US Horses Head Back to Canadian Killing Floor - National Horse | Examiner.com

US horses head back to Canadian killing floor - National horse | Examiner.com

One horse sat at the auction yard yesterday, but sale expected to resume tomorrow
Sales starting again at Fallon, NV Livestock Exchange
 US horses head back to Canadian killing floor
October 15, 2012
By: Laura Leigh

This morning doors to Canadian killing floors reopened to take American horses for export.

On Friday apparently an "incorrectly labelled" shipment arrived in France causing the temporary shutdown of US horses accepted for import into the European Union (EU).

The lack of complete information given to US kill buyers and auction houses led to them to believe that the shutdown was due to the new regulations pending on US horse meat. The regulations will require a "passport" system that certifies animals as drug free and in the care of the seller for at least six months. Those regulations will become enforced sometime between now and July of 2013.

Auction yards and trucks have resumed "business as usual."

The Fallon Livestock auction in Nevada has notified customers that the regular Tuesday sale of horses will take place tomorrow. Yesterday there was only one horse at the auction yard.

However operations resume with the knowledge that changes are coming.

"It is only a matter of time before the unsafe practices cause this so-called industry to reform," said Connie J. Cunningham of Wild Horse Education, "in America horses are not raised for food."

All of this has occurred while the Horse Slaughter Prevention Act sits idle in Congress, with so many other pieces of Legislation.

Laura is an award winning illustrator, animator, writer and videographer. Her articles on Wild Horses and Burros have appeared in numerous publications. Her documentation has appeared in such venues as The I-Team Reports of KLAS-TV and CNN.
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October 12, 2012



John Holland, Equine Welfare Alliance

Sinikka Crosland, Canadian Horse Defence Coalition


Chicago (EWA) – US horses are no longer being accepted by Canadian horse slaughter plants, according to multiple sources. The Shipshewana auction in Indiana confirmed reports that they have discontinued loose (slaughter) horse sales for an indefinite period of time.

A spokesperson for the Sugar Creek Ohio auction also confirmed that the kill buyers were no longer
taking slaughter horses because “the plants are shut down”. This was further confirmed by a Richelieu slaughter house official. An unconfirmed report from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) indicated it was the result of a European Union (EU) directive.

Canadian customs officials, however, knew nothing of the action. To add to the confusion, at least one driver stated that he did deliver horses to an undisclosed plant Friday afternoon.

The move came so suddenly that many trucks were already on the way when they learned of it.
According to Lambright the issue is that the EU has banned American horse meat from being shipped for consumption in Europe. EWA has yet to receive confirmation from the EU.

Following the closure of US based horse slaughter plants in 2007, the export of horses to slaughter in
Canada and Mexico increased dramatically. In 2011 the US exported over 64,000 horses to Canada and 68,000 to Mexico.

Documents showing horse meat contaminated with phenylbutazone (a carcinogen) and clenbuterol (a
steroid) surfaced recently, indicating that the CFIA and the EU were accelerating their residue testing
programs. These reports were followed by claims from some kill buyers that blood was being drawn
from as many as half their horses (an unprecedented percentage) before they were being accepted.

Since most of the meat from both the Canadian and Mexican plants is being consumed by the EU, it is reported but not confirmed that Mexico too will curtail imports of US horses.

In 2008, the EU announced that it would require third countries to come into compliance with their
standards which require horses to be micro-chipped and all their medications tracked, but few observers expected any action would come before the expiration of a July, 2013 deadline.

The most likely explanation for the sudden move is that the expanded residue testing program has
yielded worse than anticipated results.

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"From my earliest memories, I have loved horses with a longing beyond words." ~ Robert Vavra