewer,  but perhaps there are some jobs that are just too dirty for Mike………

The slaughter industry’s effect on physical environment, human health and on the high rate of injuries to workers has been carefully documented by scholars.  Slaughterhouses are also the source of human suffering as well.  The process of killing a living creature day after day creates overwhelming emotional dissonanceThis study – “Slaughterhouses and Increased Crime Rates: An Empirical Analysis of Spillover from ‘The Jungle” into the Surrounding Community, Organization and Environment,” by Amy Fitzgerald PhD,  analyses population/jobs/crime data of 1994-2002 in 581 non-metropolitan counties to analyze the effect of slaughterhouses on the surrounding communities.

The findings of the study indicate that slaughterhouse employment is strongly correlated with an increase in arrest rates, arrests for violent crimes, rape, other sex offences, vandalism, arson, robbery, assault and disorderly conduct in comparison with other industries. The study documented increases of 130 per cent increase in violent crimes in Finney County, Kansas and a 63 per cent increase in Lexington, Nebraska. The Canadian town of Brooks, Alberta, witnessed a 70 per cent increase in reported crime. Particularly telling is the fact that the arrests in counties with 7,500 slaughterhouse employees are more than double than in those where there are no slaughterhouse employees. This strongly correlates the existence of a ‘Sinclair effect’ unique to the violent workplace of the slaughterhouse, a factor ignored previously in the sociology of violence.  Here’s a bit more about Sinclair,  “The Jungle,”  and Dr. Fitzgerald’s study.

The effects are not explained away by claiming that the workers are immigrants and therefore “undesirable” elements, nor by claiming that the workers are lower class,  hard drinking people,  social disorganization,  poor populations,   etc because people working in low paid, dangerous,  blue collar towns with high unemployment do not show the same patterns in crime.  The study examined towns that focused on ironworks,  metal stamping,  and other industrial operations,  with low pay, dangerous conditions,  and routinized labour as comparables, and found no similar spike.  The unique work of killing and dismembering animals in slaughterhouses has resulted in the types of crime which Upton Sinclair referred to as “the jungle” in the community. Dr. Fitzgerald and her colleagues state that “we believe that this is another of a growing list of social problems that need explicit attention.”  To me,  the answer seems obvious – such employment is likely to lead to the worker removing animals from moral consideration,  as a coping mechanism for what they must do on a daily basis,  which often leads to removing humans from moral consideration as well.

Of course,  there’s also the explanation that slaughter operations attract psychopaths to begin with,  and I think that’s true in some cases.  I’m not a psychiatrist,  and I don’t play one on TV,  but the Rubashkin family,  who ran Agriprocessors,  a former kosher slaughterhouse,  seems to have attracted more than their share of potential psychopaths.  Agriprocessors was cited for issues involving animal treatment, food safety, environmental safety, child labour, and hiring of illegal workers.  In November 2009, Sholom Rubashkin was convicted of 86 counts of financial fraud,  including bank fraud,  mail and wire fraud and money laundering.  In 2010 he was sentenced to 27 years in prison.  I don’t believe that the Rubashkins ever slaughtered horses,  and although slaughter can never be a socially acceptable concept,  there seem to be ever-present trends with slaughterhouses – moreso than with other industries which rely heavily on manual labour.

If anything,  slaughterhouses have been thoroughly studied by a small number of scientists and sociologists.  In the US,  and to some degree in Canada,  like other divisions of agriculture, slaughterhouse workers are typically people living in low-income communities. In recent decades, an influx of Latin American workers has been seen across the country, partially due to active recruiting by the corporations. Today, approximately 38% of slaughterhouse and “meat”-processing workers were born outside of the U.S.

Many employers knowingly hire undocumented workers in an effort to satisfy the extremely high turnover rate of the industry, which often exceeds 100% annually.   In some cases, they provide incentives for current workers to recruit family and friends and even help new workers to create fake social security cards. Undocumented workers are constantly faced with the threat of deportation – either by their employer or by federal raids.

Pity the poor employee who works in at “at-will” state in the US – they can be fired at any time at management discretion. The threat of termination discourages workers from reporting safety concerns, injuries, or other serious issues. Long hours,  repetitive stress and motion,  and under-reported injuries.   As a result, workers are conditioned to accept a hazardous and demeaning work environment if they want to remain employed. How do you like the idea of working in a slaughterhouse so far?

Any mass-production industry that has slim profit margins,  which emphasizes high-speed,  often with dangerous mechanized and manual labour, is never a good outcome for animals or people. An alternative to the slaughter factory,  for people that must eat meat and wish to do so from a position of somewhat greater humanity or ecology – is the mobile slaughterhouse.  We need to see more of them.  Still wouldn’t want to work at one though………..

