Rally to support a ban on live horse exports for slaughter

Ban Live Horse Exports rally in Calgary – November 23, 2013

The Lethbridge Animal Rights Effort is joining forces with Calgary Animal Rights Effort for a peaceful protest on November 23 from 1-3 pm on the green strip close to the Edward H. LaBorde Viewing area at Calgary Airport. The purpose of this protest is 3 fold:

* Request that Calgary Airport Authority ban all live horse Exports
* To raise general public awareness about live horse export
* Garner support for Bill C-322.

Please go here for detailed information on this upcoming rally.

For several years, CHDC has campaigned to raise awareness about the live exports of draft horses, affectionately called “Gentle Giants”, to Japan for slaughter.  Repeated investigations have shown the dire conditions for these horses who are unfortunate enough to be shipped overseas by air cargo, then are slaughtered on another continent where Canada has no oversight and where our laws have no jurisdiction.

We have contacted various agencies, demanding to know why the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has, once again, shirked its responsibility and allowed this trade to continue on.  The agencies that we have written to are the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the Calgary Airport Authority and the Animal Transport Association, as well as the CFIA itself.

IATA has never responded, even though their own rules of equine transport are being routinely broken with every shipment.  This renowned organization sets out the international standards for Live Animals Regulations (LARs).   The CHDC purchased the LARs for review and reference.  IATA regulations for horses stipulate that they must be shipped individually and that they must have sufficient head clearance (their heads must not come in contact with the top of the crate).

Yet the CFIA continues to allow these horses to be grouped together, usually three at a time, in wooden crates with inadequate space and headroom.  We have seen reports of up to five horses being shipped loose in these crates.

Crates containing horses in shed at Calgary Airport

Crates containing horses in shed at Calgary Airport

These flimsy, wooden crates are not IATA approved for equines being shipped by air. Click on this link to view the IATA regulations for transporting horses.

In response to ongoing concerns about the inhumane and potentially illegal methods used to ship horses by air cargo to Japan for slaughter, the CHDC sought legal assistance.  Our lawyer wrote a letter of complaint to Transport Canada, but no reply was ever received.  He also sent a letter to the Complaints and Appeals Office in the federal government and received a response directly from Dr. Ian Alexander, Chief Veterinary Officer for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.  While we are pleased that the CFIA sat up and took notice, it is clear that Dr. Alexander’s response is nothing more than a whitewash.

In addition, regarding the horses who perished while enroute as mentioned by CTV Saskatoon and queried by CHDC lawyer, Nic Weigelt, Dr. Alexander does not answer Nic Weigelt’s question directly, but provides more hyperbole and subterfuge and states  that the “CFIA has an Air Transport Working group that routinely meets to help achieve safe travel for all species by air.”  It is unknown and likely to remain undisclosed as to how often horses perish in these shipments.

The first page of the response is largely devoted to government rhetoric regarding laws and standards for animal welfare in Canada.  This begs the question – why does the CFIA violate its own regulations concerning the air transport of horses to slaughter?  A clear admission of bent rules becomes evident as one reads further into Dr. Alexander’s letter.  He blatantly defies the regulations, leaving it up to the discretion of the veterinarian in charge as to how many horses are housed together in a flimsy wooden crate.  He states that there must be adequate headroom in the crate for each horse.

Then why do videos and photographs repeatedly depict equine heads touching the ceilings of the crates in the Calgary airport?  What part of “adequate headroom” does Dr. Alexander not understand?

The picture below shows a Belgian horse, the breed of choice for these shipments, standing with his head unnaturally low so much so, that one ear sticks out of the crate.

Ear through

Yet there is more to this story.  The problems begin long before the journey to Japan is even imminent.  Thousands of these horses are warehoused in primitive conditions on feedlots in Alberta prior to transport to the CFIA quarantine lot at Summerview.  Please go here to view a video on the conditions on these feedlots.

Equine care is further compromised as soon as the horses are in the crates and are taken to the tarmac to be loaded onto the aircraft for transport.  From the time they are removed from the Summerview CFIA-approved quarantine station near Brocket, Alberta, travel to the Calgary airport, are loaded in crates, endure inevitable flight delays, and eventually arrive in Japan, the horses’ transit time can easily exceed the legal 36 hour limit.

Dr. Alexander claims that these horses spend less than 24 hours in transport.  This estimation is simply not logical, given the fact that a 16-18 hour flight time is not the only detail to be taken into consideration.  Needless to say, these horses are not fed or watered or rested during this entire period of time.

This video shows the journey from the Summerview quarantine feedlot to Calgary airport.

Once loaded into the crates the horses are taken to the ramp area where the waiting aircraft is parked.  This never before seen video shows the conditions the horses endure before being loaded on the planes.

The CHDC sent this video along with a letter to the Calgary Airport Authority.  We received a reply from the Airport Authority telling us to that this was a CFIA matter.

