Reformation not the closure of the Canadian horse slaugher plants

In Canada there have been many petitions to stop horse slaughter. But what we should understand is that compared to anywhere else, Canada has extremely humane plants. There are a few plants out there who aren't and we should be  petitioning to reform these plants, not close them.

 Horses that go to the plants can range from old and weak to young and strong and everything in between. Incurable behavioural problem, old injuries healed wrong, and animals whose owners have no other options.

Picture this, you have just lost your job and have been searching for another. Sadly there is nothing you can do because no one is hiring. You have a family and you own several horses, horses that can take up to $1,400 a month each to feed and water. You find yourself in trouble. You barely have any money for food for your family, let alone your horses.
It has been a bad year there isn't much hay or grass around. You have to make a choice. Let your horse go to auction, where you have no idea where they are going or to take them to the slaughter plant where you have the choice to be there for your horse while they go through the process. This is no worse than watching your pet being euthanized by a vet, the difference is that your horse is going to feed people in another country.

Horse slaughter is a million dollar industry; it supplies thousands of people jobs and gives them a way to make a living. Shutting them down is going to cut of this source of income and make these people jobless. We cannot let this happen. We are in a recession and we need every source of income that this country can make. Every single one. We need the money to fix our economy; to take away this source of income would be a blow to our already fragile economy.






With the closing of the plants comes problems and NONE of them are a better alternative to horse slaughter.






1)     Where will the horses go? Over a hundred thousand horses are slaughtered every year. Where will these horses go after the plants close? Activists state people will stand up and they will take care of these horses. I have one question, why are they at the slaughter plants in the first place? They have nowhere to go. No one wants them or can take care of them. These horses are not going to get a happy ending like the Activists say. They are going to be abandoned and more than likely, they will starve to death. At a slaughter plant it takes a maximum of 2 minutes for the horse to die. 2 minutes versus months of starvation. One is a short and relatively painless death and the other takes months of torturous starvation. In all honesty which would you chose?






2)     The longer travels to other countries with horrendous practices (such as some plants in Mexico). In Canada we regulate the use of the double decker for the transportation but in the States no such laws were made. They would be packed into double decker trailers and sent across the country to a plant that cares little about their welfare. Which is worse? Sending a horse on a single decker trailer across a couple provinces to a plant that has regulations about their practices or sending a horse to an over-packed double decker trailer to travel thousands of miles to arrive at a plant that does not have any regulations about how they are slaughtered?






3)     Black market horse slaughter. This is a disgusting practice that will appear if the plants are shut down. People going into stables and barns and killing horses that are loved and cared for in their stalls for their meat. Slaughter plants take unwanted horses, not loved and cared for animals. Horse meat is expensive and to go into a barn where there are a bunch of healthy animals that are stuck in stalls is a big cash load. This does happen and it is horrific for the horses and for the owners.






 All these problems can occur if the plants shut down. These are not positive alternatives to horse slaughter. They are worse. If we petition for the reform of the plants instead of the closure, we will have a humane way of dealing with horses that have no other options.

If we take the time to go over our horse slaughter plants we can end these problems before they even begin.

We should make the chutes and the pens more horse friendly and actually design them for the horses to make things less stressful for the animals.  Keeping horses where they can see the kill chutes, or hear the sounds of the gunshots is not acceptable. We need to make these pens safe for the horses and the handlers. Blocking off the kill chutes so they are not visible to the other horses minimizes the stress and fear the animals will experience.

We should install a slip proof floor in the kill chute to minimize the chances of the horses falling within the chute. This is the main concern of the Activists, horses falling in the kill shoot is a worst case scenario. It is dangerous for both the horse and the handler. It causes undue stress and fear for the horses and could result in broken legs or a misplaced bullet or stun from the bolt gun.

We should replace the use of a bolt gun with .22 or .33 rifle. Bolt guns, if used properly, can cause brain damage and eventually death but the user must be close to the horse and sometimes it is not used properly. The percent of failure of the bolt gun can be high. Using a rifle as the way of euthanizing a horse in a safe and quick way with a lower percent of failure.

Having properly trained handlers of the horses is another way that reduces stress and fear with the horses. There must be strict policies regarding the handlers and the people who euthanize the horses. The people with the guns must have prior experience with the handling of guns and shooting of animals to ensure they know what they are doing. Having well trained and experienced handlers to bring the horses into the kill chutes must be able to remain calm and keep the horses calm as they bring them in.

