Written by: Heather Clemenceau
Photos and video credit: Rob Boisvert
On Friday, May 15th, two Godbout Express transports of horses were observed at an out-of-the-way truck stop in Marysville, Ontario by animal activist Rob Boisvert of Refuge RR in Alexandria Ontario. In listening to the video, it is evident that the drivers appear to be trying to mislead Boisvert and his friend, by telling them that they are enroute from Ohio (probably Sugarcreek Auction) to New Brunswick. They are actually headed to Quebec, and this is proven by a photo taken of one of the trailers which shows a CFIA seal – meaning that the truck cannot be opened until it reaches its destination at one of the two slaughter plants in that province. There are no provincially-registered horse slaughter facilities in New Brunswick.
Monday is a statutory holiday throughout most of Canada. The video was taken about 7 pm Friday. From Marysville (near Belleville, ON), it is possibly 5 hours drive or longer (with holiday weekend traffic) to either Les Petite Nations (in St. Andre-Avellin, PQ) or Richelieu ( in Massueville, PQ) slaughterhouses. The horses would arrive very late the same day or possibly the next day. We can only wonder what time they expected to get there? Were the horses to be unloaded somewhere and rested? According to a 2011 article in Better Farming, “slaughter-bound shipments will be accepted only during the CFIA’s regular hours of operation…” Therefore, we can only take that to mean that unless arrangements were made to offload horses on Friday night, there would be no CFIA inspectors at the plant until TUESDAY, May 19th – more than three full days later! The horses, unless unloaded somewhere (and by necessity breaking the CFIA seal), would have to stay on the trailer until that time – a horrifying possibility. Would they be watered or fed? Already many of the horses are standing in the trailers with heads hanging low…
Godbout Express is a repeat offender with the CFIA. The CFIA has most recently issued the company Notices of Violation of Part XII of the Health of Animals Regulations for $7,800 during the period of October to December 2014, with total fines of $45,600 in both current and past reporting periods.
A check of US DOT #648752 reveals that Godbout Express has incurred two violations already in 2015 in the United States, with similar violations in 2014.
|HOS Compliance Violation: 395.3A3-PROP Driving beyond 11 hour driving limit in a 14 hour period. (Property Carrying Vehicle)|
|HOS Compliance Violation: 395.3A2-PROP Driving beyond 14 hour duty period (Property carrying vehicle)|
Given the company’s propensity to incur violations, further investigation with the CFIA will be necessary to determine when these horses arrived and were actually offloaded.