If you are as frustrated by the CFIA’s refusal to take proper responsibility as we are, please feel free to express your sentiments to the Complaints and Appeals Office with the government of Canada.  Email address: CAO_BPA@inspection.gc.ca 

To learn more about this issue, please use the links below to research past articles:

CFIA Fails Again at Enforcing Regulations

CHDC Files Complaint with CFIA and Transport Canada



  1. To your additional comment, if the driver or whoever was in charge of the load knew the mare was foaling and left her on a wet rubber mat or crowded in with the rest of the load I would be upset. But once you see those front feet coming the best you can do is react. A mistake was made for whatever reason and needed to be addressed. If this is a chronic problem then there is much more work to be done, but I’d like to see how many mares foal during transport as a percentage of those transported before I would make too much of a deal of it. Not that even one is acceptable but there are sometimes reasons these things happen.

    1. There is really no sense in attempting to whitewash these types of incidents or trying to categorize them as infrequent or “one-offs.” There exist rescue groups whose entire focus is saving pregnant mares at sale barns. This group in the US pulls pregnant mares from kill-lots and is only one example of many – http://www.denkaisanctuary.org/Kill_Lot_Mare_Rescue.php

      1. This one had obviously escaped the notice of even those who patrol the sales barns for pregnant mares. Everyone missed it. This incident, to me, is a ‘one of’, since the mare would have to pass through the hands of the original owner, the sales barn staff, the buyer, rescue bidders, the trucker, the CFIA inspectors. That’s a lot of people! Do you honestly think the trucker would risk the load and their business for the sake of one horse? Even if they had a low level of compassion, it wouldn’t make economic sense.

    2. It is not the responsibility of volunteers working for rescues to prevent horses that should not be shipped – they do whatever they can do but it is never enough. And yes, American FOIA information obtained and now, the Canadian equivalent are all showing that these are not isolated occurrences. You can see the types of injuries and violations that occurred in the US regularly at http://www.kaufmanzoning.net The CFIA does not inspect any horses until the trailer arrives at its Canadian destination, so they cannot possibly screen horses before they are shipped. Until the seal on the truck is broken, the CFIA have no idea what to expect.

  2. Help me understand: if you want to ban the transportation of animals for slaughter, then you want to shut down domestic slaughter, where will the unwanted horses go? Do you know that some horses are actually raised specifically for human consumption, just like beef cattle, and not as pets? Another thought – if you restrict the transportation of horses by air, will that affect those who say, send their horse to race internationally or compete in the Olympics?

    1. Margaret Dubois · ·

      What a load of rubbish. Why can’t the animals be slaughtered in their homeland , in a respectable pain free way? Why subject them to unnecessary prolonged pain and suffering?
      Why is this live export for slaughter associated with competition horses? Horses flying around the world for competition or breeding are very well looked after.

      1. But it’s okay to fly horses all over the World as competitive animals, for entertainment purposes. Base fact, racing, jumping, dressage, horse competitions World wide are produced to please people and they fly in the same prolonged manner?

      2. Margaret Dubois · ·

        Well, if you feel horses shouldn’t compete, or fly in especially designed aircraft, in boxes especially designed to carry horses, safely, and travel with experienced grooms and/or vets, we should stop breeding horses.
        If we stop breeding horses, then we will loose an industry which is worth billions of dollars, and there will be a lot of people out of work, and they will become very hungry. ( They may have to eat the remaining horses to try to stay alive, just like the Indians did in the old days before the Spanish came. ) Then horses will be extinct, and future generations will never know what they are.( Someone will save some pictures. )

      3. A short Google search would show you that the pictures used in this half truth article are out dated and not reflective of the style of containers used to ship any horses from Canada for any purpose. A close review of the picture shows blue bands that clearly do not say Canada. This make me wonder how valid the claims are in the article and if the picture was used knowing full well that the words would support the image and verify a claim that is a fraud. Contact CFIA and ask about shipping regs, I found them very helpful in my requests for factual information today.

      4. Margaret Dubois · ·

        Great to have a sensible outlook. In Australia, the cattle and sheep for live export leave our shores safely, but what goes on in the hands of exporters and overseas buyers leaves a lot to be desired, as we are dealing with people who have little respect for living creatures.
        We must remain forever vigilant.

      5. Lantz, if you have evidence to the contrary, please provide it.

    2. Do you not directly benefit by horses being slaughtered Lantz?

      1. The same can be asked of you Heather.

      2. Lantz, you respond to a question with another question? In any case, you are the one asserting that what you have seen is somehow “fraudulent,” so the onus is on you to provide evidence to the contrary. So either you have the evidence that these photos are not true and representative of what is being shipped out of YYC, or you do not.

