In late February 2010, the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC) received hidden camera footage of horse slaughter practices at Quebecs Viandes Richelieu and Albertas Bouvry Exports - the latter known as North Americas largest exporter of horsemeat.
The CHDC has asked a panel of veterinarians, the BC SPCA and the World Society for the Protection of Animals to review the footage, which contains numerous instances of improper stunning and horses showing signs of returning consciousness.
Early audit results of the footage show automatic failures of both facilities.
As there are only two government-approved methods of stunning horses in Canada - captive bolt gun and rifle - and both methods have been shown to cause prolonged suffering in numerous horses, we conclude that these animals cannot be slaughtered humanely in today's slaughterhouse assembly lines.
The CHDC therefore calls for the immediate closure of Canada's horse slaughter plants.