Quantcast

CBC Documentary TONIGHT

Miniature Horse Talk Forums

Help Support Miniature Horse Talk Forums:

tigeresss

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2005
Messages
484
Reaction score
1
Location
Canada
Cross posting from another forum as I think it would be of interest to many over here:

Tune in to CBC's The National tonight (10:00 PM ET) for the airing of a documentary that's been 6 months in the making - an in-depth and critical look at the horse slaughter industry in Canada. It will expose shocking cruelty at a horse slaughter plant in Western Canada.

Cross posting from another forum as I thought it would be of interest to others here:

At a press conference early next week, the Canadian Horse Defense Coalition will be releasing a report on the issue of equine slaughter in Canada called BLACK BEAUTY BETRAYED: The Slaughter of US and Canadian Horses.

Don't miss tonight's CBC The National - it promises to blow this industry wide open and clearly show that the slaughter of horses is not humane euthanasia and must be stopped.

(Will also be available on www.cbc.ca after it airs.)

EDITED TO ADD THAT I JUST REALIZED THIS WAS ON LAST NIGHT...HOWEVER IT IS AVAILABLE ONLINE.

CBC probe raises questions about horse slaughtering

Facility follows all regulations, operator says

Last Updated: Wednesday, June 11, 2008 | 1:53 AM ET Comments0Recommend0

CBC News

A CBC News investigation into the horse slaughter industry in Canada, including hidden-camera footage from one slaughterhouse in Saskatchewan, is raising questions about how horses are being killed.

The footage, obtained from the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition but shot by an unidentified videographer, documents slaughter practices at Natural Valley Farms in Neudorf, just east of Regina. It appears to show what anti-animal cruelty activists say is the inhumane treatment of horses.

A vet from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is posted at the plant but doesn't appear on the footage to have done anything to stop the practices.

Many of the horses slated for slaughter are race or workhorses no longer fit for their former jobs, or unwanted pets. The horses are shipped to any one of seven slaughterhouses in Canada from the U.S. The meat is sent to parts of Europe and Asia where it is considered a delicacy.

Horse slaughter businesses in Canada have grown by 75 per cent since laws were passed in the United States in 2006 making it illegal to kill horses for food, according to figures from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. It is still legal to ship horses outside the country for slaughter.

John Holland, an engineer from West Virginia, was one of those responsible for getting the slaughter ban passed in the U.S.

"Those people have simply moved over to your border," he told CBC News. "So Canada is basically being used to get around the fact that we don't want our horses slaughtered."

One of the arguments Holland and others used in advocating for the ban on horse slaughter was that it is extremely difficult to slaughter horses humanely.

Experts such as Dr. Temple Grandin, an American professor who has designed dozens of slaughter facilities in the U.S., said it is possible to deliver a humane death if the right slaughter infrastructure is in place.

The key to humane horse slaughter is a stunning box, or kill pen, that is designed specifically for horses and high enough so the animals cannot see over the side in order to contain their large bodies, Grandin said. Non-slip flooring is also essential.

"Animals panic when they start to slip. People need to be calm. No whistling, no yelling, no hitting and you can do it where they can just walk right in," Grandin, who did not review the hidden-camera footage from Natural Valley Farms in Neudorf, told CBC.

Pens too large, veterinary prof says

A veterinarian who did see the footage said the kill pen being used at Natural Valley was designed for cattle, not horses.

Dr. Nicholas Dodman, a professor of veterinary medicine at Tufts University in Medford, Mass., and a founding member of Veterinarians for Equine Welfare, said the pens at the farm are too large.

He said the pens allow the horses space to move around and back away from the captive bolt operator responsible for shooting them with a device called a captive bolt pistol, sometimes referred to as a bolt or cattle gun, which is used to stun horses before slaughter.

The footage shows the operator is not always able to stun the horses properly to render them fully unconscious before they are slaughtered by slitting of the throat, Dodman said.

The footage also showed horses slipping on the kill pen floor, which appeared extremely slippery.