      3. Very sorry Heather, I did not publish the photo or information, that’s on you. How you opt to manage your credibility and placement of photos that are used to represents your claims, totally up to you. Yes, given the evidence visible in the picture, having been present at YYC to see horses loaded and my belief that legislation, care and concern does exist, is practiced and adhered too, I think it is very likely that your photo does not represent truth or facts. I believe in the systems, even in your example of the mare and foal, the system functioned to it’s fullest degree, holding people responsible for infractions. I agree with you 100% that mare should have never been loaded, education, application and follow through are the route to resolution, not accusations or ridicule, that only makes you feel better. You wrote a blog, made a claim, I’ve questioned the value as it relates to truth based on my knowledge. It’s for you to assert what ever you wish. To be clear, this is not what CFIA regs support, nor is it what I’ve personally seen.

    3. Thank you Lantz. So, to sum up. You have nothing of photographic value that can be used to show that what CHDC posted is old, outdated, or in any way false as you have claimed. Please be aware that CHDC relies on testimonies, photographs, and video evidence from whistleblowers, and we carefully assess all material received for authenticity. If you believe that you have evidence to the contrary, please supply links, photographs, etc. immediately to the CHDC. You can email this to info@defendhorsescanada.org

      1. The straps on the crates, do they say ‘Korea’? What is the origin of the load? Are they being shipped for slaughter or as breeding stock? Why would they be allowed to load when CFIA regulations clearly state that horses over 14H high need to be housed individually? The photo raises too many questions. I’d enjoy seeing some good photos of horses being shipped, how it’s done properly!

      2. By what standards did these pictures gain authenticity? I see no evidence of fact that asserts that the photos where even taken in a building on the YYC grounds, or in Canada for that matter. As pointed out by bayandwhite, this photo contravenes CFIA regs and the only visible markings in the photo say Korea. That given, I’m lead to believe the facts and not emotion, the photo is questionable. Had the picture given a time, date stamp along with gps coordinate, YYC hanger sign, even a distinguishing feature that is verifiable, you may have more credence. But in this case you are representing what looks like a generic picture of unacceptable conditions and mode of transport as a Canadian issue with out a shred of your valued authenticity. We have to accept it as fact because you say so? You have offered nothing more than someones picture and your story and that just does not cut it in the real World. I will assure you that if I felt the slightest confidence in this material I would pick the phone up and Question my contacts at CFIA about how such a circumstance has come to pass. I would address the image and your concerns within contacts, in my field and I would act to find out why this happened. But given my acceptance of good work being done by CFIA and others, CHDC included, keeping the industry accountable to the laws, your proof is flat and without veracity, just like mine. Classic he said, she said.

      3. You obviously didn’t look at the video.

      4. Why would I. You lost my interest and possibly that of others early on by offering a visual image that seriously lack the factual impact you need in hopes that the emotional sell would hook people. Once I read the claims, reviewed the photo, you assured me this too would be a slanted, plea. Being balanced, accurate and ensuring you represent with well placed, clearly connected, continuity will make for better acceptance. Like I said, had I had even the slightest belief that this blog was more than a bias plea that is seeking donations, support or signatures without offering anything more than an emotional buy in, I would have been asking my own questions.

      5. This would hardly seem to be a justification to remain uninformed.

  3. I always wanted to travel to Canada. Under the circumstances, if this is the way you treat such a noble animal, I’ll just stay in the United States.

    1. Margaret Dubois · ·

      The only way to stop live export for slaughter, is to get up there and help the animals, by being another person who is against it.
      There’s got to be more decent caring people who care for animals than those who don’t, so the more it’s talked about, the more people know about it, and the quicker it’s stopped!

    2. jean robertson · ·

      Tonya, 73% of the horses slaughtered last year in Canada came from the United States. The EU will not buy U.S. horses because of the drug contamination so they wait for them to be shipped to Canada or Mexico so they can become Canadian and or Mexican horses and then the drug problem disappears like MAGIC!!

      1. Margaret Dubois · ·

        I think there are a few problems going on in the States with cruelty to wild horses in their roundup methods.
        Where ever we live, we need to be looking out to see that Rules and Regulations against cruelty to animals are enforced . We need to bitterly complain and remember that the majority changes laws against unacceptable animal cruelty.
        Keep complaining. Keep demonstrating!

  4. Fascinating, well-done article, thank you.
    Our government’s officials seem to be having issues with reality.
    Oh, maybe it’s just me.
    The OSPCA now has enough money to really rake in the interest on said amount, a “gift” from our taxes.
    I’ve never been less confident about animal welfare legislation.
    Five and a half MILLION dollars, people.
    Did anyone in government ask the public if we agreed the money was well-spent?
    I wonder where that lump sum will go. Scary, really.
    I sure hope they buy at least a little common sense. Otherwise…
    = Let’s go arrest a woman for letting her dog’s teeth get dirty.
    = Let’s seize a senior dog, and euth it without telling the owner.
    = Let’s ignore a veterinarian dropping a healthy horse dead on the side of Highway 27.
    = NOT lobbying for changes in legislation.
    Can you afford it NOW, OSPCA?!

    Throwing money at problems fertilizes the problem.

