Written by: Heather Clemenceau
Pro-slaughters are free to believe whatever nonsense they wish about veterinary drug contamination in horsemeat. In the US and Canada, they have the freedom to remain uninformed and unenlightened. In fact, if they’d like to do a few lines of bute directly off a horse’s ass, it’s hardly my concern. But time and time again, Slaughterhouse Sue Wallis and her band of buffoons have shown us that we cannot allow them to have any input or control over the food supply. What I can’t wrap my head around is the fact that so many pro-slaughters claim that they won’t euthanize because they don’t want to contaminate the water supply (got any proof of that, BTW?) but they have no problem contaminating the food supply!
It’s my own opinion that it’s heartless and generally illegal to deny an animal pain-relieving medication, especially when a veterinarian or farrier indicates that it is in pain. I can’t decide which is worse – denying an animal medication because it might affect the ability to wring those last few dollars off of it, or “buting” it and sending it to slaughter anyway. We’ve just met an individual who has no qualms about doing either – she will let her animal suffer in pain because she doesn’t believe in lessening pain, but she will or has already “buted” him as a sort of last resort, or perhaps it’s a final insult to horsemeat eaters.
The opinion of this particular horse-owner appears to echo that of Slaughterhouse Sue Wallis of Unified Equine and the International Equine Business Association. That is, denial that veterinary drugs are harmful in the food supply, along with the accusation, thrown in for good measure, that the FDA stipulations about veterinary drugs are “made-up” and “mostly a joke” manufactured by anti-slaughter welfare advocates.
This pro-slaughter owner is proposing that she will drive her horse, suffering from ringbone for a few years now, to Fort MacLeod Alberta to be slaughtered at the Bouvry plant. This highly impractical and unnecessary journey will purportedly be undertaken so that he “won’t be wasted.” Instead of being euthanized or shot at home where he has apparently lived for many years with one owner, she will load him up in a trailer, (after having a vet pull a negative Coggins and providing an Export Certificate issued by the USDA) and deliver him, after a 1.500 mile/16 hour drive, to the slaughterhouse personally. The owner also operates under the belief that she may actually be able to be with him during his final moments on the kill floor.
I’m really struggling to be diplomatic here. How is it possible to believe that you will be allowed on the production (kill) floor of a slaughterhouse, moving along at a fast pace, whilst spending a few quiet, reflective moments with your horse in the kill box before he is stunned? Does she have any comprehension of what actually happens on a kill floor? The irony (you know pro-slaughters are destroying my irony meters – I’m going to have to send them a bill) is this – pro-slaughters accuse animal welfare advocates of being all caught up with unicorns and such; meanwhile, this woman herself seems to be living in a fantasy world where the kill floors are inhabited with smiling dolphins, frolicking golden retrievers and top-hatted pandas who will escort her horse across the Rainbow Bridge. Furthermore, when an animal nears death, it’s now on its own timeline, not ours. We can’t choose to euthanize it or otherwise end its life on our schedule. If your animal is diagnosed by a veterinarian as non-viable/in pain/unrecoverable injury, it is now our responsibility to humanely euthanize him or her to avoid further suffering. This particular person wants to squeeze in this disposal of her horse at a slaughterhouse when it’s convenient for HER (perhaps she’s got a plan to come up here with a trailer of horses anyway), based on some schedule she has for coming to Canada.
On a very serious note, please check out these undercover videos of Bouvry, submitted to the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (and verified by the Canadian government) – CAUTION – GRAPHIC. This whole escapade is pretty fvcking insensitive. Aside from the fact that this won’t happen for a gazillion reasons, one of which is liability, and there are serious fines, so the CFIA tells us anyway, that can be levied against you if you make false declarations on the EID, which is exactly what she would have to do in order that he be slaughtered in Canada. So please don’t mess with the food supply, K? We Canadians don’t say “eh” we say “fvckin’ eh!” and we will throw a beaver at you. But not a real beaver, that’s cruel.
The Act will implement tougher fines and penalties for activities that put the health and safety of Canadians at risk. Anyone convicted of an offence by way of summary conviction under the Act would face a penalty of up to $250,000 and/or 6 months imprisonment for a first offence, or more for subsequent offences.