The plants should have more than one kill chute. This allows them to maintain the same amount of input in twice as much time. They can put down two horses in the same time it takes to put down one. They are doubling their output in a safe and relaxed pace.

A vet should be present within the kill room at all times. Other vets should be looking at the horses coming into the plant and take care of any problem that they find. They should quarantine any sick horses and look after them and inspect the rest of the horses, any horses with severe injuries, such as a broken leg, should be euthanized immediately upon finding the injury.

We should impose strict health codes on the plants. The kill rooms must be kept clean. Bringing a horse into a bloody chute gives them added stress which they do not deserve to have. By keeping and maintaining a clean environment, the horses will remain calm and stay relaxed during the trip to and into the chute where they won't thrash around in fear, which can harm the handlers and the horse.

 Horses should be given fresh water and food fed upon arrival, this will prevent sickness from dehydration and hunger. No horse should go without food or water, regardless of where they are going to end up. It is cruel and inhumane treatment for a horse to be left hungry and thirsty. Giving them fresh water and food will eliminate this problem.


Hopefully these changes can be made within our slaughter plants to keep them open to prevent the aforementioned problems.

Thank you for taking your time to read this.

Ashley Thomas






P.S. Please, do not sign the petition to tell me that I need to get an education or to tell me I'm petitioning for animal cruelty. I am not doing so. Euthanizing a horse with a rifle bullet to the head immediately kills them, no pain, no suffering. They are dead. Most vets will say that they would prefer to euthanize a horse by a bullet to the head then chemical euthanasia. Vets even say that there is a lot that can go wrong with the chemical euthanasia. If the horse gets too low of a dose (this happens quite frequently because of the lack of scales at a farm) your horse could suffer for upwards of ten minutes before they have a heart attack and die. Signing a petition you are against is just silly and it defeats your purpose. Just ignore it and leave it alone.






I'm an 18 year old college student who has been following what has happened in the States. These problems I have stated  have appeared since the closure of the slaughter plants. It's a horrible thing to starve a horse to death and it is a huge possibility that it can occur. I would rather see these horses die in a quick clean manner then to be emaciated to the point where they lay down and refused to get up. Starvation takes months, a slaughter plant takes a maximum of 2 minutes for the body to die. I would rather my horses die at the maximum two minutes then let the starve to death over months. Them starving to death should not be an option for any horse owner but it could very well be a possibility if the plants close.






If we reform the plants, we create a humane and safe way for the horses to die. We have a chance to not repeat the mistakes of the States. We can stop the problems before they even begin to appear. We should learn from our neighbours mistake, not repeat them.




P.S.S. I have been told that if I get any signatures that are there for the purpose of disagreeing with my petition that I should delete them. Normally I do not like such a censorship but considering they are signing a petition for the reform not closure of a slaughter plants and they are being insulting and belligerent, I will do so. If you disagree with this petition, do not sign. Ignore it and walk away. If you do sign and make a comment about what I am doing is wrong. I will delete it as I have been told to do so. This is for the humane treatment of slaughter treatment. If you do not like what this petitions stands for I implore you to walk away.




Thank you for reading down this far and I hope you take into consideration what I have said.

We, the undersigned, wish to have the Canadian Slaughter plants reformed to a more safe and humane standard that we can all agree upon.


In Canada there have been many petitions to stop horse slaughter. But what we should understand is that compared to anywhere else, Canada has extremely humane plants. There are a few plants out there who aren't and we should be  petitioning to reform these plants, not close them.

 Horses that go to the plants can range from old and weak to young and strong and everything in between. Incurable behavioural problem, old injuries healed wrong, and animals whose owners have no other options.

Picture this, you have just lost your job and have been searching for another. Sadly there is nothing you can do because no one is hiring. You have a family and you own several horses, horses that can take up to $1,400 a month each to feed and water. You find yourself in trouble. You barely have any money for food for your family, let alone your horses.
It has been a bad year there isn't much hay or grass around. You have to make a choice. Let your horse go to auction, where you have no idea where they are going or to take them to the slaughter plant where you have the choice to be there for your horse while they go through the process. This is no worse than watching your pet being euthanized by a vet, the difference is that your horse is going to feed people in another country.

Horse slaughter is a million dollar industry; it supplies thousands of people jobs and gives them a way to make a living. Shutting them down is going to cut of this source of income and make these people jobless. We cannot let this happen. We are in a recession and we need every source of income that this country can make. Every single one. We need the money to fix our economy; to take away this source of income would be a blow to our already fragile economy.





