Wilful abuse

Videos reveal below-standards treatment at Quebec and Alberta horse abattoirs.

A review of the 189 slaughters on the Bouvry facility video, carried out by animal-welfare expert Temple Grandin, found six per cent of its horses had to be fired on a second time when the first shot didn’t knock them out or kill them. An audit by the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies put the number at seven per cent — exceeding the standard of five per cent.

Those limits also stipulate that no more than one per cent of animals can slip or fall in the kill pen before they’re shot, but the audits found that threshold was exceeded at both Bouvry and Richelieu.

As for jolting horses in the face with an electrical prod, Grandin told CBC News that’s “a wilful act of abuse” and an automatic failed audit.

“Something like that horse being whipped in the face, I’d blame that on plant management. Plant management needs to be controlling that stuff,” she said.

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