A billboard at the intersection of Shaughnessy and Lougheed Highway is the third such to go up in Canada, and no small feat for horse advocates in a collaborative effort to raise awareness about the plight of U.S. and Canadian horses that are being slaughtered in Canada. Around 80,000 horses per year meet this fate.
There is a private members bill in Parliament that would prohibit the importation or exportation of horses for slaughter for human consumption; however, Canadian people need to know the truth about horse slaughter to garner support for bill C322.
Many people are unaware that horses are slaughtered in Canada, and others are under the false impression that horse slaughter is a necessary evil.
Comments like, "How else are we going to deal with the horse overpopulation?" or, "The weak, old, and lame horses need somewhere to go," or, "We eat cows, chickens, and pigs, so what is the difference?"
Such comments are made by people who do not have the correct information. In truth, horse slaughter is a predatory, extremely cruel, and inhumane business, and most of the horses going through the slaughter pipeline are healthy, young animals - cast-offs from irresponsible, unregulated over-breeding in the horse racing industry, from big pharmacy lining their pockets off the suffering of mares and foals, and from people who find themselves in financial difficulty but do not have the moral strength of character to do whatever they can to re-home their horses.
Horses are not raised for meat in the U.S. and Canada, and most have lived their lives with humans. People who are connected with horses outside of a "business" arena view the animals as they would a beloved dog or other companion animal.
Our government is slaughtering these horses by the thousands and selling the meat overseas - not to the hungry, but to the well-to-do, as a "delicacy."
The consumers are unaware of the toxic medicines that most of these horses have in their systems, which are banned in food-production animals - pretty ludicrous how our government is getting away with that one.
The shocking and disturbing undercover videos and witness accounts and expert and veterinarian statements are solid proof that horse slaughter is extremely inhumane.
If more Canadians really knew the horror of it, as the billboard states, they would unite in a cry to end it forever, and demand that the horse business be strictly regulated to ensure the lives they make their money on are rewarded justly with humanity and gratefulness.
No other animal has had a greater influence on human civilization than the horse. It is time for some payback.
Dana Lacroix, Maple Ridge
@ Copyright 2013