Ottawa, Ontario — Equine Canada was notified on March 30, 2010, of allegations of abuse at two horse processing plants in Canada. While recognizing that no aspect of these allegations is confirmed, Equine Canada immediately contacted the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), which is the federal government agency responsible for ensuring that humane practices are followed in Canadian animal processing plants. Equine Canada has been assured that the CFIA takes allegations of abuse very seriously and that their officials are investigating this case.
The CFIA has further assured Equine Canada that their routine surveillance indicates that most producers, transporters and processers in this sector are committed to treating the horses in their care humanely. In those rare cases when abuse is determined, the CFIA has a range of enforcement options at their command.
Equine Canada will monitor the proceedings and provide an update when findings are available.
The Equine Canada mission statement identifies that: “…the welfare of the horse is paramount.” With respect to the specific allegations, we state that horses destined for processing must be:
· treated humanely and with dignity,
· transported to the production facility according to current national regulations, and
· euthanized in a humane manner in accordance with the guidelines adopted by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association.
Equine Canada has worked with government, professional bodies and its membership to establish guidelines for the care, handling and use of horses. It strictly enforces these standards in areas of its jurisdiction, and looks to other respective authorities to enforce standards elsewhere. As the voice for the horse, Equine Canada requires timely action where abuse is alleged.