“For more than three decades, we have worked alongside restaurants, distributors and retailers, ensuring the highest food safety, animal welfare and employee safety throughout our supply chain.”
Source: Bouvry Exports website
Over the years we have seen many statements such as the one quoted above, from industry representatives proclaiming that horses destined for slaughter must be, and are treated humanely.
What really happens behind the scenes?
Previously, we made public records from 2018 to 2019 which describe the conditions of horses arriving at slaughter plants that included crippled and lame animals, as well as a horse who was describe as “blind- hitting everything”.
On October 22, 2019, under the observation of night Contract Security staff, a live horse who was down was dragged from the trailer with a loader by the trucking staff.
We can’t help but wonder how often this occurs.
In documents recently received, we find a similar, very serious incident which occurred on January 7, 2021 as horses delivered to a slaughter plant were being unloaded from the trailer.
While the names of companies and individuals were redacted from all pages prior to our receiving them, several documents sent to us anonymously confirm Bouvry Exports Calgary Ltd. to be the slaughter plant involved.
The incident in question involves dragging a live, conscious horse from a trailer, across the ground and into a pen – a combined distance of approximately 40 feet.
- On January 7, 2021 30 horses were transported for slaughter from a Livestock assembly yard, location unknown.
- At loading, a pinto mare was noticed to be lame on her right hind. Despite this, she was loaded in a compartment with six other horses – she was not segregated.
- Approximately 7 to 8 hours after leaving the yard, the trailer arrived at the plant after hours.
- While unloading, the mare was found down in the trailer and an electric prod was used in an unsuccessful attempt to get her up.
- A rope was tied around her neck, the other end around a post, then she was dragged out using a truck.
- Once she was out, on the ground, the rope was removed from her neck and her front legs were tied together.
- The other end of the rope was tied to the back of a forklift and she was dragged another 3 metres into a dirt pen where she was left overnight.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) initiated an investigation into the incident and took enforcement action which included notices of violation with penalty of $13,000 for the establishment and $10,000 for the transporter. However, these amounts were reduced by 50% if paid within 15 days, which they were.
Please see our full report HERE, for details and more information.