5.  Every carcass is tested for the presence of drugs

We know that this isn’t true because the CFIA have told us so.  This is the perception by the general public and certainly that of La Palette restaurant in Toronto and possibly other chefs as well,   despite repeatedly being informed to the contrary.  “….the CFIA’s rate of phenylbutazone testing on horse carcasses is an abysmal 0.152%(143 samples taken on 93,812 horses in 2009).  If this is the frequency recommended by United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization, then I am shocked.  I don’t think I’d trust the CFIA to run the “Guess My Weight” game at the local fairgrounds.

According to the CFIA’s own website “In addition to randomly sampling horse meat for chemical residues, the CFIA conducts targetted testing based on clinical observation of animals, before stunning and slaughter.The CFIA employs veterinarians and supervised, trained inspectors in each horse slaughter plant to identify any animal that, based on its appearance or history, may have been treated with phenylbutazone. The meat from these animals may be held until testing is performed and no residues are found. Animals are also examined post-slaughter for signs of conditions such as arthritis, which can indicate they may have been treated with phenylbutazone.“ I wonder what visual inspection protocols they have for clenbuterol,  dermorphin,  and Lasix?

IMO,  the above is not a testing program.  I’ve performed organizational compliance audits that had profoundly higher sample populations, in companies that did not produce foodstuffs.   Canada needs to pay as close a scrutiny to horsemeat testing as the US does with athletes – something is terribly wrong when more runners and cyclists are scrutinized and suspended for positive drug results than is our food.   Now that the CFIA is downloading inspection of food to manufacturers and distributors,  how would this affect horsemeat,  especially in the climate whereby the EU is demanding more accountability and traceability,  not LESS?

Shamez Amlani,  owner of La Palette restaurant in Toronto,   told the Toronto Star he is “confident there will no longer be a glut of horses in Canada that could compromise the safety of the horse meat.”  Note to Shamez – if the product you’re serving in your restaurant has to sit on a feedlot for six months in order that the drugs given to it degrade, then that should give you pause.  Also, a recent Forbes article disagrees with Amlani’s logic, explaining, “Bouvry Exports and Richelieu Meats, two Canadian slaughterhouses, recently stopped accepting U.S. Thoroughbreds—the only breed whose drug records can be traced.”

However, if the 2013 EU regulations put a severe crimp in Canada’s horsemeat exports,  La Palette and other Canadian establishments will be left serving the “pharmacological” variety of horsemeat that simply isn’t good enough for EU consumers.

6.  Horsemeat is organic

This is really a recurring theme amongst chefs who should know better but don’t!  According to the CFIA,  there are stringent requirements (if you can imagine the word “stringent being used in the same sentence as “CFIA”) for suppliers to satisfy before they can call their products “organic.”  This isn’t just a Canadian thing either, we have to have standards that harmonize Canadian provisions for the production, certification, identification and labelling of organic products with international ones such as the Codex Alimentarius Commission.  Since the vast majority of horses are raised by private individuals who don’t ascribe to any of these requirements, it should be self-explanatory that horsemeat doesn’t meet the definition of “organic.”

Also,  if horsemeat and its byproducts are so “organic,”   why was Natural Valley Farms,  a horse slaughterhouse in Saskatchewan, charged with discharging blood into rivers?  Slaughterhouse Sue Wallis,  who occasionally fronts as a Representative of Wyoming,  is constantly chirping about the usefulness of all things horse slaughter-related,  including the blood,  which,  according to her,  is a valuable commodity.  I guess NVF didn’t get the message…….

7.  Environmental damage by horse slaughterhouses is vastly overstated

From a US perspective,  one of the best “go-to” persons is obviously former Kaufman Mayor Paula Bacon,  who is more than willing to provide documentation from the Public Works Director,  former Kaufman City Manager, Presbyterian Hospital,  the daycare center,  and the Police Chief to support her claims about Dallas Crown,  which had a very long history of violations to their waste permit.   The city was even fined by the TCEQ for the plant’s failure to comply with backflow regulations that meant horse blood and waste backed up into sinks, toilets and tubs. When the plant finally closed, the city was left with nearly $100,000 in unpaid fines.

Dallas Crown consistently denied the City access to their property for wastewater testing despite requirement by city ordinance, city permit agreement, and court order. City staff reported that a $6 million upgrade to the wastewater treatment plant would be required even though the plant was planned and financed to last through 2015. There were numerous examples of offal and hides being transported through main thoroughfares in containers without covers,  as well as problems with bones and and other body parts in neighbouring yards,  resulting in the attraction of “dogs and other animals.”

