Horse News

Video: Canadian Agency Again Fails to Enforce Regulations for Shipping Live Horses to Japan

Press Release from Canadian Horse Defence Coalition

Horses shipped for live meat in wooden crates so small they cannot stand in their natural position

October 18, 2012, Calgary, AB – Footage taken of Alberta horses being shipped live to Japan for slaughter shows that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is violating their own standards set forth in the Health of Animals Regulations.  The Regulations prohibit the transportation of all animals under conditions that would expose the animals to undue injury or suffering.

The 2012 footage shows horses in a feedlot being loaded with electric prods into transport trucks, transported to the Calgary International Airport and being crated in wooden crates so small they cannot stand in their natural position, in violation of Section 142 of the Health of Animals Regulations (“No person shall transport or cause to be transported animals in a railway car, motor vehicle, aircraft or vessel unless each animal is able to stand in its natural position without coming into contact with a deck or roof.”).

Some horses were even being crated together, even though it is in violation of Section 141.8 of the Health of Animals Regulations, which states that horses over 14 hands high must be segregated for air transport.

Canadian draft horses from various producers are routinely live shipped to Japan for slaughter from the Calgary and Winnipeg International Airports. On arrival in Japan, horses are transported to a feedlot; once they reach desired weight they are slaughtered for horse sashimi, which is considered to be a delicacy in Japan. The meat must be eaten within three days because it is highly perishable; according to the 2008 Alberta Horse Welfare Report, each Canadian horse is worth approximately $20,000.

“Footage shows large horses overcrowded (not segregated) into wooden transport crates, often unable to stand in their natural position for a long journey to Japan, in clear violation of two of the CFIA’s own regulations”, says Sinikka Crosland, executive director with the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition. These transport conditions not only are inhumane but also are likely to lead to injuries and potential deaths during transport.

“Once again we see the CFIA turn a blind eye and choose to protect industry profits rather than do their job”, says Crosland.  “The CFIA’s mandate is both to protect human health and monitor animal welfare.  We have recently seen them fail to protect the public from contaminated meat and now we have clear evidence of them failing to follow their own regulations when it comes to live transport of horses for meat.”

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23 replies »

  1. What is with the CFIA turning a blind eye and choose to protect industry profits rather than do their job to protect the public from contaminated meat also putting these poor draft horses into small crates something is very wrong with this picture. This has to stop and NOW NOW:(((


  2. I can’t watch the footage!!! I’m not that brave. But I will support the cause and have in the past protested in Sacramento (first protest ever) so I’m hooked along with my daughter who is the real advocate, to do what I can to save the American Mustang and Burro.


  3. I literally threw up. I am feeling a little under the weather, but this really made me throw up. I can’t believe people eat horses. Why not round up all our dogs, put them in little crates so europe can eat them. What are we doing and allowing to be done?


  4. Oh my Lord; what other horrors; did I never know existed. I am over and over disgusted and discouraged; HORSE ARE NOT LIVESTOCK!!! Sent to flippin Japan; for sushi !!! what the hell is wrong with the Human race? My soul hurts for these beautiful creatures; I am just sobbing; SO WRONG………


  5. I think its about time that these countries who eat horsemeat, start raising their own horses for meat! Why do they need our horses? If they get poisoned from the drugs we give our horses, then it serves them right!! How disgusting and vile are humans! It just breaks me all up inside to think of the pain these poor creatures suffer all because of the greed of man! Our country should be so ashamed to allow this suffering to continue!


  6. You know there are pieces of this horrible story that you just blank out because the parts that you already know are bad enough, but then the blanks get filled in and the story gets even uglier, although this is not particularly graphic when compared to others.

    This is one of those blogs that needs to be noted and saved as it presents a piece of information that we have not “seen” yet.

    But honestly, one cannot help but wonder how in the world this is not already illegal.


  7. Some slimy, greasy palms here. If the coalition could Follow the money, they would see who is being bribed.

    By the way..So much for the MYTH of only old and disabled horses being sent to slaughter.


  8. Shaking, tears! When you think it can never get worse for the horses…and it does! How many times the {{heartbreak}}…………..followed by the increased (((((strength)))))) to fight for the horses? Answer: As many times and as much as it takes to be their POWER. Mercy.


  9. I have cried many times Ronnie for our horses, I have always had the greatest respect for them ever since I was 5 and saw them for the first time on the desert in Nevada, my heart stood still that day !!!!time stood still all I saw was the most beautiful animal i had ever seen !!!!!! saw them in books and was fascinated by their beauty , but when i saw them in the flesh,I was captured totally at the sight , you might say they had me at first sight !!!!! i will never forget how they inspired me……..Throughout my life every awesome moment in it they were there for me , every sad moment they comforted me, i will not ever stop helping them !!!!! They saved my life so to speak later in one of life’s most painful times , they gave to me their spirit when I needed it, how will II ever repay them , by trying to save them all……………………….


  10. There is a small farm in my area that has draft horses on it and I fear that they are being raised for meat. I live in the Okanagan area and the farm is between Okanagan Falls and Oliver British Columbia. Anyone on here know any info about this?


  11. The horses have suffered for so long and now the cruelty is only escalating. There needs to be a major change in our way of life. We people need to learn to live with horses and other animals and to allow them a quality life and one that is as natural and free as possible in their appropriate habitat where they fill their ecological niche and fulfill their crucial role.


  12. Had no idea this was going on – altho why should I be surprised. Did use Kathy’s link & go to CFIA & write a comment. Hope lots of people did.
    This is just one more way of causing suffering to these horses.


  13. This is beyond cruelty and is a huge blemish to mankind, , to not have respect for the Horses and those who look to us for care is revolting to say the least, to do this horror to the horses people have no respect for themselves, how in the hell can they ever live with themselves………….The Horses represent themselves in Beauty and love , and so many attributes , I can only be in awe of them !!!!!!how can anyone deny them their lifes and their freedom, for me it is mind boggling ……As for the Greedy BLM they really got to go the sooner the better, I suggest we form agency on our own and take back the Mustangs and return them to their rightful place , THE RANGE………………I am sick of the horses suffering for NOTHING ……………….. We together can do this we are strong and many !!!!!!


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