Humanity for Horses Rescue farm in Duncan, Vancouver Island, holds horses that have avoided slaughter (Photograph by Jen Osborne)

The CHDC (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)  thanks MacLean’s Magazine and author Adrienne Tanner for highlighting the perils of horse slaughter in Canada.

This is an excellent article, however, it should be noted that while there are no horse slaughter plants in the US, that country does export horses to be slaughtered in Mexico and Canada.

Trailer loads containing 28+ loose horses cross at one of 8 designated ports of entry to Canada where the trailers are sealed by the CFIA, then depending on the destination of the meat from the horses, the horses are either slaughtered within 4 days of arrival at the plant or held for six months as per the European Union regulations stating that a horse must reside in the country of slaughter for six months prior to slaughter.

Any horse presented for slaughter in Canada must be accompanied by an ‘Equine Information Document’, which is to include their medication history.  However, those who fill out the easily “fudged” documents operate purely on an honor system.

In their 2018 audit the EU recognized substantial weaknesses in the reliability of this document, particularly with respect to horses having been treated with prohibited substances.  (Learn more.)

Information on several EIDs that were checked by the European Union audit team appeared to be incomplete and unreliable.  These EIDs were matched with test results.

In January and February 2020 there were two recalls of horse meat in Canada, due to the presence of clenbuterol.

You can learn more about the most recent recall notices for tainted horse meat in Canada  by clicking on the graphic below: