Monday, December 12, 2011

This needs to be here but even I can hardly stand to watch it, and I'm tougher than many when it comes to these videos.

Pasture to Plate:

Why do I watch when others can't? To remember the horses who have died and to thank the people who have risked their job and safety to take these videos. They are true warriors in this fight.

Some of the analysis is copied below:


The evidence is clear: it is impossible, even in well-designed, conscientiously-managed, assembly-line conditions, to humanely slaughter horses. As Dr. Dodman states, "...many head shy or apprehensive horses...presented the operator of the captive bolt gun with a moving target."

Examples of stun box failures noted:
  • - More than 40% of the horses were not stunned after the 1st shot as required by "humane slaughter" regulations. Captive bolt pistol placement was poor - some horses were shot into their temples, under their ears or at the base of their brain. These horses showed clear signs of ineffective stunning or revival in the form of remaining standing, standing back up, winnying or head-shaking. Up to eleven attempts were made to stun one horse (Horse 33 Day 1) who suffered for almost 4 minutes.

  • - While we were not able to see into the area where the horses were suspended and butchered, at times the shooter carried a captive bolt pistol out from the area to hose it off as it became too bloody. This captive bolt pistol was a different style and higher calibre than the one normally used in the stun box. Only with excessive bleeding, such as during bleed-out, would the pistol become so blood covered. Blood was not seen or sprayed off the pistol used in the kill line, which raises the question whether horses were shot while being bled out.

  • - Over 80% of the horses showed signs of fear: their knees trembled and buckled, they lost their footing and repeatedly fell.

  • - 14% of the horses vocalized (provoked by stress or agitation). Some whinnied even after being shot.

  • - Government inspectors turned a blind eye to violations of the "humane" slaughter regulations. Over the course of 2 days a government inspector could be seen looking into the stun box (sometimes with no horse present) for a total of just 3 1/2 minutes. One horse revived (Horse 64 Day 1) while the inspector was observing, but while it seems the inspector requested another shot be given, the shooter simply winked at him but delivered no further shots.

In our opinion, the system brought in by the CFIA to meet European standards for food safety and traceability is flawed and incomplete, and appears to invite fraud. Examples of issues include:

  • - Incomplete owner information

  • - Incomplete agent information

  • - Poor identification of horses/erroneous information given, such as age, colour markings, tattoos, primary location, sex of animal etc.

  • - Information often appeared to be filled out by auction mart not the owner

  • - Use of a stamp instead of original signature by agent

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