Most Canadians Oppose Horse Slaughter, Poll Reveals

Jun 10, 2004, 01:00 ET from The Responsible Animal Care Society

    VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 10 /PRNewswire/ -- According to a
 national poll conducted by Ipsos-Reid on behalf of B.C.-based TRACS (The
 Responsible Animal Care Society), 64% of Canadians do not believe in the
 slaughter of horses for human consumption.  On the other side, 33% believe in
 the practice while 3% remain undecided.
     Geographic variations are apparent, with opposition to horse slaughter
 being most evident in the Atlantic provinces, Ontario, and B.C. (77%, 73%, and
 69%, respectively).  62% of Alberta respondents, 56% in Saskatchewan/Manitoba,
 and 47% in Quebec indicate that they are not in favor of butchering horses for
 meat.  Canada has four existing horse slaughter plants, one each in Ontario
 and Alberta, and two in Quebec.
     Women are less likely to believe in the slaughter of horses for human
 consumption than men.  73% of women express opposition to the practice,
 whereas only 55% of men are of the same opinion. Young people aged 18-34 are
 the most inclined to oppose the slaughter of horses (only 29% in favor).
 People with higher incomes are shown to be generally more supportive of the
 horsemeat industry -- although, in each income bracket, the majority of
 respondents still oppose horse slaughter.
     Government statistics reveal that in 2003, more than 61,000 horses were
 either slaughtered in Canada or shipped alive to the U.S. and Japan to be made
 into horsemeat.
     Vivian Farrell, President of Texas-based The Fund for Horses, states, "We
 consider the inhumane transportation and what horses are forced to endure once
 at the slaughter facilities, where they are euphemistically described as
 'processed,'  the ultimate act of betrayal.  We are optimistic that a federal
 bill entitled The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act now pending before
 Congress will be enacted, banning slaughter and export for slaughter once and
 for all in the United States.  Hopefully these poll results indicate that
 Canadians will support similar legislation in their country."
     Sinikka Crosland of TRACS adds, "Further, the Canadian public needs to
 know that not all horses sent for slaughter are old or lame. That's a fallacy.
 Many are foals who are by-products of the Premarin (Pregnant Mare Urine)
 industry.  Recently a huge influx of pregnant mares, stallions, and
 replacement stock from the down-sizing of that industry has flooded the North
 American market with horses."
     And if horse slaughter were to be banned in Canada, what would become of
 the thousands of horses on the market?  Farrell responds, "There are many
 alternatives to slaughter.  Some include donating them to a rescue or shelter;
 making arrangements with a retirement farm; donating or leasing them to a
 therapeutic or handicapped riding organization; selling them privately; or
 humanely euthanizing the old, sick and lame. Just as important, however, is
 opposing the callous over-breeding of sport and pleasure horses so that there
 won't be so many left without a home."
     Crosland concludes, "It is indeed good news that an impressive majority of
 younger Canadians are opposed to horse slaughter for human consumption.  This
 places the emphasis on horses as companion and recreational animals rather
 than on the money that selling their flesh might bring.  Such a focus promises
 a more humane future for horses in our country."
     These are the findings of an Ipsos-Reid/TRACS poll conducted between May
 18th and 20th, 2004. For the telephone survey, a representative randomly
 selected sample of 1000 adult Canadians was interviewed. With a sample of this
 size, the results are considered accurate to within plus or minus 3.1
 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the
 entire adult Canadian population been polled. The margin of error will be
 larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population.
 These data were weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/sex
 composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to the
 2001 Census data.
 
     http://www.ipsos-na.com/news/pressrelease.cfm?id=2252
 
      For more information on this press release, please contact:
 
      Kyle Braid
      Vice-President, Ipsos-Reid
      Vancouver, BC
      604.257.3200
 
      Sinikka Crosland
      TRACS (The Responsible Animal Care Society)
      250.768.4803
 
      Vivian Farrell
      The Fund for Horses
      713.523.9090
 
     This release was issued through eReleases(TM).  For more information,
 visit http://www.ereleases.com.
 