  5. I had to send an e mail as this is horrifying!. PLEASE all of us send an e mail

    1. Margaret Dubois · ·

      I am from Australia. Here we are trying to ban live export of sheep and cattle for slaughter.
      I am horrified to think that horses are also used for live export.
      Why would anyone want to do this? Why are there people in this world who obviously get pleasure from hurting animals. How sick are they?
      If we need to eat these animals, there needs to be really strict guidelines so the animals aren’t suffering. NO LIVE EXPORT!

      1. Margaret Dubois · ·

        There is a difference between ill treating animals and treating them in a manner that does not cause pain or suffering. Some people would not like to see horses used for any sort of recreation,
        or work. Sad fact, pal, I have to work! I have to buy my food.( Never heard of horse Gods. )
        There must be an enforcement of rules and regulations to ensure the proper welfare of all animals. It is important that the general public remain vigilant and report discrepancies.

      2. Interesting reply. So your okay with the hunting of feral horses. Shoot them where they stand, leave them where they lay is acceptable?

      3. Margaret Dubois · ·

        It’s not OK to have any animal suffer with hunger or pain. It’s not pretty or socially acceptable to shoot feral horses and leave them where they lay.
        Feral horses, or Brumbies, as we call them often cannot be yarded, and will kill themselves if they are put in a position where they think they cannot get away.
        Only top horsemen who understand the habits of these horses should be allowed to participate in a cull.
        When I was growing up, the horsemen would run the Brumbies several times
        through an area where they would then place a yard. ( The horses thinking they could get away. ) Toilet paper was then used as a laneway to the yard,making a safe entry, and the horses wouldn’t touch it, go straight in the yard, and safely onto a semitrailer.
        Whenever I move, I put all my spoilt Arabian horses on a cattle truck, loose and I have never had as much as a scratch on them.( I wouldn’t like to move them a long way on some of these cramped trailers, tied up. )
        The videos that I have seen of the way your feral horses are handled is discusting.( As I heard a good horseman say once, ” You fellows wouldn’t make a horses arseole. “)


    2. Margaret, your an interesting person. Some of us horses “aresholes” that live a World away may share some of your views and opinions. Guess that may make you one of a cluster of rectums. Your idea on feral hunt will most certainly fly in the face of staunch CHDC members and for sure HSUS, PETA. The lack of public attention and condemnation is shocking.
      I will be the first to say horses truck in large boxes, loose, with safe density, reduced stress and in like sizes, types is the best form of transport. The shorter the travel, the better for the horse and person footing the travel costs.
      And I agree on your point that we, horse people, have allowed too many special interests filter into our industry. True horsemen and women know the best, safest practices that are most efficient and considerate of the entire cycle. To many special interests, scientists, lobbyists, camera crews, whistle blowers and fanatics have been given a voice that controls what once was very safe, real and appropriate management of livestock.
      And the greatest failure in my eyes is the over all erosion of real, accessible choices. In your country, as in mine, power, politics, pressure and ridicule have removed much of the choice that was simply a given to anyone who was invested in any form of agriculture. Companion or livestock. Buy, sell, breed, keep for life with any purpose. Consumption or conservation. Rescue, rejuvenate, retrain, re-home, rehabilitate were all choice point that have been sacked because of uninvested know that a loud voices and emotional communication filled with colorful adjectives, adverbs, supported by pictures and video footage will capture the unknowings attention. We did once have the ability to select excellence from all streams of horse, be it breed, industry or sport. We had a valued system where horses that were being culled based on an owners point of choice, any buyer could pay the cost and provide what ever form of future life for a horse. With an increase in a displaced population of horses, unwanted, un-needed, unfit, aged, hungry, neglected, not domestic what are we to do. It’s a tragic circumstance, not unlike the plight of the Bumbries, but unfortunately in a far more social, connected circumstance. The impact of Urban powers on rural issues is a sticking point and the policy of the day here. You want something to end in animal husbandry or consumption, get the city population to react to offensive, manipulated, miss-representative pictures like used in this article. I live in Ontario, a province with a population of 13.5 million people. 5% of that population are the farmers that provide food for consumers. The Greater Toronto Area, an Urban centre and Capital of the Province represents 6 million. Not hard to understand the manipulations.
      Thank you for your insights from Down Under.

      1. Margaret Dubois · ·

        It all looses perspective and reality. I agree with your article. You have people manipulating and interfering in something they know nothing about, and if it’s not too bad, theyr’e gonna make it look bad.
        We have a very good RSPCA in this country, and they will always have neurotic and demented people along with the real cases phoning in about animal abuse or neglect. The RSPCA inspectors are trained to sort them out.
        It is good, however to have all types of people noticing various practices, and the way animals are handled. Sometimes it brings to light practices that aren’t suitable for proper animal welfare, and improvements come from this.
        Animals form very important parts of our lives in many respects, and we do owe them a duty of care.

      2. Margaret, Lantz, we need more people like you.

      3. Margaret Dubois · ·

        Thanks mate, no worries. Love your country!

