June 14, 2010 12:00 PM (PT)
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is supposed to enforce regulations about the handling of animals during slaughter. It has come to light, however, that at horse slaughter facilities, inspectors were actually ordered to stay off the kill floors during slaughter.
Why? According to Bob Kingston, president of the Agriculture Union that represents inspectors, out of fear for their safety. Kingston explained, "Anybody could just walk in, grab a rifle, and start shooting. Basically that's the way it was working. I mean, they had no idea whether the person using the firearms was qualified, was stable, or anything else."
Canadian officials fear inspectors will be injured or killed as workers manhandle and fire guns at horses. There may also be concern that inspectors will suffer post traumatic stress from observing such brutal treatment of animals. So they abandoned regulatory oversight of the slaughter process.