Last week, on my way to Toronto, I spotted an animal transport truck on the highway, you know the ones that are usually carrying cows and pigs on their way to be slaughtered. Instead of the usual sad sight, I saw something that shocked me – horses. Beautiful, majestic horses on their way to slaughter. What the hell is going on?
Well, it turns out that a lot is going on. Canada is home to one of the world’s largest horse slaughter industries with 93,000 killed in 2009 alone. The large number is partially due to the fact that it has been banned in the U.S. so they are all getting sent here. The majority of the meat gets exported to Europe.
If you have ever spent any time with a horse then you would know how sensitive and easily startled they are. You can well imagine how humane the slaughter is when the horse is completely freaked out.
Many of these unwanted creatures come from the production of the drug Premarin, another proud Canadian industry. It is a VERY common hormone replacement therapy (HRT) given to women with post-menopausal symptoms. The name of this drug says it all, PREgnant MARes’ urINe. It is made from the urine of pregnant horses. Yup. The horses are impregnated and then restrained in a factory farm for 6 straight months while their urine is collected in bags. Unable to lie down, exercise, get sunshine, or breathe fresh air. Many horses in these conditions develop sores and infections. When they become useless, they are sent to slaughter. Their foals are considered a mere byproduct and are also sent to slaugher.
Wow, so between this and the seal hunt, Canada’s really sucking when it comes to using animals for profit.
If you’re Canadian, you can contact your MP and let them know how you feel about the treatment of horses in our country.