      4. Margaret Dubois · ·

        Thank you Bay and White. It is difficult for people who live in cities and buy their food from a supermarket and go out admiring horses in the countryside at the weekends, to rationalize the realities faced daily by landowners.
        Ranchers and landowners are faced daily with harsh decisions so that they can put the food on the table for city people. ( that yummy steak, those fresh vegetables. )
        I have lived through a drought where we thought we had enough hay and grain to last the drought out over a year. Not so., the drought lasted longer. Then it becomes going out every day and shooting down animals. If you don’t, the crows pick their eyes out. When the drought breaks, the remaining weak animals get caught in the bogs and have to be shot.This is why there have to be harsh decisions made to make room for the productive animals . A bad mouth costs as much as a good mouth to feed.
        No farmer or rancher likes to see his /her animals suffer, so they act sensibly.
        It would be good to see some of the people who keep horses for recreation, and then decide that they are tired of them, to show some responsibility, and we might not have so many unwanted horses.

      5. We agree here Margaret. And I would like to expand slightly on your last thought,
        “Animals form very important parts of our lives in many respects, and we do owe them a duty of care.”
        My addition to this would simply be the words reverence and respect. As a society we have become too far removed from what and who feeds us, neglecting the correct respect and appreciation for the effort, hard work and life that sustains us all. Meat eater of vegan, we all need to refocus and honor the tenant of choice.

      6. Margaret Dubois · ·

        Hear, hear!

  6. Horrendous – this is no way to treat animals. If they have to be slaughtered, which is horrendous enough, it should be done as humanely as possible, in Canada, and the meat shipped frozen. Why on earth does it need to be live export ? I imagine it costs more to box and transport than it would to have freezer transport.
    But really we should be regulating the numbers of breeding animals so that this does not happen at all to such beautiful animals.
    And surely they should definitely be provided with food and water….

    1. Margaret Dubois · ·

      I totally agree. It is unbelievably distressing to see these animals suffer. They do us no harm.

    2. Containers

      144. (1) No person shall load or transport or cause to be loaded or transported a container used in the transportation of animals unless the container is constructed and maintained so that

      (a) animals therein may, where required, be fed and watered without being removed therefrom;

      (b) animals therein may be readily inspected; and

      (c) the escape of any liquid or solid waste therefrom is prevented.

      (2) Subject to subsection (4), no person shall load or transport or cause to be loaded or transported a container used in the transportation of animals unless the container is equipped with a sign or symbol indicating

      (a) the presence of live animals therein; and

      (b) the upright position of the container.

      (3) Every container used in the transportation of animals shall be so secured to the railway car, motor vehicle, aircraft or vessel in which it is carried as to prevent it from being displaced during transportation.

      (4) Subsection (2) does not apply to a container if all animals therein are readily visible from outside.

      Food and Water for Animals in Transit

      148. (1) Subject to subsections (2), (3) and (7), no person shall confine in a railway car, motor vehicle, aircraft or vessel

      (a) equines, swine or other monogastric animals for longer than 36 hours; or

      (b) cattle, sheep, goats or other ruminants for longer than 48 hours.

      (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to ruminants that will reach their final destination in Canada where they may be fed, watered and rested without being confined longer than 52 hours.

      (3) No person shall confine chicks of any species without food and water for longer than 72 hours from the time of hatching.

      (4) Livestock that is unloaded from a railway car, motor vehicle, aircraft or vessel to be fed, watered and rested before the livestock is re-loaded, shall be unloaded into a pen, rested for not less than five hours, provided with an ample quantity of suitable food and potable ice-free water, and before the livestock is re-loaded, the floor of the railway car, motor vehicle, aircraft or vessel shall be littered with straw, wood shavings or other bedding material.

      (5) A pen in which livestock is unloaded pursuant to subsection (4) shall provide

      (a) sufficient space for all the livestock to lie down at the same time;

      (b) properly designed racks and troughs for feeding and watering the livestock;

      (c) well-drained and clean floors of concrete or gravel that provide safe footing;

      (d) an adequate amount of straw or other litter to bed the livestock; and

      (e) protection from inclement weather.

      (6) Every sea carrier shall

      (a) provide a sufficient amount of suitable food and water for animals carried on a vessel, having regard to the expected duration of the voyage;

      (b) provide, in addition to the requirements of paragraph (a), two days supply of food and water for each estimated eight days of the voyage;

      (c) store such food and water in a sanitary manner and in a place not unduly exposed to the weather; and

      (d) provide sufficient water pipes and taps on the vessel for watering the animals.

      (7) Subsection (1) does not apply to animals if

      (a) the railway car, motor vehicle, aircraft or vessel is suitably equipped to feed, water and rest the animals; and

      (b) the animals are fed, watered and rested at intervals of not more than 48 hours in the case of ruminants and not more than 36 hours in the case of monogastric animals.

