Proponent - undercover video a fabrication
News Room 10:07 AM 12-Apr-2010 NZT
The Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC) recently released hidden camera
footage from an investigation that took place at the two largest horse slaughter
plants in Canada, Bouvry Exports and Viande Richelieu.
So horrific are the conditions depicted at both plants that they have prompted
Bill desBarres, Chairman of the Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada (HWAC) and a
long time proponent of horse slaughter, to declare he believes the footage was
fabricated by groups opposed to "any animal agriculture".
Bill desBarres and his organization have repeatedly praised the CFIA (Canadian
Food Inspection Agency) and its inspectors for their diligence in assuring that
horses are treated humanely at the slaughter plants and his organization lists
the CFIA as a "resource partner" on their web site. The Horse Welfare Alliance
appears to be nothing more than a front for the horse slaughter industry.
CHDC's Eastern Region Director, Shelley Grainger said of the footage, "The
evidence provided compelling proof that puts into question the effectiveness of
the assembly-line slaughter of horses. The evidence demonstrates that both the
facilities in Alberta and Quebec fail to meet humane slaughter standards."
The footage is incontrovertible. In a court of law it would stand the test of
cross examination as evidence.
Now, faced with such absolute evidence of the true nature of the slaughter
process, desBarres has elected to use the Nixon Gambit and make the outrageous
suggestion that the video is somehow fabricated. "One has to wonder," says EWA's
John Holland, "does desBarres believe the CHDC tortured horses in staged
mock-ups of the plants or does he think they hired Steven Spielberg to produce a
"The evidence obtained on the footage at both facilities was random - these
instances we see of horses suffering terribly happened on those random days, and
we can be certain they happen every day.As there are only two
government-approved methods of stunning horses in Canada - captive bolt gun and
rifle - and both methods have been shown to cause prolonged suffering in horses,
it is evident that these animals cannot be slaughtered humanely in today's
slaughterhouse assembly lines" says Grainger.
Grainger's conclusion is supported by similar under cover footage from a Mexican
slaughter plant and appalling photos of horses at a US plant released by the
USDA (US Department of Agriculture) under a response to a citizen request
through the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.
The revelations are even more problematic for the CFIA who has yet to respond
publicly to findings of a study published recently in the journal Food and
Chemical Toxicology showing that horses given the banned carcinogen
Phenylbutazone had routinely slipped through the inspection process and been
slaughtered for human consumption.
The CFIA has been more circumspect than the HWAC, indicating only that such
actions are unacceptable and that they will investigate the abuse issue.
Shelly Grainger commented, "As of July 31st, all slaughter bound horses in
Canada must have an Equine Identification Document (EID) verifying they have not
received Phenylbutazone, Clenbuterol, or various other drugs and steroids. As
well, there is an extensive list of medications that require a 6-month
The dual controversy comes as bills have been introduced into several state
legislatures in support of horse slaughter. "They are just ignoring reality,"
says EWA's Vicki Tobin, "They can't keep ignoring the drug concerns, the
horrific conditions at the slaughter plants and the cruelty inherent with the
entire slaughter pipeline. The only states that want horse slaughter are those
who have never experienced it."
It is time to take back our horses from the predatory slaughter industry. EWA
urges all horse owners to contact their legislators and insist that the federal
horse protection legislation be passed immediately.
The Equine Welfare Alliance is a dues free, umbrella organization with over 100
member organizations and hundreds of individuals worldwide. The organization
focuses its efforts on the welfare of all equines and the preservation of wild