Friday, June 7, 2013

Toronto council asked to oppose eating horse meat

TORONTO - Councillor Michelle Berardinetti wants council to stand up against slaughtering horses for human consumption and in favour of creating a place to drop off “unwanted babies.”

Berardinetti will ask councillors to support the two motions when they meet next week.

The motion regarding babies asks councillors to urge the province to work with Toronto Public Health to create a program within a hospital that would “facilitate the acceptance of unwanted babies with anonymity for the parents and where the child is immediately taken into the care of the appropriate child welfare agency.”

Berardinetti is asking for the program to be based upon a similar program in Edmonton called “Angel Cradles.”

“There is a clear need for a safe haven drop-off facility for unwanted babies within the City of Toronto,” Berardinetti writes in her motion. “In the Cities of Edmonton and Vancouver, hospital facilities have been designated to receive unwanted babies anonymously.

“In establishing such a facility within the City of Toronto, there would be the creation of a safe, anonymous and effective alternative for mothers who have delivered a child but who are unable or unwilling to care for the baby.”

In an interview this week, Berardinetti said she doesn’t understand why Toronto hasn’t done this program already.

“I think it is a great idea. If it is going to save one baby, it’s great,” she said. “You always hear about these young women that throw their baby in the garbage or throw them in a bush or the latest one, the woman who threw her baby in the clothing bin.”

The motion regarding horses asks council to endorse the federal Private Member’s Bill C-322 which would ban the import or export of horses for slaughter or human consumption.

“That’s not the type of meat we should be eating,” Berardinetti said.

In her motion, Berardinetti argues there “is no effective means of determining whether or not a horse sent to slaughter has received dangerous or prohibited substances.”

“To both protect the human food chain and in recognition of the role horses have and do occupy in our society their sale for slaughter and human consumption should be banned,” she writes.

Both motions will need two-thirds of council support for an immediate debate next week.
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