In response to 29 citations for wastewater violations, each accompanied by a potential fine of $2,000, Dallas Crown requested 29 separate jury trials, potentially causing yet another economic strain to the City’s budget. The cost to litigate against Dallas Crown consisted of the entire legal budget for the fiscal year. During this period, Dallas Crown paid property taxes that were less than half of what the City spent on legal fees directly related to Dallas Crown violations.

The  Beltex horse slaughter plant also violated Ft. Worth’s wastewater regulations several times, clogged sewer lines, and both spilled and pumped blood into a nearby creek,  which seems unbelievable given Slaughterhouse Sue’s claims about the value of equine blood.  The horse slaughter plant in DeKalb , IL had a similar pattern. It was charged and fined by the DeKalb Sanitary District almost every month.  Like Dallas Crown, Cavel refused to pay their fines for years.

The US slaughter plants were clearly a nightmare in many respects, but Canada hasn’t escaped scrutiny either.  Even Henry Skjerven,  a board member of Natural Valley Farms Inc., recounts its ultimate decline and fall in the Western Producer in April, 2009.  You can read the complete accounting here.

© Heather Clemenceau

“Most notable was our failure with the CFIA. Natural Valley used precious resources, time, money and people in challenging CFIA staff and regulations. The final result? CFIA removed the company’s operating licence in early 2009. Natural Valley Farms died the day the decision makers chose to kill horses. It took months to implement and hundreds of thousands of dollars of cattle producer’s investment to make that change. But horse slaughter never brought a single minute of profitability to the company.”  Even though NVF management were kicked to the curb,  the government didn’t want to see the cessation of the business.  They offered the plant to the Carry the Kettle First Nations with government assistance – this report was prepared for the Carry the Kettle First Nations.  This CHDC report was instrumental in the Band’s rejection of this business offer.

8.  The BLM does not sell horses to slaughter

One thing I can’t figure out is this –  if you have millions of acres of vacant land and there’s 100 miles between towns, why on earth can’t they put all those wild horses out there?  What really happens to wild horses and burros after they “disappear” into the paper chain of a government agency?  And what happens to them after they have been sold once or twice to different buyers who are no longer restricted in whom they may sell the horses to?

In the US,  wild horses and burros are supposedly protected from the slaughter pipeline by the 1971 act of Congress “Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act.” The act states that “wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death.”

The most incriminating evidence against the BLM consists of  a letter to Attorney General Janet Reno, current and former employees of the Federal Bureau of Land Management have accused bureau officials of falsifying financial records, taking part in schemes to sell wild horses to slaughterhouses and obstructing Federal investigations.  Much of the letter sheds new light on published reports that bureau employees took part in schemes to sell federally protected wild horses to slaughterhouses, then tried to obstruct Federal investigations of their involvement.  At least 36,000 formerly wild horses,  adopted through BLM programs,  are unaccounted for.  Also,  under the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act (WFRHB) the  BLM can implement the “Final Solution” for the horses:

“[a]ny excess animal or the remains of an excess animal shall be sold if–
(A) the excess animal is more than 10 years of age; or
(B) the excess animal has been offered unsuccessfully for adoption at least 3 times.”

Currently, a wild horse or burro must be offered for adoption at 3 specific satellite or adoption events before qualifying for sale under subsection (B). Wild horses and burros sold in this way are called 3 strikes horses. Animals sold under this provision lose the protections of the WFRHBA. The BLM cannot claim a lack of knowledge in what would happen to the horses.

The BLM has sold pro-slaughter horse trader Tom Davis at least 1,700 wild horses and burros since 2009, agency records show — 70 percent of the animals purchased through its sale program. Like all buyers, Davis signs contracts promising that animals bought from the program will not be slaughtered and insists he finds them good homes. By his own account, he has ducked Colorado law to move animals across state lines and will not say where they end up. He continues to buy wild horses for slaughter from Indian reservations, which are not protected by the same laws. And since 2010, he has been seeking investors for a slaughterhouse of his own.

“Hell, some of the finest meat you will ever eat is a fat yearling colt,” he said. “What is wrong with taking all those BLM horses they got all fat and shiny and setting up a kill plant?”

Some BLM employees say privately that wild horse program officials may not want to look too closely at Davis. The agency has more wild horses than it knows what to do with, they say, and Davis has become a relief valve for a federal program plagued by conflict and cost over-runs.

