The Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC) has learned that Bouvry Exports horse slaughter plant in Fort MacLeod, Alberta closed operations on December 3rd to complete renovations related to sanitation.

This news is not surpising.  It is well documented that horse slaughter operations in Canada and the U.S. have a long history of pollution troubles and violations. Interestingly, it was due to sanitation and food safety concerns that Natural Valley Farms (NVF) in Saskatchewan was closed by the CFIA in December 2008.  The now defunct Saskatchewan horse slaughter plant closed its business shortly thereafter. In Texas, the Dallas Crown plant was ordered closed for pollution and sewer violations. The Cavel plant in Illinois had similarly been in violation of its sewer discharge limits before its closure.  In Saskatchewan, NVF resorted to illegally dumping thousands of gallons of horse blood onto the Qu’appelle River Valley.  Also, during a radio interview, a NVF investor and director admitted that 16 million gallons of raw horse blood was left in a retaining pond upstream from the Qu’Appelle River. “Bug tanks“ which contain bacteria to break down horses’ blood become ineffective as their blood typically contains antibiotics, which kills off the bacteria.  The plant resorted to illegally dumping the blood.  Quoting John Holland of the Equine Welfare Alliance: “Pollution follows the horse slaughter industry wherever it goes.”

The CHDC was also advised that a European Union audit was carried out at Bouvry Exports at the end of November, however this information has not been verified.

The CHDC again calls on the CFIA and the Minister of Agriculture to put an end to the suffering of horses and close this cruelty-driven and environmentally detrimental industry, and calls on all Member of Parliament to bring Bill C-544 forward in Parliament, to shut down horse slaughter in Canada, once and for all.