Today is a day that should be marked on everybody’s calendar as a victory for the welfare of all horses. As of this morning, US horses are no longer being accepted in Canadian slaughter plants for the time being. Mexico is expected to follow suit. Right now seems to be mass confusion but the fallout has already begun. The following is a press release from the Equine Welfare Alliance (http://www.equinewelfarealliance.org/). Please read it carefully.
CONFUSION REINS AS CANADIAN SLAUGHTER PLANTS STOP SLAUGHTERING US HORSES
Chicago (EWA) – US horses are no longer being accepted by Canadian horse slaughter plants, according to multiple sources. The Shipshewana auction in Indiana confirmed reports that they have discontinued loose (slaughter) horse sales for an indefinite period of time.
A spokesperson for the Sugar Creek Ohio auction also confirmed that the kill buyers were no longer taking slaughter horses because “the plants are shut down”. This was further confirmed by a Richelieu slaughter house official. An unconfirmed report from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) indicated it was the result of a European Union (EU) directive.
Canadian customs officials, however, knew nothing of the action. To add to the confusion, at least one driver stated that he did deliver horses to an undisclosed plant Friday afternoon.
The move came so suddenly that many trucks were already on the way when they learned of it. According to Lambright the issue is that the EU has banned American horse meat from being shipped for consumption in Europe. EWA has yet to receive confirmation from the EU.
Following the closure of US based horse slaughter plants in 2007, the export of horses to slaughter in Canada and Mexico increased dramatically. In 2011 the US exported over 64,000 horses to Canada and 68,000 to Mexico.
Documents showing horse meat contaminated with phenylbutazone (a carcinogen) and clenbuterol (a steroid) surfaced recently, indicating that the CFIA and the EU were accelerating their residue testing programs. These reports were followed by claims from some kill buyers that blood was being drawn from as many as half their horses (an unprecedented percentage) before they were being accepted.
Since most of the meat from both the Canadian and Mexican plants is being consumed by the EU, it is reported but not confirmed that Mexico too will curtail imports of US horses.
In 2008, the EU announced that it would require third countries to come into compliance with their standards which require horses to be micro-chipped and all their medications tracked, but few observers expected any action would come before the expiration of a July, 2013 deadline.
The most likely explanation for the sudden move is that the expanded residue testing program has yielded worse than anticipated results.
Clearly, this is a huge victory towards ending horse slaughter, but now is not the time for complacency. There hasn’t been word on how long this ban will be. The United Horsemen are, of course, claiming this as `no big deal’. D-bag Duquette claims to have spoken with a sale barn and his Canadian contacts and said “Not a big deal, it’s about EID’s and will re-open. Just a bad time for that sale so they cancelled it”. He can go right on thinking that. I’m sure the trucks that were turned around and refused at the border today may disagree with him. Of course they are also waiting for word from the USDA who had nothing to do with what happened today. Stockland Livestock Sales in Davenport, WA has cancelled their fall horse sale that was due to be held tomorrow.
“UPCOMING SPECIAL SALES:Saturday, October 13th: HORSE SALE CANCELED!!Due to unforeseen circumstances all exports of horses to Canada and Mexico have been suspended. We just became aware of this situation the morning 10/12/12. We have reached out to numerous experts and traders in the business and as a result and due to the uncertainty with the market we have decided to cancel the horse sale. We will reschedule later this fall or early in 2013. As it stands we would have no buyers and no place for the horses and would be unable to provide a service to you or your animals. We understand that this is both a frustration and inconvenience to you. We will keep you posted as more details about the exports and a future sale become available Stockland Livestock Sales, Davenport WA”
Even with that announcement, the UH loyalists remain in denial and have already begun hatching conspiracy theories….
“A play on words with no proof or actual facts.Folks this is a scare tactic,dont believe a word of it. Seriously,look who wrote it,lol.”
– Regarding the above press release…
“These horses will still need to die. These people are truly delusional if they believe they are saving any.”
– Not sure who `these people’ are, but I wonder if this person would like a mug of blood to quench her thirst until they can get the border open again?
“Its not unusual just befor a weekend to hold off on taking some across the boarders,specially if the plants are working full shifts all weekend,and get holding pens as empty as possible befor resuming across the boarder, sales resume a few days later. Chicken plants,hog,beef,they all do it once in awhile,its not permanent.”
– Then why hasn’t it happened before?
“We will have to wait to see how it plays out, I could see where all exports for any reason would be stopped for a period to prevent dealers from reassigning the load once in the other country. I could see where this move would force the usda to ban bute totally so that they will start accepting young stock again and then gradually increase the age to match how long the ban was in effet, so if you use bute you might want to get stocked up now.”
– Less than 1% of the horse population goes to slaughter. There will not be a ban on a useful therapeutic medication so that small number can be sent for human consumption. Period.
So, as of tonight there really are a lot of horses in limbo and needing help. I’m sure the kill buyers will hang onto what they have for a little while until some clarity is given on this shut down. However, with sales cancelling and effectively no dumping ground for these horses, now is the time for people to step up. Support a rescue, donate to a hay bank, and euthanasia clinics will be needed. I don’t even care what side of the slaughter issue you are on; if you care about horses now is the time to step up and help them. The reality today, right now, is that there is currently NO slaughter for American horses. Now is the time to work together for the welfare of all horses.
Seems that somebody told D-bag that his `no big deal’ was not an appropriate response…Puppymill has just posted this on his behalf (pretty sure she wrote it as well)
A statement from Dave Duquette, President of United Horsemen:
As many of you are already aware, there has been a major disruption today in the international trade of U.S. horses going to Canada and Mexico. This is the result of an unexpected and unannounced European Union action. Little official and accurate information is available on a Friday evening, nonetheless, United Horsemen, a 501c3 nonprofit whose mission is devoted to the well being of horses and horse people, and its executive team is working through our international networks, as well as governmental and industry contacts, to get to the bottom of this situation. We will provide continual updates and information as it comes available, and work with all of you to make sure that our network has accurate and reliable information.
Bear in mind that reestablishing humane horse processing in America is a viable solution needed more than ever with the news of this situation. As always, United Horsemen continues its work to restore much needed balance in the horse markets and horse industry, while profoundly improving the state of horse welfare.
We call upon all of you, as members of United Horsemen, for your much needed support in our efforts on your behalf and on behalf of the U.S. horse industry.