- Response letter from Carol Mitchell, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Jun 4, 2010
- Alberta Primetime interview - Bill desBarres, Dr. Temple Grandin and Twyla Francois of the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition discuss horse processing
- Response to HWAC from Dr. Brian Evans, Executive Vice President and Chief Veterinary Officer, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, May 5, 2010
- No charge over horse cruelty claim, Calgary Herald May 12, 2010
- Response from Dr. Brian Evans, CFIA
- Letters of response from Agriculture Ministers
Memo to Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada Partners and Associates
RE: Canadian Horse Defence Coalition recent report and video
The Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC) has released a video showing what they claim to be the improper handling and euthanasia of horses at the Alberta Bourvry Exports and Quebec Viandes Richelieu facilities. The video had been made available on the internet and the CHDC has distributed it to many. We are not in a position to authenticate the footage or the content.
We have expressed to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and its Minister our concern and asked that they take appropriate steps to review this matter thoroughly. That said, we note that the facilities are fully regulated and regularly inspected by the CFIA. Their work has always been and continues to be integral to the high standards Canada has for the humane treatment of horses.
Our industry is a world leader when it comes to horse management. We have produced programs and materials to assist horse owners with implementing best practices and we are currently creating a best practices program called Recommended Handling Guidelines and Horse Welfare Assessment Tool. This project will cover recommendations including, but not limited to, facility design, proper stunning techniques, audit procedures and protocols and transport loading and unloading.
As a result of our work, horses in Canada do not experience inhumane end of life treatment by suffering from abandonment resultant disease and/or predators.
Enhancing public awareness of the equine industry is one of our major objectives. Obviously we become very concerned when accusations are made about our industry. However, the mechanisms of our system ensure any deviations from our high standards are dealt with swiftly. Our track record speaks for itself in taking the necessary steps to ensure the best management of horses in Canada.
We will keep you informed as we learn more.
Wm. H.L. (Bill) desBarres
HWAC places the highest priority on the well-being of horses and the humane handling of horses across the Canadian horse industry. The allegations made by the Canadian Horse Defense Coalition give us considerable concern, we encourage and trust that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will look into this matter as it does for all regulatory issues impacting the humane treatment of horses. In Canada we set the highest standards for complete management of horses and our industry has produced and continues to produce programs and best practices for the handling of horse including the soon to be released “Recommended Handling Guidelines and Horse Welfare Assessment Tool.”
- HWAC and partners are very conscious of the humane treatment and handling of horses throughout all life stages and promote the implementation of best codes of practice for all horse owners and industry participants.
- The humane euthanasia of horses for processing in Canada is strictly the responsibility of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and their veterinarians and inspectors. A CFIA inspector is present in each federally registered abattoir to conduct routine audits and verify that procedures are appropriate.
- The allegations made by the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC) give us considerable concern. We have been hard at work ensuring the promotion of equine welfare and enhancing public awareness of matters and issues relating to the horse industry.
- The HWAC cannot comment on the authenticity of the Canadian Horse Defense Coalition’s footage or the content.
- We rely on and encourage the CFIA to undertake any investigations including humane euthanasia with dignity according to law.
- HWAC believes the Canadian animal agriculture industry is meeting the demand for horse and other meats in the world economy. We do so through a strong regulatory regime and by producing materials to the industry such as the codes of practice and the soon to be released Recommended Handling guidelines and Horse Welfare Assessment Tool.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Animal Welfare
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) plays an important role in providing protection for animals used in food production. CFIA's responsibility for farm animal welfare is science-based, seeks to reflect contemporary societal attitudes, and relates to two distinct areas of the CFIA mandate: transportation and slaughter. <read more>