      Prohibition of Overcrowding

      140. (1) No person shall load or cause to be loaded any animal in any railway car, motor vehicle, aircraft, vessel, crate or container if, by so loading, that railway car, motor vehicle, aircraft, vessel, crate or container is crowded to such an extent as to be likely to cause injury or undue suffering to any animal therein.

      (2) No person shall transport or cause to be transported any animal in any railway car, motor vehicle, aircraft, vessel, crate or container that is crowded to such an extent as to be likely to cause injury or undue suffering to any animal therein.


      141. (1) Subject to this section, no person shall load on any railway car, motor vehicle, aircraft or vessel and no carrier shall transport animals of different species or of substantially different weight or age unless those animals are segregated.

      (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a female animal and its suckling offspring.

      (3) Every cow, sow or mare with its suckling offspring shall be segregated from all other animals during transport.

      (4) Animals of the same species that are incompatible by nature shall be segregated during transport.

      (5) Groups of bulls, de-tusked boars, rams and goat bucks, if mature, shall be segregated from all other animals during transport.

      (6) Every mature boar that has not been de-tusked and every mature stallion shall be segregated from all other animals during transport.

      (7) An equine shall, unless its hind feet are unshod, be segregated from other equines during transport.

      (8) Every equine over 14 hands in height shall be segregated from all other animals during transport by air.

      (9) Every mature bull shall be securely tied during transport by air.

      (10) Every horse shall be segregated from all other animals during transport by sea.

      1. Thank you for highlighting the fact that the CFIA and other government organizations ignore their own regs.

      2. How about commenting on the regs that should have prevented this – a full term mare delivering in a trailer – https://canadianhorsedefencecoalition.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/ati_case_1_mare_and_foal.pdf

      3. Margaret Dubois · ·

        I do not agree with horses or any animals to live export for slaughter. When the horses leave their homeland, you have no control in the way they are handled.
        I do , however, believe that there has to be a sensible approach to slaughtering unwanted horses in a painless way, in their own homeland.
        There has to be balance, and control, so there isn’t an overpopulation of horses. You have to be sensible.
        Do you eat beef? There are lots of calves born at the slaughter yards to cows going to be killed.
        Have you any idea what goes on in overpopulated countries to human babies and mothers?

      4. No, I don’t eat beef, why do you ask? This is a blog for horse slaughter. We generally don’t talk about third world poverty issues, abortion, fracking, or global warming either.

      5. Margaret Dubois · ·

        You poor lady, don’t you realize that if you don’t control overpopulation, that things get out of control.
        We do need to eat meat so we don’t get Megaloblastic anaemia , with the result of mental and physical retardation.

      6. By some miracle, I have avoided both of those conditions.

      7. Margaret Dubois · ·

        It would be avantageous if you looked at the big picture, not just yourself.

      8. Feel free to respond to my post regarding regulations which are ignored, thus allowing infractions such as the full-term mare delivering in a trailer, followed by the killing of her foal and her ultimate demise on the slaughterhouse floor only 45 minutes afterwards.

      9. karen vaughn · ·

        No animal deserves to be treated this way.I don’t care what country..Horses are not food animals..Yes,its sad about overpopulation but look to breeders,make them responsible for their animals.Murdering a innocent mare and her foal is not the answer..I know they do the same to beef but we are talking horses….makes my heart sick…

      10. @Margaret, it’s unfortunate that you were unable to reply to my post about the mare and foal. Please don’t divert the posts from the issues at hand. All these other issues you mentioned are perfectly valid issues, but far beyond the scope of this blog and the CHDC mission.

      11. Heather, after a brief read of your report about the mare and foal at slaughter, I have a few questions and thoughts. 1) The ultimate responsibility for this heart-wrenching event lies with the owner of the mare, the one who allowed her to become pregnant although obviously unwanted, and allowed her to enter the slaughter pipeline. It breaks my hear to see irresponsible horse ownership in the first place. This story began when the stud got to the mare. 2) Your report shows that the system is working – those responsible for the animal when she foaled were held accountable and fined for not adhering to regulations. 3) Mares are not always ‘obviously’ in foal and even the best foaling attendants get fooled into knowing exactly when a mare will foal. Every once in a while you hear reports on the news of humans who have had babies and didn’t even know they were pregnant! 4) From the photo you show, the mare was segregated from the load when foaling and did so on a clean bed of shavings (is that the case? that’s how it appears), actions which show compassion. 5) In my opinion the mare and foal were best euthanized. The mare was obviously unwanted and the foal was of unknown origin but I would assume if the mother wasn’t wanted, the foal may not be either, and could have likely suffered more at the hands of someone with a good heart but not enough knowledge and experience to raise an orphan, however well-intentioned. For the cause of looking after unwanted horses, there are many more who would benefit more from our energy. 6) Maybe knowing the fate of this mare and foal will make even just one owner think before they expose their mare for breeding as to the eventual fate of that foal. 7) You ask for information and assure confidentiality of any informants – I have a hard time trusting that when you use undercover investigations. Honour and credibility are issues that the CDHC will need to address to be taken seriously.
        I’d love to see this issue discussed with facts instead of emotions and if you ask me what actions need to be taken, it’s not placard-waving rallies, although they do get media attention. It’s petitioning our parliamentary representatives to support the CFIA and research into transportation and euthanasia of livestock.