When the offence is serious or knowingly or recklessly puts Canadians lives in danger, such as tampering, penalties are up to $500,000 and/or 18 months imprisonment for a first offence proceeded by way of summary conviction, or more for subsequent offences. Anyone convicted of an offence by way of indictment will face even higher fines and penalties.
Safe Food for Canadians Act
|Canada Agricultural Products Act||Summary Conviction– $50,000 fine and/or 6 months imprisonment Indictable Offence– $250,000 fine and/or 2 years imprisonment(Amount of the fine for an subsequent offence could be higher if designated by regulation)||For most offences:Summary Conviction (First offence)– $250,000 fine and/or 6 months imprisonmentSummary Conviction (Subsequent offence)– $500,000 fine and/or 18 months imprisonmentIndictable Offence– $5,000,000 fine and/or 2 years imprisonmentFor certain serious offences*:Summary Conviction (First offence)– $500,000 fine and/or 18 months imprisonmentSummary Conviction (Subsequent offence)– $1,000,000 fine and/or 2 year imprisonmentIndictable Offence– Unlimited fine and/or 5 year imprisonment*: Tampering, providing false information, failing to comply with an order, or knowingly or recklessly causing a risk|
|Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act||Summary Conviction– $50,000 fine and/or 6 months imprisonmentIndictable Offence – $250,000 fine and/or 2 years imprisonment|
|Fish Inspection Act||Summary Conviction (First offence)– $20,000 fine and/or 3 months imprisonment Summary Conviction (Subsequent offence)– $50,000 fine and/or 2 years imprisonmentIndictable Offence (Corporation)– $250,000 fineIndictable Offence (Individual) – $100,000 fine and/or 5 years imprisonment|
|Meat Inspection Act||Most offencesSummary Conviction– $50,000 fine and/or 6 months imprisonmentCertain serious offencesIndictable Offence – $250,000 fine and /or 2 years imprisonment|
|Food and Drugs Act||Summary Conviction– $50,000 fine and/or 6 months imprisonmentIndictable Offence – $250,000 fine and/or 3 years imprisonment|
Dr. Richard Arsenault, director of the meat programs division for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), thinks that the regulations are working. “It’s extremely well respected in terms of compliance,” he says. Obviously, he hasn’t met our little case-study! His statements are alarming from a food safety perspective due to drugs that are banned in animals raised for slaughter but are regularly administered by horse owners and veterinarians, including common wormers, vaccines, diuretics, NSAIDS, and analgesics. It is because of these very drugs that Bouvry and Richelieu slaughterhouses in Canada previously issued a statement that they would no longer accept Thoroughbreds for slaughter.
“This includes the non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug, Phenylbutazone (also known as “bute”), a painkiller given to 90% of U.S. horses and nearly all racehorses on and before race day. Bute is a known human carcinogen. With no acceptable withdrawal period, even a single dose in any animal sold for meat is banned by the EU, FDA and USDA.”
In conclusion, there is no way this horse can ethically be slaughtered in Canada (not that horse slaughter is ethical to begin with). If the owner is honest with respect to the EID, and if Bouvry is acting in accordance with the CFIA’s own regulations regarding prohibited drugs such as Bute, the horse would presumably be declined. Then what could conceivably happen? She would drive him all the way back to the States after completing even more paperwork? It is my sincere hope that someone on the pro-slaughter side will rise to the occasion and educate this poorly-informed woman before she makes a series of mistakes and presuppositions that will prolong the pain and anxiety for this horse, a pet she has apparently had since childhood. Driving your horse to a different country when you could simply euthanize him at home and render him (if that service is available and that’s what you want) is the nadir of foolhardiness.
“The pound of flesh which I demand of him Is deerely bought, ’tis mine, and I will have it.
I am sorry for thee: thou art come to answer
A stony adversary, an inhuman wretch
uncapable of pity, void and empty
From any dram of mercy.”
Pro-slaughters, you are now free to go back to your lives as usual – unresponsive, uninvolved, and uninformed. Call the paramedics, and charge the defibrillator, because……….