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 www.daveduquette.com 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: