Written by: Heather Clemenceau
The CFIA documents and slaughter records pertaining to the May 15th shipment of two tractor trailers of horses seen near Marysville, ON on a holiday weekend have now been received. The enquiry was made to ascertain whether or not the horses would have been unloaded in a timely manner on a long holiday weekend in Canada. The paperwork reveals that, as expected, Godbout Express was driving for Ohio Kill Buyer Fred Bauer and the 56 horses were shipped from Larue Ohio. The horses were on the trailers for 27+ hours. Please refer to the previous blog post and video.
Chronology and Summary
- May 15th @ 5:00 AM – horses loaded in Larue, Ohio
- May 15th – border crossing to Canada at Sarnia, Ontario entry point
- May 15th @7:00 PM – two trailers of horses documented by animal activist Rob Boisvert in Marysville, Ontario, approximately 5 hours (with traffic) away from Richelieu slaughterhouse
- May 16th – paperwork completed for Access-To-Information request and mailed to the Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada*
- May 16th @8:15 AM – horses were unloaded at Richelieu slaughterhouse in Massueville, QC on – 27+ hours later (the regulation limit for transit time in Canada is 36 hours).
- May 19th – as soon as the plant opened for operations on the Tuesday following the statutory holiday – Boom! – all 56 horses from the two trailer loads were fastracked to the express lane for slaughter
- July 28th – ATI Request completed & returned to originator – USDA Form 10-13 lists horses as mostly quarter horses and standardbreds, with the occasional appy or paint; no non-compliance orders indicated
*information was also requested as to the condition of the horses at the time of unloading, but this information was either withheld or simply not provided.
Although the manifests made note of several lip tattoos and brands, only a few were indicated and were sufficiently legible enough to trace. Most horses with lip tattoos will be thoroughbreds and not standardbreds, unless perhaps in their late 20s or 30s since the practice of lip-tattooing a standardbred has long been phased-out. With a swipe of the pen, no thoroughbreds are sent to slaughter! Richelieu supposedly backed away from slaughtering thoroughbreds (at least on paper) as a result of the Cactus Cafe & Canuki fiasco with trainer Mark Wedig. According to an email from Richelieu administrative technician Geneve Ethier, the Canuki and Cactus Cafe case “did occur major problems to us and a lot of time, efforts, and money consuming. So to avoid that in the future, the plant advises all his suppliers to not BUY those thoroughbred[s] and overall not have them ship to us. . . . For us, thoroughbred[s] are definitely banned from our premises.” The likelihood that this shipment of 56 horses, some with lip tattoos, contains no thoroughbreds, is quite improbable. So of course, the paperwork is virtually without a doubt – not accurate, or we dare say – FALSE.
In two conversations I had with CFIA veterinarians regarding this shipment, at no time did they tell me that veterinarians/inspectors at slaughterhouses worked any shift other than the standard day shift. According to a 2011 article in Better Farming, “slaughter-bound shipments will be accepted only during the CFIA’s regular hours of operation…” So miraculously perhaps, an inspector was either working a Saturday as part of his/her normal job requirements (the day the horses were unloaded) or was called in especially to break the seal. If the drivers make this trip twice a week (a statement made to Rob Boisvert when he quizzed them in Marysville) then it’s reasonable to assume that the horses are left overnight, packed together in stupefyingly hot July and August weather with no access to water, if the same driving schedule is followed.
Every attempt was made to determine the ID of the horses on these shipments. A few are questionable with more than one possibility due to the illegibility of the writing. Judging by their ages, most of these STB mares could have been older broodmares whose services were no longer required. The remaining 50 horses all had names at one time; to us they are unknown and untraceable, but not to be forgotten.
T4738 – STB Mare – “Gettinjiggywithit”
5B159 – STB Gelding – “Snilloc Three”
2B448 – STB Mare – “Spring Hill Mini”
8A452? – STB Mare – “BC Firepan”
6G525 – STB Mare – “Fast Bunny”
The 9 Ethical Principles of the True Horseman
- Anyone involved with a horse takes over responsibility for the living creature entrusted to him.
- The horse must be kept in a way that is in keeping with its natural living requirements.
- Highest priority must be accorded to the physical as well as psychological health of the horse, irrespective of the purpose for which it is used.
- Man must respect every horse alike, regardless of its breed, age and sex and its use for breeding, for recreation or in sporting competition.
- Knowledge of the history of the horse, its needs, and how to handle it are part of our historical-cultural heritage. This information must be cherished and safeguarded in order to be passed on to the next generation.
- Contact and dealings with horses are character-building experiences and of valuable significance to the development of the human being – in particular, the young person. This aspect must always be respected and promoted.
- The human who participates in equestrian sport with his horse must subject himself, as well his horse, to training. The goal of any training is to bring about the best possible harmony between rider and horse.
- The use of the horse in competition as well as in general riding, driving and vaulting must be geared toward the horse’s ability, temperament and willingness to perform. Manipulating a horses’ capacity to work by means of medication or other “horse-unfriendly” influences should be rejected by all and people engaged in such practices should be prosecuted.
- The responsibility a human has for the horse entrusted to him includes the end of the horse’s life. The human must always assume this responsibility and implement any decisions in the best interest of the horse.
from “Tug of War” by Dr. Gerd Heuschmann, dressage rider and veterinarian