In the following video,  watch Trent Loos and Bill DesBarres incriminate themselves discuss the semantics with respect to American wild horses coming to Canada for slaughter.  Mustangs end up in Shelby Montana (feedlot) where they go to Canada,  and according to DesBarrres (who says leprechauns are mythological?),  they are no longer BLM horses because they’ve received a new “nationality” once crossing into Canada.  I see what you did there Bill!  So the minute a wild horse crosses from the US into Canada,  it surrenders it’s “nationality” and the problem of disappearing wild horses is solved!  Watch the clusterfuck of confusion at the Horse Slaughter Summit once they realize that they’re engaged in a battle of semantics………

Government organizations can no longer plead ignorance when selling horses under their control to kill buyers.  Earlier this year Big Bend State Park agreed to sell 11 of their park horses to a known slaughter buyer from Presidio, Texas for a total  .25 cents a pound.  Nevada Department of Agriculture has offered estray horses for sale,  before they are taken to auction,  where they are likely to be sold for slaughter.  23 horses that were to be sold for slaughter by the Nevada Department of Agriculture were subsequently rescued.  And the Salt River Horses are classified as “feral” – they are not protected by the government – they can be rounded up and shipped off to slaughter houses for human consumption overseas.  Some of the most highly trained,  “bomb-proof” horses may also have been sent on a one-way ticket to slaughter – 60+ Texas Prison horses  – sold at  a public auction, their most likely destination, a Mexican slaughterhouse notorious for unspeakable cruelty.  The state of Nevada is the legal owner of all wild horses in the state except those on public lands.  Nevada will now be making their horses available at a September livestock auction where they will be sold by the pound.

9.  BSE (Bovine spongiform encephalopathy) was invented by animal activists to distract the government from noticing that extraterrestrials are invading the US!

Did you get all that?  Never in a million years did I think cruising around the United Horsemen’s Facebook page would yield this gem of a declaration!  This poster,  who doesn’t know much about animals,  certainly nothing about horses,   but insists that it’s every man’s right to own an exotic big cat,  must be a member of the Truther Movement.  He really knows how to bring the crazy – that fringe should be on a surrey!  Technically,  this isn’t even a “myth” because not even the other United Horsemen’s posters will let this shit go unchallenged!

Actually,  quite a few UH posters jumped all over this post,  trying to correct the poster,  who believes that prion diseases were “invented” by animal activists,  or that they don’t really exist,  or that Hansel and Gretel was a story about a REAL encounter with a witch……….or something like that.  Too bad the poster can barely take a break from the hysterical responses to read what was written in response to his claims.

Actually,  this claim about BSE isn’t that much different that what you might read from your average garden-variety conspiracy theorist who believes that,  because it’s posted on the intarwebs,  it must be true – it’s all a clandestine government plan created by the Freemasons and the Bilderbergs,  who were responsible for assassinating Lincoln,  poisoning us with chemtrails,  and destroying the World Trade Center.  Our brains have been poisoned by vaccinations for diseases that don’t really exist and fluoride in your water for teeth which were actually implanted before birth by the military-backed Electronic Banking Industry, (in cahoots with HAARP and David Icke) in order to slowly release mind-control substances,  produce schizophrenia,  steal your dreams,  and imprison everyone in Russian thought-control labs where we will be anally probed by Sumerian-speaking alien reptile kings,  who are in league with Big Pharma to invent new diseases such as ADHD,  HSV,  and HPV.  Yeah,  I know the type,  I argued debated with them like forever on the internet.  And you can’t learn ‘em either,  because they don’t use critical thinking skills and cannot recognize or discern facts from fiction!  All you can do is sit back with a bemused expression,  and “watch that fringe and see how it flutters……”

The idea that prion diseases in cattle were caused by insecticide was originally floated by a self-educated farmer by the name of Mark Purdey who is quoted by our conspiracy theorist.  Purdey himself never claimed that animal rights activists had anything to do with BSE,  nor extraterrestrials,  which is just a crazy embellishment on the part of our writer.  Purdey was an intelligent eccentric who claimed that organophosphates contribute to BSE, or in humans,  known as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease,  or vCJD or nvCJD.  I think Purdey had honest intentions,  but like so many “fringe” ideas,  conspiracy theorists glom onto them and distort them for their own misguided motivations.

A British inquiry into BSE concluded that it was epizoonotic and was caused by cattle,  normally herbivores,  being fed the remains of other cattle in the form of meat and bone meal,  which caused the infectious agent to spread.  One theory is that it may have originated with sheep with scrapie that were processed in the same slaughterhouse.  Prions will not disappear even if the beef containing them is cooked.