      12. The regulations that should have prevented this horse from being shipped were ignored – that is the point. We do not even know what action, if any was taken, since the report “recommends” further action be taken. I am willing to bet that this person is still in business shipping horses to Canada. The mare was not euthanized – shortly after delivery, she was slaughtered for food. I disagree with you that someone at a sale barn, who is regularly used to handling horses, could not detect that a mare was FULL TERM. As far as undercover investigations go, the individuals who provide that information are never revealed. CFIA does not need to do further “research” into transportation – all parties involved on both sides of the border need to ACT UPON the already existing regulations. Whoever is responsible for shipping a full-term mare should be sanctioned against further shipments. This is the only language that they understand.

      13. Actually it can be difficult to tell sometimes when a mare is in foal, especially if she is overweight or has a hay belly. The mare was slaughtered as was intended, and the trucking firm probably paid their fine and hopefully learned their lesson, and hopefully the border patrol has had some feedback as well. The foal was mercifully euthanized and I say that because a newborn could not possibly receive the care it would need, from colostrum to treating its navel, under commercial conditions.
        As far as research, there is an incredible amount of world-wide concerns about the conditions of livestock transport for all livestock, such as the recommended density, time between stops, behaviour and handling during, before and after transport. This issue has been around for over 100 years, with newspaper reports indicating such concerns from well before our time. Air travel brings its own issues because the cabin conditions are not ideal to keep the horses from becoming dehydrated. People can be encouraged to drink but it’s tougher with a horse, whether they are on their own private jet or in the undercarriage of a 747. Research is trying to find a way to make this better.
        I believe in directing our energy to a system that works better, rather than amputating the limbs of the horse industry and having to help it hobble along, dysfunctional, as it is in the US at the moment. I don’t believe that a horse industry without slaughter is balanced and healthy for the horses or their owners.

      14. The term euthanasia means ‘a good death’, meaning as quickly and painlessly as possible. Gunshot is the quickest, captive bolt pistol is also very effective. Research needs to be done to provide better methods of restraint of horses to improve the effectiveness of the captive bolt pistol, and new pistols that are lighter and easier to handle have been recently developed for pigs and turkeys that may have the potential for use in horses as well.

      15. Additionally, the issue with the mare segregation tends to confirm the fact that they knew she was in foal. But how compassionate is that? The regulations stipulate that she was not to be shipped in the first place. How kind that they send her on a long journey, but all that was made “ok” but giving her a comfortable, shavings-filled place in so doing. /sarcasm.

      16. @Bayandwhite – please do not confuse euthanasia with slaughter. These are two distinctly different processes.

  7. Unthinkable & unimaginable to experience such horrific way these people transport magnificient horses to other parts of the world simply for the greedyness of the dollar & it’s profit. At the end these magnificinet animals ends up in developing countries peoples dinner plates. Shame on these so called developed country called Canada & Canadians.

  8. karen vaughn · ·

    Yet again more atrocities against our beautiful horses…What have they done wrong to deserve treatment like this.wasn’t most of the world built on the back of a horse? Didn’t they die by the millions fighting your battles? They are easy prey for taahe meat vulchers…trusting.,loving,dependent on us for their care! This is the thanks they get? Shame on Canada the US,Australia,Japan and all who want to kill them.Hear their screams in your sleep.Look into their loving eyes…Sleep well!

  9. This is so sad it should not be allowed to happen SHAME ON YOU CANADA AND JAPAN stop this terrible crime horses are to ride and love not eat anyone who eats horse is SICK

  10. This is just a dispicable practice. No animal deserves to be treated this way. Shame on you Canada AND Japan. Stop exported our horses.

  11. It is plain disgusting what people do to these horses. Ship them to Japan? You must be freaking kidding. What a dirty practice.Watching these horses in the crates is sickening enough let alone putting them through hours of hellish travel time , no food or water..to be butchered in a barbaric way. What kind of sick,heartless people allow this to happen? Only evil people .EVIL. When is this world coming back to being compassionate and not cruel beyond comprehension.Shame on all these bastards involved. Scumbags.

  12. This is simply horrific, please stop now this is murder.

  13. In this 2013 i am appalled that something like this happening it makes me and so many other decent people sick to their stomach .I am ashamed of all of you .Iam sure that your mothers would be too.

  14. Jessica Hardingham · ·

    I just wrote an email to them to stop this!! They say the hottest place in hell is reserved for those who see wrong and do nothing. PLEASE email them. You may think “what can one email do?”, but can you say you wouldn’t be proud of yourself if you took five minutes to do those animals a small favor?? Thank you ALL in advance for emailing them!!!

