+ RMA Rural Municipalities
of Alberta

Resolution 10-11S

Oppose Bill C-544 Banning the Importation of Horses for Slaughter

January 1, 2011
Expiry Date:
March 31, 2014
Active Status:
MD of Willow Creek
1 - Foothills-Little Bow
Incomplete Information
Vote Results:

WHEREAS Bill C-544, a bill to ban the importation of horses for slaughter in Canada, has been introduced to the House of Commons in the fall sitting of 2010;

WHEREAS Bill C-544 would have a negative impact on the horse slaughter business in Canada;

WHEREAS Bill C-544 would remove the right of Canadians and residents from other countries to eat horse meat;

WHEREAS Bill C-544 does not provide for the management of unwanted horses leaving them to possibly die of starvation versus being processed for food in a world where over one quarter of the earth’s human population struggles to find enough to eat;

Operative Clause:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the AAMDC lobby the federal government and members of the opposition parties of Canada to withdraw or defeat Bill C-544 as presented by MP Alex Atmanenko.

Member Background:

On October 20 several members of parliament presented petitions to the House of Commons to ban the importation of horses for slaughter for human consumption.  The goal of those sponsoring these petitions is the eventual closure of existing horse slaughter plants in Canada through federal legislation.

Closure of horse slaughter plants affects employment and the right of the market place to chose the food that they wish to consume.

Closure of the horse slaughter industry will result in a massive increase of unwanted horse populations with no plan in place to manage the increase.  Horses would be left to starve to death or die of disease due to over population.

Horse meat is a staple in many European countries as well as in some areas of eastern Canada.  Horse meat is considered traditional by many cultures, dating back hundreds of years.

The banning of horse processing in the United States has led to the inhumane treatment of the aged equine populations and challenges pasture management requirements.

RMA Background:

The AAMDC has no active resolutions related to this issue. A copy of the bill can be found at www.parl.gc.ca/common/bills.asp?Language=E.


With the dissolution of parliament for the 2011 federal election, this bill never became legislation and was  not  reintroduced to parliament.  The AAMDC will continue to monitor its status and until it is reintroduced, this resolution has been assigned a status of Incomplete Information for a Decision.

Provincial Ministries:
Agriculture and Rural Development
Federal Ministries and Bodies:
Agriculture and Agri-Food
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