10.  I am the Shedrow blogger

As most readers here know,  the Horse Farts Anonymous Facebook page was forced to go undercover because,  turnabout wasn’t fairplay  to them when the Shedrow Confessions blogger exposed them using the very site they originally created to mock the anti-slaughter advocates.  You know what they say about payback.  But don’t worry Pros,  I’m not gonna threaten y’all with lawsuits or anything like that……

"Ana Renza" claims I am shedrow blogger

This is one enduring myth!  As Shedrow herself describes,  the pros’ “logic” in arriving at the conclusion that we’re one and the same person  is based on Shedrow making an initial posting (I think she called it a poke) on the Naughty Mendy blog with a Canadian IP  proxy.  Of course,  I am one of the few Canadians the pros ever heard of who also had a blog (even though I’ve never posted on any of the pro blawgs),  so they proceeded to block me and every other anti-slaughter Canuck they could find on Facebook – just in case their hypothesis was actually wrong.  Just more naivete about Canada – thinking that we all use the same IP!  We’re got more total area than the US too – go here pros to learn more about Canada – a country where there is more than one anti-slaughter blogger!

Anyway,  all this was done on the suggestion of Mendy Tobiano’s “techies.”  I’m not sure how even the stupidest techie could arrive at that conclusion,  unless of course,  they’re also the type of neanderthal that’s still using a stick to scratch a record of their horse kills on the limestone walls of their cave.  Of course,  the mass blocking of my Facebook profile by all six pro-slaughters did absolutely squat because I never write to them or communicate with them except if they show up on my blog,  on a third-party site,  or in a site where pros and antis are posting together with the acknowledgement that both parties will behave with respect towards the other.  And I block non-friends from sending any communications  to me on Facebook,  so it’s not like any of them can write to me either – no drama mama here.

rumours about me and shedrow

Although, by not allowing them to write to me I sometimes feel that I am missing out on a lot of primo blog material!

Whoever Shedrow is,  he or she is able to continue to read their comments unaffected – because the pros don’t know who to block!

On the rare occasion I post comments from pros who are not actually part of the pro-slaughter movement  – Slaughterhouse Sue,  Dave Duquette,  Bill DesBarres,  politicians,  public figures, etc.  I block out their names.  But since I’m being named here,  I’m not going to give them any such courtesy – you’ll understand why I’m sure.  Quid pro quo. Some of these comments are pretty strange,  I’m beginning to suspect somebody slipped Naughty Tobiano an acid tab just before she wrote the comment below.

Lastly,  I’ll leave you all with this,  courtesy of the Humane Society of Canada:

Who profits from the lives of horses destined for recreational markets?

  • • Certain breeders, private horse owners, auction marts and transporters
  • • Manufacturers, distributors and merchants for horse trailers
  • • Fuel companies (we believe that more fuel would be consumed through the widespread and frequent hauling activities of private horse keepers, as opposed to gas consumption by large transport trucks that move many head of horses in one trip to a feedlot, auction, or slaughterhouse)
  • • Hay and straw farmers, grain growers and merchants
  • • Thousands of farriers
  • • Thousands of large animal veterinarians (diagnostics, treatments, hospitalizations, surgeries, transport fees) and the people they employ
  • • Medical supply companies, distributors, and merchants (X-ray machines, centrifuges, etc.)
  • • Laboratories (blood, tissue, and wound samples, etc.)
  • • Equine therapists and acupuncturists
  • • Pharmaceutical companies (dewormers, immunizations, liniments, medications)
  • • Horse supply companies (manufacturers, distributors, and merchants for blankets, tack, fly spray, ointments, fly masks, linament for rubdowns, bandages, wraps, grooming supplies, buckets, feeders, hay nets, etc.)
  • • Manufacturers, distributors, and merchants for fencing and shelter materials
  • • Boarding stables
  • • Horse trainers
  • • Manufacturers, distributors, and merchants for equestrian show jumps & training equipment manufacturers
  • • Bed and Bale (B&B) businesses
  • • Trail riding camps
  • • Trail riding outfitters
  • • The sport horse/eventing industry (upkeep, training, events and entry fees, special bits and bridles, plaiting of manes and tails, advertising, media, food venues)
  • • Creators, publishers and merchants involved in horse books, calendars, magazines, posters, toy horses
  • • Artists, sculptors, photographers, cartoonists, framers, galleries.
  • In addition, huge show jumping events such as those held at Spruce Meadows hold widespread public appeal and attract international competitors. The facility employs over 70 full-time people, and its record attendance on a Sunday in 2002 was over 57,000. More than $5 million in prize money has been awarded toward this horse event by businesses and donors.