With the closing of the plants comes problems and NONE of them are a better alternative to horse slaughter.





1)     Where will the horses go? Over a hundred thousand horses are slaughtered every year. Where will these horses go after the plants close? Activists state people will stand up and they will take care of these horses. I have one question, why are they at the slaughter plants in the first place? They have nowhere to go. No one wants them or can take care of them. These horses are not going to get a happy ending like the Activists say. They are going to be abandoned and more than likely, they will starve to death. At a slaughter plant it takes a maximum of 2 minutes for the horse to die. 2 minutes versus months of starvation. One is a short and relatively painless death and the other takes months of torturous starvation. In all honesty which would you chose?





2)     The longer travels to other countries with horrendous practices (such as some plants in Mexico). In Canada we have banned the double decker for the transportation but in the States no such laws were made. They would be packed into double decker trailers and sent across the country to a plant that cares little about their welfare. Which is worse? Sending a horse on a single decker trailer across a couple provinces to a plant that has regulations about their practices or sending a horse to an over-packed double decker trailer to travel thousands of miles to arrive at a plant that does not have any regulations about how they are slaughtered?





3)     Black market horse slaughter. This is a disgusting practice that will appear if the plants are shut down. People going into stables and barns and killing horses that are loved and cared for in their stalls for their meat. Slaughter plants take unwanted horses, not loved and cared for animals. Horse meat is expensive and to go into a barn where there are a bunch of healthy animals that are stuck in stalls is a big cash load. This does happen and it is horrific for the horses and for the owners.





 All these problems can occur if the plants shut down. These are not positive alternatives to horse slaughter. They are worse. If we petition for the reform of the plants instead of the closure, we will have a humane way of dealing with horses that have no other options.

If we take the time to go over our horse slaughter plants we can end these problems before they even begin.

1) We should make the chutes and the pens more horse friendly and actually design them for the horses to make things less stressful for the animals.  Keeping horses where they can see the kill chutes, or hear the sounds of the gunshots is not acceptable. We need to make these pens safe for the horses and the handlers. Blocking off the kill chutes so they are not visible to the other horses minimizes the stress and fear the animals will experience.

2) We should install a slip proof floor in the kill chute to minimize the chances of the horses falling within the chute. This is the main concern of the Activists, horses falling in the kill shoot is a worst case scenario. It is dangerous for both the horse and the handler. It causes undue stress and fear for the horses and could result in broken legs or a misplaced bullet or stun from the bolt gun.

3) We should replace the use of a bolt gun with .22 or .33 rifle. Bolt guns, if used properly, can cause brain damage and eventually death but the user must be close to the horse and sometimes it is not used properly. The percent of failure of the bolt gun can be high. Using a rifle as the way of euthanizing a horse in a safe and quick way with a lower percent of failure.

4) Having properly trained handlers of the horses is another way that reduces stress and fear with the horses. There must be strict policies regarding the handlers and the people who euthanize the horses. The people with the guns must have prior experience with the handling of guns and shooting of animals to ensure they know what they are doing. Having well trained and experienced handlers to bring the horses into the kill chutes must be able to remain calm and keep the horses calm as they bring them in.

5) The plants should have more than one kill chute. This allows them to maintain the same amount of input in twice as much time. They can put down two horses in the same time it takes to put down one. They are doubling their output in a safe and relaxed pace.

6) A vet should be present within the kill room at all times. Other vets should be looking at the horses coming into the plant and take care of any problem that they find. They should quarantine any sick horses and look after them and inspect the rest of the horses, any horses with severe injuries, such as a broken leg, should be euthanized immediately upon finding the injury.

7) We should impose strict health codes on the plants. The kill rooms must be kept clean. Bringing a horse into a bloody chute gives them added stress which they do not deserve to have. By keeping and maintaining a clean environment, the horses will remain calm and stay relaxed during the trip to and into the chute where they won't thrash around in fear, which can harm the handlers and the horse.

 8) Horses should be given fresh water and food fed upon arrival, this will prevent sickness from dehydration and hunger. No horse should go without food or water, regardless of where they are going to end up. It is cruel and inhumane treatment for a horse to be left hungry and thirsty. Giving them fresh water and food will eliminate this problem.


Hopefully these changes can be made within our slaughter plants to keep them open to prevent the aforementioned problems.

Thank you for taking your time to read this.

Ashley Thomas




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