This website showcases our documentary, which examines the horse meat industry in Alberta. This is not a website for selling or buying horses. 

When most people think of livestock in Alberta, they think of beef. Albertans might be surprised
to know that a major money-earner in the province is horse meat. Most of the meat is shipped overseas
to countries like Japan and Belgium.

Since the United States banned killing horses for human consumption in 2006, horse slaughter businesses
in Canada have grown by 75 per cent, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

In 2007, about 35,000 horses were sent over the border to Canadian slaughterhouses, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.

With over 30,000 horses in from the United States, the two processing plants in Alberta are experiencing a boom in business.

Aside from the influx of horses from the United States, there is the issue of retired horses. Horses can live to be 30, and feeding a horse costs about $8 a day. With owners unwilling or unable to keep the horse as a companion animal, these horses are also sold to meat buyers. Meat buyers who buy and resell horses to processing plants are feeling the drop in price of horse meat, which affects their business.

Horse rescuers in the province take their own time and money to feed, rehabilitate and retrain abandoned horses that might otherwise be sold for their meat. They hope that there will be more resources and agencies in Alberta to deal with the unwanted horses. They do everything they can to keep horses from ending up in slaughterhouses.

Below are three viewpoints on this issue from people who work with horses everyday. They all hope that a greater understanding will arise about this complicated issue.

Take a look at the issue through any of the three entry points:

Bruce Flewelling:
Flewelling raises bucking horses. He also buys horses from other owners and resells them to the slaughterhouse in Fort Macleod.

Coleen Gittins:
Gittins is a competitive show jumper. She takes the most undesirable, unwanted race horses and rehabilitates them.

Lesley Plant:
Plant is a polocrosse player and coaches the sport. She runs a horse sport facility in Calgary.

2 responses to “Home

  • Juliana

    Alberta, please please stop these slaughterhouses … Canadians don’t eat horsemeat and Canada and Alberta SHOULD NOT be doing this for countries where they pig out on horsemeat. This is so disgusting, I couldn’t even watch the video. I love horses as they are!

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