Puttin’ on the Ritz (Crackers)

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"There's a good amount of work to be done out on the global stage" - Gerry Ritz

“There’s a good amount of work to be done out on the global stage” – Gerry Ritz

Members and supporters of the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition now know why Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz is seldom available to respond to enquiries – he’s been getting busy ratcheting up the travel expenses on the world stage.

According to information on spending by federal cabinet ministers, dating to March of 2010, Ritz has accumulated expenses of about $271,000 – other travel and hospitality expenses for employees of the CFIA are available here.  In 2011 alone,  government chauffeurs earned $600,000 in overtime.  Gerry has recently been part of a delegation working on a free-trade agreement between Canada and Morocco, followed by a trip to Saudi Arabia.  Of course, the failed ostrich farmer defends his expenditures – “there’s a good amount of work to be done out on the global stage.”  I’m not doubting him; everyone knows that it must be a hard-sell for Canadian products in Morocco and Saudi Arabia, but I guess the real test of Ritz Crackers’ skills will come once he starts negotiating to sell maple syrup and seal pelts to North Korea.  You go Minister!

At the same time,  Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Ritz Crackers,  the proverbial foxes in the hen-house,   are privatizing the food industry and handing public services over to a non-elected, non-accountable private sector,  by downloading from government food inspection to inspection by manufacturers and distributors.  As a result of this new paradigm, food companies will, for the most part, inspect themselves and federal inspectors will spend the bulk of their time going through company-generated reports. The Conservative government has already pledged to pull out of federal meat inspection programs in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.  Somehow,  this does not pass the smell test,  and it certainly seems to be an ominous foreshadowing in an industry where management already places great pressure on staff to avoid writing up violations.

Currently,  approximately 1 to 2 per cent of foreign food imports that enter Canada are inspected.  Bob Kingston, the head of the union representing Canada’s federal food inspectors, said inspection programs are under funded and bare-bones compared to what staff request. He  estimated that only “a couple of hundred” of the CFIA’s 4,700 inspection staff focus on foreign food – a figure the agency rejects.  The University of Manitoba’s Dr. Rick Holley,  a food safety expert and CFIA advisor, says a push for traceability is not a priority when there are other problems with food safety, including a lack of comprehensive information on what is making Canadians sick. Gerry Ritz, who manoeuvred to prevent meat processors being forced to open their books during the BSE crisis, tap-dances around the issue with a straight face, “Canadians trust this government to protect the safety of Canada’s food supply and rightly so.”  Puttin’ it on, puttin’ it on,  puttin’ it on………

Since the 2003 case of mad-cow in Canada,  South Korea was the last major beef-importing country to agree to resume imports of Canadian beef.  AG-Canada recently trumpeted the news that our first live shipment of lambs has reached Vietnam,  and Canadian beef producers have gained market access to Kazakhstan – Kazakhstan imported almost $14 million worth of Canadian agricultural food products in 2011.  Perhaps it’s merely a coincidence that Kazakhstan is a huge consumer of horsemeat?

Canada has been plagued with a bad rep for horse slaughter,  and live export typically leaves  hundreds of thousands of animals of various species without government oversight as they are vulnerably slaughtered in 2nd and 3rd world countries after enduring lengthy trips via sea only to be held for weeks or months at port afterwards.  Australians are revolting against live export in their country.  I have the greatest concern for Canadian horses, who are already shipped via air to Japan – will they also suffer this fate on an even larger scale if Ritz sees an opportunity to develop this trade?

Mini mare and her foal at auction this week - pure pathos........

Mini mare and her foal at auction this week – pure pathos……..

It’s widely known by horse welfare advocates that an EU requirement, designed to safeguard horse meat exported to Europe for human consumption, will restrict the sale of meat from horses who have been given specific drugs that are unsafe in the food supply. Effective 2013, the EU will not accept imported horse meat from countries like Canada unless it can prove that certain drugs were not ingested by slaughter-bound horses.

The CFIA has always claimed that the absence of big problems in any of their drug testing protocols show that  the system works.  Lest you think that the CFIA only dumps toxic horsemeat on other countries,  critics say Canada’s ability to safeguard its citizens from the risks of both domestic and imported food is falling behind – charges leveled even as efforts are under way at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to update practices for the 21st-century global marketplace.

Of course,  restrictions hardly bothered the CFIA in the past,  but now they have this passport system with which to contend – a detailed electronic log of a horse’s lifetime veterinary record and the drugs it has been given – much more difficult to falsify than the current EID. A number of drugs — including, but not limited to phenylbutazone, which is banned entirely, must not have been given to the horse in at least the last 180 days prior to slaughter or they can not be imported into EU nations.  At one time Canada seemed determined to institute a comprehensive, national  traceability system for livestock,  but we cannot even launch a gun registry in Canada,  a country where most citizens are already opposed to guns.  Canadian horse owners are simply not interested in paying for microchips and barn calls to satisfy third party concerns about the eligibility of our horses for meat.

