Yet another so-called “unwanted” horse who lost his life in the kill box at a slaughterhouse. The maddening part about it is that this horse was very much wanted. Numerous people tried to save him from the kill auction and later from the slaughterhouse itself. Adena Springs wanted him back and he had a safe home waiting for him. His breeder was willing to do the right thing for him. He was NEVER intended to be sold for slaughter. He was, in fact, completely unfit to be slaughtered for human consumption. As a former racehorse, this Thoroughbred had been given Phenylbutazone and other drugs during his life. That alone should have disqualified him for slaughter. The tattoo on the inside of his upper lip proved his identity. The slaughterhouse was provided with copies of his drug history. They did not care. They killed him anyway. What happened to the meat from his carcass remains open for debate.
An investigation has begun but officials from LPN (Les Viandes de la Petit Nation) in Canada aren’t revealing much to the public. Not every carcass is even tested for drug residues so there is no guarantee that Backstreet Bully’s remains were examined. If they were tested, it’s quite simple for the plant to get a negative test result from a carcass of a horse that was given Bute. They pull test samples from the fat tissue, knowing full well that Bute is deposited in the muscle tissue and not in the fat. The kidneys, which show the highest concentration in horses dosed with Bute, are typically not tested because they aren’t sold as food. It would be nice to know which parts of Backstreet Bully were tested after they had finished butchering him…
Part of his story can be found in a recent article in the Toronto Star. (Link provided below). The following is a first-hand account from Mindy Lovell of Transitions Thoroughbreds, one of the people who tried to save his life:
“Many of you have read the article on the front page of the Toronto Star about Backstreet Bully. He HAS had the last word and although it will never bring him back, he represents a drop in the bucket of the many horses that head to slaughter that clearly illustrate the massive flaws in the horse slaughter industry. I stood on that catwalk at OLEX that day asking Jonathon Lalonde to buy that horse. He refused – he claimed he was “meat only”. I did not believe that so I asked again. He repeated the same thing. That designation was never made on that horse and that has been proven. He lied. He was quickly backed up by Tracey Thompson-Hoogeveen that runs NYNE and promotes the sale of his so called meat horses. She also heard him state that as she was standing there as well. She also claimed she saw it written on the EID or kill sheet as it is commonly known. It was not. She repeated it numerous times. I was not the only one that heard her make these claims. I did not believe a word of it. Tracey also knew that there was a very good chance that I could identify that horse and have his drug records produced clearly indicating he was not eligible for slaughter. She knew because I told her that point blank and then I asked her what she thought would happen should that be the case. She did nothing but stand behind her lie. Did both Jonathon and Tracey know that racehorses are in general not eligible for slaughter due to the excessive drug use? Yes, they did but “they all do it” as in send them to slaughter regardless. There was ample opportunity to stop it. He could have been pulled off that truck in Ottawa along with the other horses she was intending to broker for him on NYNE. If things went true to form, he would have off loaded along with all the others and then re-loaded to head to the plant. It could have been stopped – easily. It was not. He was “just a horse” and the thoroughbred people that love and admire these horses and fight for them so much are “just a joke”. I kept trying. My calls and messages to both of them were ignored – she was “too busy”. Backstreet Bully never won the Queen’s Plate or the Kentucky Derby, nor did he make millions of dollars on the track, in fact only a few thousand but it did not matter to those of us that fought to save his life up until the very end. He was NOT “just a horse” in our eyes and he is only one of many. To add further insult to injury, we asked to have his halter returned – the leather halter with the brass nameplate on it reading Backstreet Bully and that simple request has never been honoured.”
What was done to this horse and many others before him is an absolute outrage. He was unfit for slaughter and everyone involved in the process knew this but did not care. It makes no difference to them if the meat is filled with toxic drug residues. They aren’t going to eat it. They will sell it to the unsuspecting Europeans. LPN actually claims that it can trace the animals it slaughters from the farm up to the time they arrive at the plant. That makes very little sense considering the fact that they kill hundreds of thousands of horses from the United States where horses are not raised for food. I highly doubt there are too many farms breeding horses specifically for slaughter in Canada either. They are killing Thoroughbreds, Standardbreds, and thousands of other horses used in competitive disciplines. Drug use in racing and other equine competitions is standard practice for many owners and trainers. Many of the drugs and other substances that have been banned for use in animals intended for human consumption are used on a daily basis at racetracks and elsewhere. That is the last type of meat anyone in their right mind would choose to eat. If the consumers had any idea what was really in their horse meat, they might lose their appetites…
There was NO reason for Backstreet Bully to die. He had a home waiting for him and years of life left in him. He had numerous people trying desperately to save his life. Those involved in the horse slaughter industry refused to allow anyone to save Backstreet Bully. The auctioneer ignored Mindy Lovell when she attempted to bid on the horse at the Ontario Livestock Exchange auction (OLEX). The kill buyer who did buy him falsely claimed the horse was sold as “meat only” and one official at the auction mentioned that the auction might decide to designate all the Thoroughbreds as “meat only” at the sale. That would mean that only kill buyers would be able to buy them. Private individuals and equine rescues would be unable to bid on them. Quite ironic. The equine advocates are actually trying to help by taking the unfit horses out of the food chain and instead of gratitude, they get nothing but attitude from the auction all the way to the slaughterhouses.
As a final insult, LPN has refused to return Backstreet Bully’s leather halter with the brass plate bearing his name to his breeder. It is difficult to imagine what use they could possibly have for his halter at the slaughterhouse. Why not return it? Perhaps because it is a tangible piece of evidence? Proof that he was slaughtered there. Proof that LPN took the life of yet another Thoroughbred racehorse even though they had proof the horse was not fit for human consumption. The truth of what happened to his carcass will come out sooner or later as the investigation continues. The horse slaughter industry is all about the money. If it is proven that Backstreet Bully was slaughtered for human consumption despite being given Phenylbutazone, it may cost those involved in this nightmare far more than they ever imagined.
Link to the Toronto Star article: