Horse Health

Ongoing Regulation Violations and CFIA Whitewash Confirmed by Access to Information Documents on Air Transport of Horses for Slaughter

SOURCE: Canadian Horse Defence Coalition

ORANGEVILLE, ON, June 25, 2015 /CNW/ – The Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC) has discovered gruelling evidence of multiple horse deaths connected to air transport to Japan, and attempts by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to cover up the truth.

defendhorsescanada.orgAccess to Information (ATI) documents reveal that three horses died as a result of a landing accident and six horses perished in flight on August 1, 2012, “due to a combination of a substantial delay, the large size of the horses, and significant stress levels in the animals”.  However, a placating form letter dated November 2012, and later sent to inquiring members of the public, indicates that “the CFIA is not aware of any injury or undue suffering due to lack of segregation of horses over 14 hands in height.”

Further ATI findings include:  “…horses usually go down during take off and landing”, and one horse evidently died on a trip from Calgary and was found upside down in his crate.  Of ongoing concern has been breakage of the wooden crates, especially with stressed horses rearing up and falling against the crates’ wood strips covered in netting.  Past instructions from the CFIA to exporters have included repairing the broken shipping containers with duct tape.

The CHDC also notes that, in spite of lengthy debate within the agency concerning overloading the crates with four heavy horses, the practice is still continuing.  In fact, The Health of Animals Regulations stipulate that horses over 14 hands high (56″ high at the base of the neck) must be segregated for air transport, and they must be able to stand in a natural position, without coming into contact with a deck or roof.  Both laws are being broken on an ongoing basis, with the CFIA fully aware of this and, on horse shipment formwork, noting the segregation regulation under “Description of Non-Compliance“.  Further, for their own purposes, the agency has added wording to the Health of Animals Regulations that has not gone through official legal channels.

Attempts have been made by at least one agency official to install cameras in aircraft and to initiate a study regarding equine welfare associated with air transport.  Both proposals were turned down.  ATI findings indicate that the reason could have been “siding with exporters”.

CHDC Executive Director, Sinikka Crosland, states:  “In 2014, over 7,000 large draft horses shipped from Canada to Japan under these circumstances. It is clear that international trade and profit take precedence over animal welfare, possibly even human safety, and that the CFIA is turning a blind eye, circumventing laws and misleading the public.  We have strong evidence of the agency failing to follow its own regulations concerning the live transport of horses for meat, and even lying to the public to cover deviations from the law.”

The CHDC calls upon the Minister of International Trade, Hon. Edward Fast, and Bruce Archibald, President of the CFIA, to demand that the practice of sending horses overseas by air cargo for slaughter be stopped on humane and legal grounds.

ATI documents and video evidence can be found at this link:

SOURCE Canadian Horse Defence Coalition

For further information: Sinikka Crosland, Executive Director, Canadian Horse Defence Coalition, Phone: 250.681.1408, Email:

18 replies »

  1. “It is clear that international trade and profit take precedence over animal welfare.”
    PROFIT is the motive for most animal abuse. We see see this with the so-called “management” of our public lands and the animals that live there.


  2. Canada’s Food Inspection Agency Given Lowest Passing Grade in U.S. Audit

    Lax food safety standards led to an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 and a massive recall at Canadian beef packer XL Foods in September 2012. At least 18 people were sickened in that outbreak – with more likely uncounted – and 8 million pounds of beef were recalled.


  3. Are many of these draft-size horses that are being shipped to Japan to become sushi, actually the same horses (and off-spring) that have been confined their whole lives and used for the production of the drugs is Premarin (including Prempro, Premphase, Prempac, and Premelle), the estrogen-therapy drug manufactured by Pfizer (Wyeth)?

    More information:


    • I so agree with you!! The Gentle Giants have been abused for so many centuries because of their size, strength, and also as Premarin Mares, The huge amt. of urine that they produce… & the unwanted result are the Prem foals shipped to slaughter! Plus, more $$ per pound for the kill-buyers at auction.. My intention is never to minimize the plight of the other magnificent innocent breeds of horses & their horrific issues… But the drafts are so huge, but so incredibly gentle. Breaks my heart to pieces for ALL horses! So many, beyond my scope.. ABC is horrible! PLZ keep watch & report to her website… I saw Prem Cream ads on Dr. Phil, Dr. Drew HLN.. & even on the Ellen D. show. Mind you, it is the network’s choice of sponsors here, but we can contact the TV hosts to make them aware.. Sorry, I get carried away here…. But I so miss Jane Velez-Mitchell, one of the many defenders of animals on TV…. sigh… Bless all of you who care!!!