Both the Equine Welfare Alliance and the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition have stated that “….we know that 50 percent or more of the horses slaughtered in Canada (from the United States) will not meet the EU standards. … There is no information from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) stating how U.S.-based horses will be checked. … Under the current circumstances there appears to be no possible way Canada can continue to receive U.S. horses and still meet the criteria.” Our main horse slaughter proponent in Canada,  Bill DesBarres,  appears to be utterly silent on this issue, as has been his counterpart in the US – “Slaughterhouse” Sue Wallis.  In a recent article in the Canadian publication – the “Equine Consumers Guide,”  he writes to promote horse slaughter in Canada,  he makes no mention of it whatsoever.  Not even as an after-thought.

Once Canada’s horses are no long acceptable to the EU, what can we expect?  This $70 million dollar industry is not going to go quietly in the night.  Purpose-Bred horses will still find a market, but we can see that simultaneously Ritz is pushing live shipments of animals to countries like Vietnam and Kazakhstan,  who,  as far as we know,  have no such drug stipulations.  Susan Stewart,  of SS Visions,  is currently promoting “Equine Canada Export Market Development Seminars” in an effort to continue to promote Canada as  “the most respected country brand in the world.”   She also lead a “path finding mission to China”  on behalf of pro-slaughter Equine Canada and Ag-Canada.

"Politics is a game of friends" - Jean Chretien

“Politics is a game of friends” – Jean Chretien – formerly the 20th Prime Minister of Canada

Ag-Canada continues to look for solutions without a problem,  while ignoring or downplaying issues of the magnitude that I’ve mentioned earlier in the blog post.  There’s an old saying that it is best to avoid watching sausages being made  – or to ask what’s in them.  It seems that,  according to Ag-Canada,  Canadians have suffered for lack of better “bangers” to go with our mash.  So,  over  800,000 of our tax dollars are going towards developing a safe,  non-exploding variety of sausages. Exploding sausages you ask?  I have never heard of a sausage-related injury. So why is the Conservative government giving Cardinal Meat Specialists Ltd. in Brampton, Ont. a fat cheque in the sum of $826,000?  “The investment… will help the company purchase new manufacturing equipment that will produce a higher quality sausage that is more resistant to splitting or bursting while cooking,” says a government news release.

Once probed,  a representative of Ritz claimed that Cardinal is supposed to pay back the “loan.”  I wonder if the loan to Cardinal is anything like the loan I’m supposed to pay back to my mother?  I also wonder if Canada’s “high tech” slaughterhouse,  Les Viandes de la Petite-Nation, has paid back its loan of $2 million for improving and modernizing slaughter capacity, which resulted in the trademark

Gerry Ritz crackers - tasteless and cheesy

Gerry Ritz crackers – tasteless and cheesy

Temple Grandin designed walkway for cattle,  but did not enable the plant to avoid cruelty charges by the CHDC and a subsequent two day shutdown by the government.

Revelations such as this explain why I have a perpetual WTF looping in my head these days.  There’s just no horse-sense – only non-sense from our government.  We have no problem sending toxic horsemeat to other countries,  but we’ve got our panties in a bunch over the possibility that a sausage might “explode” inside its casing,  causing some sort of grilling horror during the BBQ season.    I honestly thought sausage consumers were managing OK by poking a few holes in the sausage so that nobody would get maimed. I guess that, conversely, this new development will also eliminate a lot of jobs when competing companies fail to take advantage of this new technology and “exploding” sausages fail to find their market (because nobody threw $800,000 bucks at them)?  Or perhaps we could keep the exploding variety and incorporate it as part of our national defence plan, and we could claim that Jimmy Dean is a Canadian defence contractor.

Live export,  horse slaughter,  exploding sausages,  lavish expenditures,  and the downloading of responsibility for our food inspection to the un-elected private sector.  Somebody stick a fork in Gerry Ritz.  I think he’s done.

We’ve Got Mail! Welcome to the MP Hall of Horse Slaughter Shame!

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We've got mail

We’ve got mail

Canadians have the right to expect higher standards of those involved in politics.  We eloquently and verbosely complain to our local MP all the way up to Ottawa.  We complain in English, we complain in French  – we complain on Twitter and on Facebook pages and via email.   If there’s one message I’ve received during the process of mailing horse slaughter info to Canadian politicians, it’s that for every one positive response you receive,  you’ll get five more from politicians who are so clueless that they shouldn’t be allowed to open their mouths without a teleprompter.

