Horse meat on the menu

It's a thriving Canadian industry that might surprise many people.

More than 100,000 horses a year are slaughtered in Canada for human consumption.

According to the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition, thousands are also shipped to foreign countries where they are slaughtered for human consumption.

Carly Marchand-Jones, of Freedom's Gate Equine Rescue in Salmon Arm, calls it Canada's dirty little secret.

Marchand-Jones said many horses that are sold at auction are then sold to slaughter houses which then sell them for human consumption.

Known as 'meat buyers' or 'kill buyer' Marchand-Jones said they will bid on horses no one else is bidding on.

Marchand-Jones said horse meat is popular in parts of Ontario and Quebec as well as Europe and Japan.

“We ship horses live for slaughter in Japan,” she said.

Marchand-Jones said it is illegal in the United States, so many horses are shipped north of the border where they are either slaughtered or shipped out of country to a slaughter house.

“It's a dirty little Canadian secret, which is sad because Canada is known as the nicest country,” she said.

Marchand-Jones has heard, but has not confirmed that horse for human consumption can be purchased in the Okanagan-Shuswap area.

She said over the past few years numerous rescues have popped up in BC and Alberta to save the horses from the dinner plate.

The Canadian Horse Defence Coalition is leading the charge in saving horses and making the public aware of the meat industry.

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