NDP MP Alex Atamanenko (BC Southern Interior) reacted today to a shocking investigation by the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC) which revealed inhumane horse slaughter and other abuses at yet another Canadian slaughterhouse.
“I join with so many Canadians who are sickened and disappointed that our government continues to allow this industry to abuse these animals and the regulatory system with obvious impunity,” stated Atamanenko. “This is the fourth plant to be exposed by undercover investigations indicating that an ingrained culture of abuse is still firmly in place.”
Despite reassurances from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) that horse slaughter plant conditions would be improved, the disturbing footage captured on July 13th and 14th of 2011 at Les Viandes de la Petite-Nation, Inc. in St. Andre-Avellin, Quebec shows serious violations of humane slaughter regulations. “There is no reason that it should take eleven shots to the head to kill a horse,” said Atamanenko. “Why is this plant being allowed to operate in such an inefficient and inhumane way?”
Atamanenko was also concerned by the discrepancies revealed by the report concerning in the new Equine Identity Document (EID) system which is meant to record medical histories and keep horses that have been administered banned drugs from entering the slaughter pipeline. “The EID system is fraught with loopholes that are obviously being taken advantage by predatory kill-buyers looking for product,” said the BC MP. “Clearly the horse meat we are selling for human consumption is not a fit food for humans, especially children.”
According to Atamanenko, the commonly administered drug “phenylbutazone”, more commonly known as ‘horse’s aspirin’, can cause anaplastic anemia in children if consumed in even the tiniest amounts. It was this fact that led the EU to stamp new passports on horses over the age of six months as ineligible for the food supply. “It is reprehensible that we have an industry without such a segregation system,” declared Atamanenko.”
The NDP MP says the overwhelming majority of horses are not raised as food and are commonly administered drugs that are dangerous to people. “It is criminal to sell this meat to humans and the government must shut this industry down immediately,” concluded Atamanenko.