MP Bruce Stanton will delete any messages and block you from his FB page if you are not a constituent – no matter what you write.  As a result of posting horse slaughter info on his page,  I am now blocked.  I can understand that he won’t have time to address non-constituents,  but to BLOCK Canadians from his page is really outlandish behaviour for a politician.

The Stupid doesn’t stop there either.  I received a response to an email from Dr. Colin Carrie (yes,  MPs in Canada really do send all their letters on archival paper with the

MP Dr Colin Carrie

MP Dr Colin Carrie

edges lightly toasted).  Don’t let the “Dr.”  title confuse you – he’s not a medical doctor,  he’s a chiropractor who has worked closely with naturopaths and homeopaths to make both of those disciplines more mainstream.  He also introduced a Private Member’s Bill to amend the Food and Drugs Act to de-list vitamins, thus removing many safety provisions.  PM Harper appointed him Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health,   so you’d think he’d recognize the word “toxin” when he saw it in print.  Or perhaps as a promoter of homeopathy,  he thinks that there’s nothing wrong with a little homeopathic dose of phenylbutazone?  I do wish Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq would rein him in – and why is she completely silent on the issue of adulterated horsemeat?.  It’s highly ironic that someone who endeavours to promote “natural medicine” sees no problem with the phenylbutazone contamination of horsemeat,  which was pointed out to him in the letter to which he is responding!

MP Tony Clement

MP Tony Clement

Next up is MP Tony Clement,  president of the Treasury Board and Industry Minister; he also lost out on a race for party leadership to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.   He’s also famous for  championing a memorial to an ally of Chairman Mao – you know,  a brutal dictator.  Tony must be getting some of his dictates directly from Beijing,  because he blew off one of my emails by  trying to assure me that the CFIA had everything under control,  no horses were even offended that they were being slaughtered,  and that all horses were fully withdrawn from the presence of systemic drugs.  When you come to think of it,  doesn’t it seem odd that a food source has to be held on a feedlot to “withdraw” all the drugs from its system before it can be eaten?  And what’s with Tony’s comment about a horse being “eligible” for slaughter?  What horse would choose to be eligible for a one-way trip to Hell?

But next up boys and girls,  is where the organic waste material really hits the fan.  Calgary MP Rob  Anders was first elected in Calgary West as a Reform MP in 1997. He was the only MP in Canada to vote against making Nelson Mandela an honorary citizen of Canada, calling him a “terrorist.”  He then went on to establish himself as a bit of a crank when he signed a card in support of Canadian troops with the handwritten message: “When in doubt, pull the trigger,” (or shoot the captive bolt,  it’s all the same to him)  He’s most famous for falling asleep on camera during a legislative session – a group of MPs were hearing from an organization that helps former soldiers who are homeless.  Anders showed up later, then started text messaging on his phone, then fell asleep. He denied that he fell asleep and suggested that his accusers were “NDP “hacks” who praised Vladimir Putin.  Makes total sense right?  He was kicked off the Veterans Affairs Committee after its president said he was dumbfounded that Anders had  slept through the group’s presentation.

I would like to be charitable and believe that Rob Anders suffers from narcolepsy, a debilitating condition that can interfere with one’s life at any unforeseen moment. I once had a prof who had narcolepsy. But when he woke up he never called his students a bunch of NDP hacks. He’d simply say “sorry about that.” We accepted that.  When I Googled Mr. Anders however, I found a possible reason for his dimwittedness. The poor man was born – appropriately – on April 1, 1972, April Fools’ Day.  Maybe he’s suffering from Harpo-lepsy?  In any case,  I’m sure he’s just as effective awake as he is asleep.  And here’s his  verbatim response to an

MP Rob Anders

MP Rob Anders

email from Animal Alliance,  which is why he’s here in our roll call of short-sighted,  “hard-of-reading” MPs.   Anders has apparently got his nose out-of-joint over Canada’s lack of an abortion law,  or he’s accusing the writer of some form of speciesism,  or he was rudely and prematurely awoken from his nap in the legislature and wasn’t given time to collect his thoughts.  In any case,  it would seem he’s not of an anti-slaughter mindset,  from what we can tell.

But occasionally,  we do hear the odd speck of truth from a Canadian MP.  Twice in recent history,  once by MP Ryan Leef and again by Environment Minister Peter Kent,  PM Stephen Harper has been introduced as the “Prime Minister of Cannibal.”  What’s that old saying about “First time it’s funny, the second time it must be true…”?  The Conservative Party of Cannibals … as a nickname it kind of fits.

Skeeter for Prime Minister!

Skeeter for Prime Minister!