By: Alex Atamanenko
Alex Atamanenko, MP (BC Southern Interior) issued the following statement in Ottawa regarding parliament’s defeat last night of his Bill C-571 through which he hoped to overhaul the horsemeat industry in the interests of food safety:
“I am very dismayed that my Bill C-571 did not get quite enough support in Parliament to pass on to Committee stage where it would have received thorough scrutiny and proper debate. I had hoped to follow an example set by the EU to have the same food safety standards, transparency and accountability applied to the horsemeat industry as is required of all animals that are raised to produce food for the human food chain.
Horses are commonly and even routinely administered a long list of common medications labelled as toxic and not intended for use in food animals because no safe limits or withdrawals periods have been established.
Unlike the cattle industry where food production is its primary purpose, the horse slaughter for meat industry mainly exists to dispose of the industrial by-product from the equine sporting industry where abuse and overuse of drugs is rampant.
By presenting arguments based on food safety, science and legal accountability, renowned international equestrian Victoria McCullough and Florida State Senator Joseph Abruzzo recently effected a nearly unanimous and non-partisan decision in the US Congress to keep American slaughterhouses closed to horses. It is striking that Canada’s parliament just voted to ignore the same science and facts to give priority to industry profits.
I would like to thank all my MP colleagues that supported my bill. My warmest thanks go out to all those who worked so tirelessly to gather signatures on petitions and to the thousands of Canadians who signed those petitions or wrote their MPs in support of Bill C-571. A very special thank you to Sinikka Crosland of the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition who together with Humane Society International / Canada have worked so hard to bring about action to clean up the shady and irresponsible practices of this unnecessary industry.