 

SOURCE The Responsible Animal Care Society
    VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 10 /PRNewswire/ -- According to a
 national poll conducted by Ipsos-Reid on behalf of B.C.-based TRACS (The
 Responsible Animal Care Society), 64% of Canadians do not believe in the
 slaughter of horses for human consumption.  On the other side, 33% believe in
 the practice while 3% remain undecided.
     Geographic variations are apparent, with opposition to horse slaughter
 being most evident in the Atlantic provinces, Ontario, and B.C. (77%, 73%, and
 69%, respectively).  62% of Alberta respondents, 56% in Saskatchewan/Manitoba,
 and 47% in Quebec indicate that they are not in favor of butchering horses for
 meat.  Canada has four existing horse slaughter plants, one each in Ontario
 and Alberta, and two in Quebec.
     Women are less likely to believe in the slaughter of horses for human
 consumption than men.  73% of women express opposition to the practice,
 whereas only 55% of men are of the same opinion. Young people aged 18-34 are
 the most inclined to oppose the slaughter of horses (only 29% in favor).
 People with higher incomes are shown to be generally more supportive of the
 horsemeat industry -- although, in each income bracket, the majority of
 respondents still oppose horse slaughter.
     Government statistics reveal that in 2003, more than 61,000 horses were
 either slaughtered in Canada or shipped alive to the U.S. and Japan to be made
 into horsemeat.
     Vivian Farrell, President of Texas-based The Fund for Horses, states, "We
 consider the inhumane transportation and what horses are forced to endure once
 at the slaughter facilities, where they are euphemistically described as
 'processed,'  the ultimate act of betrayal.  We are optimistic that a federal
 bill entitled The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act now pending before
 Congress will be enacted, banning slaughter and export for slaughter once and
 for all in the United States.  Hopefully these poll results indicate that
 Canadians will support similar legislation in their country."
     Sinikka Crosland of TRACS adds, "Further, the Canadian public needs to
 know that not all horses sent for slaughter are old or lame. That's a fallacy.
 Many are foals who are by-products of the Premarin (Pregnant Mare Urine)
 industry.  Recently a huge influx of pregnant mares, stallions, and
 replacement stock from the down-sizing of that industry has flooded the North
 American market with horses."
     And if horse slaughter were to be banned in Canada, what would become of
 the thousands of horses on the market?  Farrell responds, "There are many
 alternatives to slaughter.  Some include donating them to a rescue or shelter;
 making arrangements with a retirement farm; donating or leasing them to a
 therapeutic or handicapped riding organization; selling them privately; or
 humanely euthanizing the old, sick and lame. Just as important, however, is
 opposing the callous over-breeding of sport and pleasure horses so that there
 won't be so many left without a home."
     Crosland concludes, "It is indeed good news that an impressive majority of
 younger Canadians are opposed to horse slaughter for human consumption.  This
 places the emphasis on horses as companion and recreational animals rather
 than on the money that selling their flesh might bring.  Such a focus promises
 a more humane future for horses in our country."
     These are the findings of an Ipsos-Reid/TRACS poll conducted between May
 18th and 20th, 2004. For the telephone survey, a representative randomly
 selected sample of 1000 adult Canadians was interviewed. With a sample of this
 size, the results are considered accurate to within plus or minus 3.1
 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the
 entire adult Canadian population been polled. The margin of error will be
 larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population.
 These data were weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/sex
 composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to the
 2001 Census data.
 
     http://www.ipsos-na.com/news/pressrelease.cfm?id=2252
 
      For more information on this press release, please contact:
 
      Kyle Braid
      Vice-President, Ipsos-Reid
      Vancouver, BC
      604.257.3200
 
      Sinikka Crosland
      TRACS (The Responsible Animal Care Society)
      250.768.4803
 
      Vivian Farrell
      The Fund for Horses
      713.523.9090
 
     This release was issued through eReleases(TM).  For more information,
 visit http://www.ereleases.com.
 
 SOURCE  The Responsible Animal Care Society