Monday, October 18, 2010

U.S. Bill H.R. 503 and Canadian Bill C-544

You may or may not be aware of Bill H.R. 503 and Bill C-544. They are to stop the transport of horses to be slaughtered for human consumption (H.R. 503) and to stop horse slaughter for human consumption (C-544); basically eliminating horse slaughter for human consumption in North America. I am not a political person and I certainly don't want my blog to turn into a political forum. However, I received this notice from the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition and feel compelled to pass on this information to other horse lovers. The information outlines ways to voice your opinion on horse slaughter to your federal government. Personally, if it weren't for groups like CHDC, I would not be aware of documents like these bills. I have already contacted my Member of Parliament outlining my desire to stop the slaughter and asking where he stands on Bill C-544.

"From our friends in the U.S., we have an urgent message to call on Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday, Oct. 19/10 and ask her to schedule a vote on the Prevention of Equine Creulty Act - H.R. 503. Please read the following from EWA:

..... Tell Speaker Pelosi that this bill has 183 bipartisan cosponsors in the House, 28 in the Senate, and tremendous public support. After you call Speaker Pelosi, 202.225.0100 or her San Francisco office, 415.556.4862, call on Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid 702.388.5020 / Fax: 702.388.5030, and Assistant Majority Leader Sen. Dick Durbin 202.224.2152 or fax 202.228.0400 to schedule a vote on the senate version,
S.B. 727. Don't wait. Do it now. For the horses.

For additional info, visit Animal Law Coalition at


Petitions are still active for our Canadian Bill C-544. Deadline for petitions is DECEMBER 31/10. If you haven't started to gather signatures yet, please download a new petition here: (English version) or (French version).
Please continue writing your MPs, you can find your MP link here:
As well, please keep your letters flowing to our Ag Minister, Gerry Ritz at: and make the liberal opposition aware of your thoughts - contact MP Wayne Easter, Liberal Agriculture Critic at: A full listing of people to contact can be found on the CHDC web site or blog.

To ensure your petitions are accounted for and read in Parliament, please forward them to MP Alex Atamanenko's office directly. His contact information is:
MP Alex Atamanenko
337 Columbia Avenue
Castlegar, BC V1N 1G6
Tel: 250-365-2792

Humane Society International (HSI) has been instrumental in gathering names and signatures on this bill. Since they already have a tabulation of many Canada-wide supporters, HSI is assisting to keep track of all support efforts across the country. After you send in your petitions to MP Atamanenko, please notify your MP of your actions, and take the time to write a letter or email to say why you're supporting this bill and the number of names you've gathered.

Also, please notify HSI how many signatures were gathered, and in what riding. If you have already sent in your petitions to your MP, please follow up with them and ask that they be tabled in the House of Commons. Please notify HSI with details of your petitions. If you have sent in your petitions or copies to the CHDC, we will ensure they are tabulated together with the others. By accomplishing this tabulation, we will ensure all signatures are properly accounted for, and that all petitions get tabled.

Humane Society International (HSI) - Canada

372 Ste-Catherine O/W Suite 319
Montreal, QC H3B 1A2
Tel: 514-395-2914 (EST-5h)
Fax: 514-395-8021

Thank you all for all for your continued support,

For the horses,
Canadian Horse Defence Coalition"


  1. Thanks for the info. I guess if they shut down the slaughter houses in Canada too, the only place still remaining open to slaughter will be Mexico. I've heard they have the worst possible conditions there and I don't even want to imagine the pain and suffering these poor horses have to endure.

  2. GHM - Excellent point. I absolutely had the same concern (and a few others) and asked the CHDC what their position was. "...Our main focus right now is shutting down our borders and essentially making slaughter on Canadian soil illegal.....Both the European Union and Animals Angels/Gaia have been investigating the Mexico slaughter houses, particularly within the last six months. It is very likely the boom will come down on Mexican plants to upgrade their standards in compliance with European standards.... as well as the animal welfare issue which also is a big concern for them....."

    I personally think that both of these bills are the first step in making it difficult to make a living off of selling horse meat. It will take take time, but I am hopeful.

  3. I know they eat horsemeat in France although personally I have never tried it. Although it is a bit hypocritical, when I eat lamb and beef, the idea of a companion animal which is kept for riding etc. ending up on a plate is extremely distasteful. It would be like eating dog or cat, which again isnt unknown in some parts of the world but I wouldnt do it. Don't know the EU regulations but guess they apply to the UK too.

  4. As much as I hate horse slaughter I wish we had some facilities in the US. That way the poor horses wouldn't have to be trailered for days and days in atrocious conditions to reach their final destination. Horses are going to slaughter everyday, ignoring it doesn't make it go away and outlawing it just makes the poor animals have to travel even further.

    Without the meat sale option what would happen to those horses? Death by starvation maybe? What's the lesser evil? It will only get better when people start breeding fewer horses, including racing TBs- which seems to be happening now.

  5. JanLou - Yes, I believe that the UK is under the EU regulations.

    Shannon - Like you, I hate the thought of these animals suffering for days in a cramped trailer designed for cattle. Turns my stomach. The big money is in horse meat for human consumption. Where does change start? There are rescue groups that highlight the plight of unwanted horses. More charges are being laid for neglect. Racetracks are now adopting no slaughter policies. There are low-fee gelding clinics popping up. The Internet is an amazing educational tool. Change IS happening. Perhaps by removing horse slaughter, irresponsible back-yard breeding for 'meat' horses will be reduced. I look forward to the day when the large horse organizations endorse responsible breeding programs and even anti-slaughter policies. I think these bills will help start the process.