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Op-Ed:The Silence is Deafening 

Shelley Grainger   Canadian Horse Defence Coalition’s Blog – April 2, 2013

Opinion Blog – A Response to No Government Response


3amigosWhy is it when the Canadian government and horse agriculture (ie. slaughter) industry is called upon for answers, their silence is the only thing heard?

When presented with evidence of lies, deceit and corruption, as brought forward in the Toronto Star’s March 30th Star investigation: Ottawa refuses to say whether drug-tainted horse meat entered food chain, not even denial is spoken.  Not a, “we’ll get back to you” rebuff – just deafening silence.

This resounding hush is the same that was heard after the CHDC’s damaging investigative report from inside the La Petite Nation slaughter plant in 2011 – the same one implicated in the Toronto Star report.  No words of acknowledgement, disavowal, or otherwise were heard from the Ministry of Agriculture, the CFIA, nor the dichotomously named pro-slaughter group representing the industry, the Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada (HWAC), after the CHDC released Pasture to Plate: The True Cost of Canada’s Horsemeat Industry.

In previous years, the CFIA and HWAC made attempts to minimize or even deny the evidence brought forward in the CHDC reports.  After Pasture to Plate, only after a concerted effort to communicate with the CFIA, was a response received.  In the usual manner, vague explanations were given  and promises of improved industry standards were made.  Even an absurd statement was provided, that since the video evidence of a horse taken from behind did not show the actual entry of the 11 captive bolt stunning attempts, it was impossible to determine if the horse was actually improperly shot.  Video evidence is just that – EVIDENCE.  You didn’t have to see the multiple holes in the poor Belgian’s face to see that he was still wavering on his feet as the shooter shot the captive bolt gun again, and again, and again, and again ………..11 times – but that was not conclusive in the CFIA’s eyes.

And what does the pro-slaughter pro-horsemeat eating Bill DesBarres have to say on behalf of HWAC?   He’s busy these days giving quotes expounding all the wonderful reasons to eat horsemeat, as in this CBC News article of February 26thEurope’s horsemeat scandal spurs Canadian consumption.  Funny how the supposed horse welfare spokesperson for the horse industry says, “People are inquisitive and they say, Well, what’s wrong with it? Let me try it.”  Makes you want to go right out there and get yourself some tasty horsemeat!