Natural Meat Company Shuts Down
We are pleased to inform you that Natural Meat Company (formerly Natural Valley Farms) in Neudorf, Saskatchewan, closed its doors in mid-February. No more horses are being slaughtered in that facility!
According to the Director of Parliamentary Affairs for Canada, Natural Meat Company was shut down by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for food safety concerns. At this time we are attempting to clarify details surrounding the closure.
Graphic evidence of animal welfare violations was documented at Natural Valley Farms in April/May 2008. This footage was released to CHDC by undercover investigators, and the concerns were aired on CBC's No Country for Horses the following month: http://www.cbc.ca/national/blog/special_feature/no_country_for_horses/no_country_for_horses.html .
In September 2008, CHDC Western Region Director, Twyla Francois, filmed horse blood from the slaughter plant being illegally dumped on the banks of a nearby river: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udbD6OeiUBY .
Further Good News from the U.S.
On April 3, 2009, the governor of Montana issued an amendatory veto on a bill that had already been passed by the Montana House and the Senate and simply needed an official signature. That bill was intended to stop any citizen from launching a lawsuit that might prevent a horse slaughterhouse from being built in the state. On April 2, 2009, CHDC had assisted U.S. horse defenders by supplying proof of the closure of Natural Meat Company for food safety reasons. This evidence then found its way into the hands of the governor. As a result of the veto, the amended bill will now go back to the legislature for consideration, thus opening up an opportunity for debate. With such strong evidence of food safety and environmental concerns, to say nothing of animal welfare violations that are inherent in the horse slaughter industry, it is clear that step-by-step progress for the horses is being made.
We applaud the Equine Welfare Alliance for serving as an intermediary between our efforts and the many wonderful grass roots groups involved in the state and federal initiatives in the U.S.
Remember the Horses
In order to commemorate the lives lost in Neudorf and to pay homage to the suffering that occurred there, we plan to visit the massive horse graveyard on site--resting place for former pets, race horses, rodeo horses, and other unfortunate animals who, one way or another, were sent to a fate that none should ever have to endure.
Anyone wishing to submit a poem, blessing or memorial message for this occasion can e-mail it to Twyla Francois by April 8, 2009: firstname.lastname@example.org . Your tribute to the horses will be placed where their remains lie...and where each strong and graceful spirit moved forth...away from the pain, away from the crippling fear, and away from the betrayal of trust that marked this final and brutal interaction with humankind.
But no matter what has gone before, horses continue to have friends...in all of us who defend them. And our numbers are growing.
May the equine spirit be the wind beneath our wings until slaughter is ended forever.
Canadian Horse Defence Coalition
P.O. Box 26097