"Its legs are spinning around; it's like it's on ice. The legs are just spinning around in circles, it's trying to go backwards, it's trying to go forwards — it's just sheer terror, sheer panic," Dodman said of a horse on the videotape.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency allows for about five per cent of animals to wake up during the slaughter process. But in the worst cases, the horses are incorrectly shot, usually as a result of struggling, Dodman said.

"There are parts of the animal that are still moving that let you know that for at while at least, it's conscious," he said.

Twyla Francois, central region director of the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition, said she is trying to raise awareness among horse owners who don't realize the horses they take to auction could end up at slaughter.

In the 10 to 12 hours of hidden-camera footage she watched, a CFIA inspector was never present at the kill pen, Francois said, despite government regulations that require a vet from the agency be present to oversee the slaughter process at the plant.

The CBC left repeated phone messages at the plant that weren't returned. Requests for an interview with someone from the organization that represents the horse slaughter industry were turned down.

Two months after CBC News filmed compost heaps at the facility from outside the property, the hidden camera operator returned to the compost area to find large exposed mounds of horse remains dumped in a field that were not covered, as required under Saskatchewan environment ministry regulation.

Horses euthanized 'as humanely as possible': operator

When CBC reporters arrived at Natural Valley Farms to speak to the man who runs the operation, Ken Pillar, he also refused a request for an interview and a tour of the plant. But he did say that the facility follows all regulations.

"We have trained and went through every possible thing to unload horses carefully. They are euthanized here in a perfect manner, as humanely as possible," Pillar said.

The CFIA said it has investigated complaints about the plant in the past, but never found any problems.

One scene from the video footage shows a stun gun operator repeatedly hitting an unco-operative horse with a stick. There was also evidence horses had been transported with their horseshoes still on, which violates regulations, unless the animals are separated in the truck, because the horses could hurt each other.

In accepting the hidden camera footage, CBC agreed not to contact government officials for comment until after the footage was released publicly.

I don't know what the answer is but the human race is a disgusting one and I for one am ashamed to be a part of it.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Kim

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2002
Messages
417
Reaction score
0
I have not completely decided how I feel about horse slaughter. I do think that it is often a necessary evil, however. A horse slowly starving to death when an owner can't or won't feed it is in my opinion a much worse fate than slaughter - and as gruesome as it sounds, maybe even worse than slaughter that is perhaps not done in the most humane way possible. (Obviously I would hope that all horse slaughter is done extremely humanely)

With respect to the documentary, as with anything produced by the media, it should not necessarily be taken as entirely accurate. I did not see it, but somebody (a horse owner and lover, incidentally) that works in the regulation industry told me that the end result is extremely one sided and biased. Through work, this person knows the vet in the documentary and said that she is actually extremely caring and passionate about making sure that the horses are treated humanely and do not suffer. Just something to keep in mind when watching it...

It's also important to realize that the organization that provided the footage that CBC used for this documentary (the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition) is an organization along the same lines as PETA. I'm not certain whether they are directly aligned with each other or if CHDC is quite as unsavory as PETA, but I sure do know how I feel about the latter; they certainly don't let the truth get in the way of a good allegation of animal abuse.
 

tigeresss

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2005
Messages
484
Reaction score
1
Location
Canada
I too think that horse slaughter is a necessary evil. I think to ban it completely would have bad results, possibly even having horses shipped down to Mexico where their slaughter methods are nowhere near as humane as ours. That being said I still would like to be able to see improvements in the way horses (all animals for consumption actually) are slaughtered and the conditions they are kept in prior to slaughter.

I have not yet seen the documentary.
 

uwharrie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2008
Messages
932
Reaction score
0
Location
Troy, North Carolina
I used to think slaughter was acceptable as long as its done in a humane way. After seeing the video I no longer think that way. Yes it may be one sided, Yes that particular plant may be the bad apple, but the fact remains there is nothing humane about how those horses are transported, held at the slaughter houses and killed.

I encourage everyone to at least watch the video. Then come to your own conclusions.
 

Minimor

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2004
Messages
8,588
Reaction score
860
Location
Brandon Manitoba
I didn't see the National last night & cannot watch video clips on my computer, and perhaps it's just as well.


