The CHDC has received word from the office of MP Alex Atamanenko that Bill C-322 will not proceed to second reading but has been replaced by Bill C-571, a new act that is more likely to be supported by the majority of Parliament.

As we understand it, there has been a general lack of support from Members of Parliament for Bill C-322.  Certainly this is substantiated by the fact that we have not received one letter of support from Conservative MPs and their caucus encompasses most of Parliament.  The reason for the lack of support, we have learned, is the impact that the bill would have on trade, should it move forward and become law.  In this case, trade involves the export of horse meat and live horses to other countries.

The prediction is that Bill C-322 was doomed to fail.  Unfortunately, it will not proceed any further due to lack of MP support and is sure to be voted down in Parliament.

The new bill, introduced January 29, 2014, focuses solely on food safety and will not impact trade.  It involves a strict passport system that will seek to prevent horses having received prohibited drugs from entering the food chain.  Countries of the European Union have passport systems in place.  It is predicted that this new bill will likely succeed in receiving the support of the majority of Parliament.

How will this proposed bill keep horses from being slaughtered?  In our hearts we had hoped for the speedy passage of legislation that would stop the slaughter of horses on Canadian soil, as well as their export for slaughter.  We had hoped that our government leaders would understand that horses are not food animals, period.  Regrettably, this is not the case.  The difficult truth is that trade issues overrule humane concerns and even human health where politics are concerned.

We do see light on the horizon, however.  Bill C-571 is a progressive step in the right direction and will be certain to disrupt the activities of careless breeders, kill buyers and slaughterhouses.  Stringent new passport regulations will prevent the majority of horses from entering the slaughter pipeline, however, the key is enforcement.  Will the CFIA, now positioned under the scrutiny of the Ministry of Health, actually succeed in preventing fraud in our food system?  This remains to be seen.

MP Alex fought long and valiantly for Bill C-322 to become law, as have our many supporters – you!  You petitioned, rallied, and stood in support of this bill.  For that, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  We will keep you posted on the progress of the new bill, as well as continued actions you can take to help prevent the slaughter of our horses.  We will remain diligent, observing conditions in the field and working toward a complete future prohibition on the slaughter of horses. 

While we’re doing that, the CHDC asks for your support of Bill C-571!  In order to keep a bill alive as part of a long term strategy to support horses, we believe it is in everyone’s best interest to stand behind Bill C-571.

MP Alex Atamanenko states, “We do not have a system that has stringent regulations right now, and in the name of food safety, the bill fits in with the new Safe Food for Canadians Act.  It is an expansion of Bill C-322.  It conforms with trade regulations and it tightens up the whole aspect of food safety.  I would urge all members of the House to support the bill, especially all of those hundreds of thousands of people who supported Bill C-322.”

For those of you who have petitions in the works for Bill C-322, please send them, no postage necessary, to MP Alex ASAP in order that they be tabled and entered into the government’s records:

MP Alex Atamanenko
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6.

Thank you on behalf of the horses,

Your friends at CHDC

Here’s what Alex Atamanenko had to say in the House of Commons.

January 29th, 3:10 p.m.
Meat Inspection Act
http://openparliament.ca/debates/2014/1/29/alex-atamanenko-1/
———————————————————-

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-571, An Act to amend the Meat Inspection
Act and the Safe Food for Canadians Act (slaughter of equines for human
consumption).

Mr. Speaker, the bill I am proposing would prohibit the sending or conveying
from one province to another, or the importing or exporting of horses or
other equines for slaughter for human consumption, or the production of meat
products for human consumption.

However, it also provides for an exception to that prohibition. That
exception is that if the horses or other equines are raised primarily for
human consumption and if the horse is accompanied by a medical record that
contains its standardized description and a complete lifetime record in
chronological order of medical treatment then this meat would then be
acceptable.

We do not have a system that has stringent regulations right now, and in the
name of food safety, the bill fits in with the new Safe Food for Canadians
Act. It is an expansion of Bill C-322. It conforms with trade regulations
and it tightens up the whole aspect of food safety.

I would urge all members of the House to support the bill, especially all of
those hundreds of thousands of people who supported Bill C-322.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

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