Horse Welfare 2012 – The Year in Review….

white arab greeting

© Heather Clemenceau

Written by:  Heather Clemenceau

Horse advocates have had a busy year working to prohibit the importation or exportation of horses for slaughter for human consumption. Horse protection groups released many damning reports of abuse and drug contamination,  and took aggressive legal action to discourage slaughter.

Undercover footage helped support our position,  and numerous investigations were publicized.  Citizen advocates monitored illegal trucking activities and for the first time,  retrieved horses directly from slaughterhouses. Pro-slaughters proved,  via their own (in)actions,  that slaughter does not prevent starvation.

We were also aided by the improved sensitivity of testing protocols in the EU,  which continued to reveal drug contamination of horsemeat,  a finding which is continually met with silence by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency,  although the subject of drug contamination is making its way into the food webs.  We’ve told restaurants in both Canada and the US that we don’t want horses on the menu.

Horse killers,  kill buyers and their enablers did not have a good year – several were charged with felonies.  Slaughterhouse Sue and Dave Duquette were unable to open any of their proposed slaughterhouses, despite performing an endless kabuki dance around the true status of the plants.  Duquette also forgot to send a cheque to renew his own domain name on the web and subsequently lost to a pro-horse HSUS site.

We’ve grown more media  savvy too,  with PSAs and billboards getting the message out.  We are mobilizing via different social media platforms to petition lawmakers. Numerous examples of “horse hoarding” received publicity as well,  with advocates rallying to promote horse adoptions through the increased use of Facebook groups.  We’ve also demanded that horse killers and those who fail to protect horses and humans be justly punished.  However,  despite our best efforts to keep Senate bill 1176 and House resolution 2966 active,  they both died without ever being brought to a vote.

The challenges in 2013 will be even greater,  as the EU moves to ban importation of North American horsemeat and the full force and effect of the ending of the slots program in Ontario are felt.  HWAC,  Equine Canada and the FEI are also launching “prototype” chipping programs,  ostensibly to ensure compliance with 2013 EU regulations.  As we fine-tune all our programs and advocacy efforts,  we look forward to a most challenging year,  but no doubt one filled with hope that we might be seeing the final death throes of the horse slaughter industry.  Happy Holidays indeed!

Read the entire chronological recap on Storify:

horse welfare 2012


Happy New Year

11 responses »

  1. Wow Heather, that photo is beautiful, and as usual, your writing is the best! I always look forward to anything you write because it is always creative, interesting, factual and full of valuable information. Thanks for another great article.

  2. I to look forward to the end of this BARBARIC industry, sooner rather than later. It seems the U.S. will not support any efforts to comply with E.U. Passport requirements effective in July 2013. Very good news for sure. My real concern, is if the U.S. bill does not pass banning Horse export for slaughter as well, there is a very good chance that an unethical moral deficient Canadian govt. in clear opposition to a MAJORITY of Canadian’s will continue killing U.S. Horses in Quebec’s and Alberta’s houses of horrors, and simply export drug tainted meat to a country where food safety is not even in their vocablatory, that country being China. In Canada we are governed by a regime that has about the same interest in animal welfare issues as the same as China which is virtually none. Presently our unethical and moral deficient regime is desperately seeking trade opportunities with China, and it is not hard to figure out why.
    There are times i am ashamed to be Canadian, and this is definitely one.

    • Me too Dennis. 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.

  3. Pingback: Horse Welfare 2012 – The Year in Review | Canadian Horse Defence Coalition's Blog

  4. The US Senate will not pass the bill S.1176 that would have put a stop to US horses being shipped to slaughter in Canada/Mexico/ Japan. They are to busy fighting over the fiscal cliff. The House of Representatives have 165 cosponsors for H.R.2966 and the Senate has only 25. If the Senate wasn’t paid off by lobbyists this would have been passed years ago. The lobbyists pass money to the senators in the form of donations to their reelections. The money comes from the racing industry, cattle industry, all the horse breed organizations and any farmers that raise livestock using the excuse that animal rights activists “Peta” will force them to shut down their raising of pigs and chickens for slaughter if horses are stopped from being sent to slaughter even with horse slaughter being shut down in the US. This is what is claimed if anyone dares to question their support of horse slaughter. The US Senate are the crooks in this case and without them the bills won’t pass.

  5. And I will be first in line to start the pushing! Our government is just as corrupt and money hungry as Canada’s. It is truly sad. We just have to keep on fighting!

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