      • Nora-
        You brought up such a good point about advertising. I have heard people ask many times, “What can I do?”. One thing that most of us could do is to contact the television show, television host AND the network and send them a polite but informative letter to educate them about Premarin and related products such as the one you mentioned. Be specific. Tell them that you will no longer be able to watch or support their shows or any of their products if they continue to advertise the product derived from animal abuse. Ask them for a response.
        (hit them in their pocket book – that is the only way to make them listen)



    The Plight of Horses in Bouvry’s Slaughter Pipeline

    In a lengthy and in-depth investigation conducted in October 2012, Animals’ Angels documented conditions at Bouvry Exports’ various locations in the US and Canada. Investigators alternated between locations throughout this investigation to document as much as possible. Due to the sheer length of time this investigation encompassed, we have merely summarized the investigation in this newsletter, but we encourage you to read the full report for detailed day to day information.


  5. If it wasn’t for the crooked politicians here in the US always making sure they never allowed any anti-slaughter legislation to make it out of committee Bouvry wouldn’t have the horse slaughter empire he has. If it wasn’t for US horses being shipped to Canada to be killed his empire would be more than cut in half. And with Canada’s politicians being, it appears, just as crooked as their counterparts in the US I don’t know where any of this is going to go.


  6. You do not nail horses in crates period., they wrap wire around them too on the out side and have no water or food while traveling. This is not humane. Wake up people all this is is money, and the animals suffer, once again .


  7. While we are on the subject of animal abuse, please consider writing to your elected officials and to the media about the wild horses and burros who are suffering this very minute in the BLM holding facilities. Sample letter:

    PLEASE use your position of authority and influence to persuade the Bureau of Land Management to immediately provide shade and shelter for the public’s wild horses and burros that are currently being held at BLM’s Litchfield holding facility near Susanville, California and the Palomino Valley holding facility near Sparks, Nevada. Hundreds and hundreds of these animals are in these two corrals. They have no shade from the summer’s blazing sun and no shelter from the freezing winter winds in the winter. I have personally and recently seen these captured wild horses even lying down and trying to cool themselves in a few small indentations of slightly moist soil where a little water had leaked out from the trough. They were suffering from the heat. The public has again and again asked the BLM to provide shade for these animals and the BLM has not done it and this very day … these animals are suffering.

    Weather forecast for Sparks, Nevada – BLM Palomino Valley Wild Horse and Burro Holding Facility
    Saturday 6/27/15 – 99 degrees
    Sunday 6/28/15 – 94 degrees
    Monday 6/29/15 – 98 degrees
    Tuesday 6/30/15 – 100 degrees
    Wednesday 7/1/15 – 102 degrees
    Thursday 7/2/15 – 103 degrees
    Friday 7/3/15 – 102 degrees

    Weather forecast for Litchfield, California – BLM Litchfield Wild Horse and Burro Holding Facility
    Saturday 6/27/15 – 98 degrees
    Sunday 6/28/15 – 93 degrees
    Monday 6/29/15 – 95 degrees
    Tuesday 6/30/15 – 99 degrees
    Wednesday 7/1/15 – 101 degrees
    Thursday 7/2/15 – 102 degrees
    Friday 7/3/15 – 102 degrees

    Cruelty to animals, also called animal abuse or animal neglect, is the human infliction of suffering or harm upon non-human animals, for purposes other than self-defense or survival. The wild horses and burros currently being held in the BLM corrals are suffering this very day due to the BLM. Please help them.


  8. The airlines that accept the $ are equally responsible

    Air travel is tiring enough without being used and abused by the airlines. If you suffered an indignity at the hands of an airline don’t get mad or feel helpless, send a clear message this behavior will not be tolerated. Take your beef to Small Claims Court. With minimal cost, whether successful or not, you will come out a winner. Typically an airline will hire attorneys to prepare the case with costs exceeding $1,000 per claim in legal fees. While litigation should never be your first option, if you believe you have a legitimate claim, it is a viable avenue when all other options fail. Even if you lose the battle you can still win the war by making your point to the airline.


  9. Major Airline Refuses To Carry Any More Slain Rhinos Or Lions

    It’s about to get a lot more difficult for trophy hunters to bring home the bloodied bodies of the beautiful creatures they’ve killed overseas.
    Emirates Airlines, one of the world’s largest carriers of people and cargo, announced this week that it will no longer transport animal trophies of some of the most iconic and imperilled species on the planet — including elephants, rhinos, lions and tigers.

    “Please be advised that effective 15th May 2015 Emirates SkyCargo will not accept any kind of animal ‘Hunting Trophies’ for carriage on Emirates services. This restriction shall be applicable to all animal hunting trophies, protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), as well as includes species, that are not threatened with extinction now, meaning all CITES & Non-CITES species,” the company said in a statement.

    “This decision is to support international governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, that are managing wildlife population towards sustaining the task to eliminate illegal trade and transportation of hunting trophies worldwide and saving wildlife heritage.”

    The announcement from Emirates comes less than a month after Africa’s largest carrier, South African Airways (SAA), made a similar change of policy regarding animal trophies – with the aim being that it would help keep more animals alive:


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