Recently (see below) there have been reminders to those of us living in Canada, or near the Canadian border, that we live within a day’s drive – or at most 2 day’s drive – of plants that slaughter horses – and that stolen horses are slaughtered for human consumption.
With precious few protocols in place, other than the honor system, as to who is the rightful owner of a horse, and with “same day slaughter” as drop off, often being the case, we all need to know exactly what to do — and who to call — should any of our equines go missing.
Yes, like it or not horse slaughter is legal in Canada and stolen horses have been slaughtered before owners even know they are missing. (Scroll down for specific stories.)
To repeat, there are not any mandatory hold times after a horse is sold to a slaughter plant, so horses are often slaughtered the same day they arrive at a slaughter plant.
In other words, many Canadians could come home from work, or wake up in the morning to find that a horse, or horses, are missing, and our horses could be slaughtered for human consumption – before we know they are gone – and without us being notified first.
Slaughtering horses in Canada is legal.
The practice has been banned in the United States but horses from the United States are routinely shipped to Canada and Mexico to be slaughtered.
See below for specific stories of stolen horses being slaughtered.
SO, WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOUR HORSE GOES MISSING?
Tina Erfle Rowe of International Horse Registry writes:
If you Are in Western Canada, IMMEDIATELY call the Brand Inspector, Tim at Bouvry Exports in Fort MacLeod, Alberta. (403) 634-5799
Tim inspects all loads of incoming slaughter horses at the plant.
Unbranded horses can be offloaded by anyone claiming ownership and will often be slaughtered the same day they are delivered.
CALL THE RCMP FILE A REPORT with livestock investigators. Call any other local law enforcement agencies as well. Be prepared to INSIST that they listen to and help you.
* B.C contact Cory Lepine RCMP BC Livestock Division (250) 314-1800
* Alberta call Livestock Investigator Andrew Grainger (780) 509-3293
*Next call the brand inspectors in BC and AB (and in your province).
*BC Brand Inspectors (250) 314-9686
*AB Brand Inspectors (403) 553-2844
Contact International Horse Registry with all pertinent information available so we can file an “Equine Alert”.
Please have pictures available if you are not registered with the I.H.R.