Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bill to Ban Horse Slaughter in Canada Introduced

International Fund for Horses

Bill to Ban Horse Slaughter 
in Canada Introduced

OTTAWA (17 June 2010)  – 

OTTAWA - New Democrat Agriculture Critic, Alex 
Atamanenko (BC southern Interior) tabled a Private 
Members Bill (C-544) yesterday that would 
effectively shut down the slaughtering of horses for 
human consumption in Canada. 

"The fact is that drugs which are prohibited for use 
during the life of any animals destined for the human 
food supply are routinely being administered to 
horses," said Atamanenko. "It is irresponsible for 
Canada to allow the sale of meat from horses as a 
food item when they have never been raised in 
accordance with the food safety practices required 
for all other animals."

Atamanenko points to the inexpensive, easily 
available and widely used anti-inflammatory drug, 
phenylbutazone (bute), as one example of what is 
quite likely to be prevalent in horsemeat.  Bute is a 
known carcinogen and its use is illegal in any animal that enters the food supply.

"It is more likely than not that the vast majority of 
horses will have been administered bute, or 
'horse's aspirin' as it is commonly called," said 

According to Atamanenko, at least fifty per cent of 
the horses being slaughtered in Canada are 
imported from the US where horse slaughter has 
been banned. The meat is then sold to markets in 
Europe. There are no regulations in the US to 
prevent horse owners from administering banned 
substances because horses are not regarded or 
treated as food-producing animals.

Under pressure from the European Union (EU), 
Canada is set to introduce a new 'equine passport' 
system to track the health history and medical 
treatments of horses arriving at slaughterhouses, 
including those from the States. 

Atamanenko believes that it will be impossible for 
CFIA to verify data in these passports and expects 
to see a high incidence of inaccurate records.

"Many in the US believe it should be our job to verify 
information from US horses since Canada is the only 
one slaughtering them for human consumption," 
concluded the Atamanenko. "It's a stretch to think 
that information on hundreds of thousands of unwanted 
horses that were never raised to be food, will be 
complete or accurate."

Source: Press Release

Protecting Horses through Intervention, Education and Legislation

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