I will say that I believe there is a big difference between the featured slaughter house and the slaughterhouse in Ft. McLeod. Different people that have been to the Ft. McLeod plant say that it is well run and about as humane as you get when it comes to slaughtering horses. At the Ft. McLeod plant the horses are shot with a real bullet--provided that the person doing the shooting makes the effort to place the bullet properly, that is a humane death. The horse is not simply stunned and does not wake up like can so often happen with the captive bolt. Horse Care magazine recently did an article on slaughter, and that too referred to the fact that horses at Ft. McLeod are shot. In my books that makes it far superior to the Saskatchewan plant. I don't know what the procedure at the Quebec plant is--I've heard virtually nothing about that one.

I do wish that there could be better laws to govern horse slaughter, and that there was someone that was actually there to make sure the laws are followed. Much as I would like to see slaughter banned completely, I do not want to see slaughter banned here as it is in the US, and then know that all slaughter bound horses are being shipped to Mexico. God help those that even now get shipped south instead of north.
 

uwharrie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2008
Messages
932
Reaction score
0
Location
Troy, North Carolina
I didn't see the National last night & cannot watch video clips on my computer, and perhaps it's just as well.


I will say that I believe there is a big difference between the featured slaughter house and the slaughterhouse in Ft. McLeod. Different people that have been to the Ft. McLeod plant say that it is well run and about as humane as you get when it comes to slaughtering horses. At the Ft. McLeod plant the horses are shot with a real bullet--provided that the person doing the shooting makes the effort to place the bullet properly, that is a humane death.
real bullets work no different than captive bolts. this issue is not the "mode" but the method. Neither work well on a frighten moving animal. the plant featured was using cattle sweeze boxes ( apparently common) and was on a slick floor ( also common) Bullets or bolts must be placed in the exact place.

I dont think the answer (at least for the US) is closing plants ( we cant control what goes on in other peoples countries, though it sure seems we often try) but banning the shippments themselves. With that we have got to get a handle on our production of unwanted horses.
 

Reignmaker Miniatures

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2008
Messages
3,442
Reaction score
521
Location
British Columbia
I watched the news report on this and have to say as much as the video did break my heart, they only showed the video that made their point. The comentator also seemed bent on using the phrasing most sure to get an emotional response, describing one horse as..."the beloved companion of a teenage girl gone off to college." I mean come on, it is unlikely that the reporter had any way of knowing that. I would like to see some much tighter controls and changes that garanteed a clean kill so there was no suffering (altho I believe with the numbers they claimed go through that plant alone the couple of problem cases is a very small percentage) but I think banning slaughter is NOT the answer and agree with Kim, death in a slaughter house would be much kinder than starving in a snow storm, being turned out to fend for itself or just left in a barn or empty pen to die a slow death. They were saying that some people in the US are asking for a ban on transport to slaughter (and that both presidential candidates are in agreement with it) I say if that happens the price of horses here in Canada will go WAY up and some will start breeding for slaughter. I do not think that is the solution at all.
 

uwharrie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2008
Messages
932
Reaction score
0
Location
Troy, North Carolina
some will start breeding for slaughter. I do not think that is the solution at all.
People are already breeding for slaughter, they just don't know it. All the back yard grade fuglies out there. all the folks that have a pasture full of two year old, untrained, intacts colts and still keep breeding.

Not a day goes by when I dont read on one of the local craig's list for free or cheap horses, usually stallions, grade, untrained, ect. or broken down horses no one wants. Cant feed them, cant afford them, but hey they are pretty colors and can be bred! Where do you think those horse end up?

I hope we do ban the transport of horses for slaughter completley. As for a kinder death, tell that to the dozen or so horses that were stewn across the interstate in IL. They were in a double decker truck ( illegal) on their way to a Canadian slaughter house.

the only acceptable slaughter should be the way it is done in England. Horses walked in calmly and shot in the head. everything is cleaned up before the next horse comes in. NO mass trucking in.

If we could make slaughter truely humane I would not be opposed to it.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Reignmaker Miniatures

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2008
Messages
3,442
Reaction score
521
Location
British Columbia
I think we are basically saying the same thing. Lets find a way to make it more humane. Banning it all together hasn't been the solution from what I see.
 

Latest posts

Top