  15. C Cunningham · ·

    Stop breeding them, then people wouldn’t have to ship to sales to be sold for slaughter. It’s either that, or starve them to death because they can’t feed them due to lack of money.

    1. The American Quarter Horse Association is the largest horse breed in the World. A recent statment from AQHA Executive Vice President Don Treadway Jr. However, counters your point on stopping breeding.

      “Even though we are classified as a 501(C)5, agriculture-based, not-for-profit association, we cannot operate the association with financial losses,” Treadway explained. “We have been fortunate to squeak by at a time when income has declined from a high of $50,014,105 in 2006, to last year’s $45,751,356. The income decrease has been primarily due to a 50 percent drop in the number of registrations, and a 20 percent drop in memberships since our highs in 2004. Naturally, to operate at a profit we have had to decrease expenses proportionately and, in many cases, eliminate important programs and marketing activities.”

      In this breed of horses alone, a 50% decrease in new registrations is reflective of 14,381 missing horses from that population. Appaloosa, Paint, Pinto, Arabian, Thoroughbred and Standardbred are reporting the same reduction in annual numbers over the past 3 years. Breeding and re-population of young, diverse, genetically strong stock is not the issue. Since the US processing ban in the US, 2007 there has been no valued cull process to aid in the management of a specific population of horses. Horses processed for meat are not commonly under 2 years of age as they are not mature and do no represent a realistic commercial value, particularly in this over all depressed equine market. Understanding this, the bulk of horses that would have been used by the US processing industry had no place to go. That means horse populations born in 2004/5 and back were left standing, reproducing and drawing on a failing supply of resources. Here we are 9 or 10 years later and any economist will tell you, the plight of today’s horses was born in prior to 2007, when things were fat and money flowed. It will be another 7 to 10 years before the rebound coming in this corrective cycle can be felt by all, pending we get the entire Horse industry, all $102 Billion of US economic impact and $15 Billion here in Canada, on track using horses responsably as they have been for 100’s of years.

      1. Margaret Dubois · ·

        A very informative article.

  16. Take action now. Contact your local congress person, Slaughter of the American Mustangs must stop now . All horses will become a victim in this trade of meat. Take a stand!

  17. Laureen Godin · ·

    I cannot believe that vets agree and support this. This is all so ridiculous!

  18. It just goes on and on. Its the contridiction that we hate. Dealing with the CFIA, ect is dealing with a wall…;-( ;-(
    Shame on canada, shame on all those who support Horse-Slaughter!
    No to animal exploitation, No to horse-slaughter in this country and YES to BILL C-322!

    TKS for sharing.

  19. Anne Streeter · ·

    I have written to complain. I think so many people are unaware of this cruel practice. Should we put a petition together? A friend put a petition up asking Kijiji to ban the sale of animals on their site. It now stands at over 56,000 signatures! As well, the owner has agreed to meet with her. He seems a bit worried.


    1. Laureen Godin · ·

      Good! However, some rescues to use kijiji to advertise their dogs up for adoption.

  20. This make me sick, and a shame of any can do this are BEAUTIFUL American HORSES.

  21. Donna Elkins · ·

    This has been an on going problem for many years. Shame on anyone that is slaughtering HORSES! They have a right to live out their lives wild as God intended them to be. STOP IT!

  22. Tracey Williamson · ·

    Horse slaughter is a dirty, vile predatory meat market, that exists only because of greed. Canada and Mexicos shame and the corrupt and greedy want this atrocity here in the US. Cruel is not a big enough word for this treachery against one of our most beloved companion animals.

  23. Shame on the people who make these laws, how would they like to be treated like that. Karma will come into play one day and they will all wonder why is this happening to me. 😦

  24. Barbara Griffith · ·

    Canada has the same corrupt government agencies that the US has. I live in the US and as you know there is a knock down drag out fight going on in the courts to block any start up of a horse slaughter plant or plants in the US. There is a lot of palm greasing that goes on in our Senate. They have ignored every bill banning horse slaughter that has been introduced in congress for the past ten years. None of the past bills have ever been called up and put forth for a vote. The bills are just ignored and they just sit there gathering dust. Its never made any difference how many times the politicians are contacted about this you just get a form letter back, or sometimes you don’t even get that back.

  25. Heartless, who could do this?!? Poor horses…

  26. Patricia Coffman · ·

    Canada’s dirty little secret…very dirty and Americans should boycott and call you out!!

  27. How heart-breaking for these innocent horses,they do not deserve this torture.The scumbags who send these gentle souls to slaughter are only concerned about making MONEY off of them!

  28. M Moffit · ·

    Shame on us and the former owners of these fantastic horses

  29. jean robertson · ·

    Once again CHDC a great job in reporting the facts behind the live export of horses for slaughter and the total lack of compliance of the CFIA to their own rules and regulations.

  30. J. Paterson · ·

    The beautiful horses do not deserve this treatment.

  31. Oh Canada shame on you!!

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