The following two letters were sent today, July 17, 2015, to Dr. Bruce Archibald President of the CFIA and Canada’s Justice Minister the Honourable Peter MacKay from Sinikka Crosland, Executive Director, CHDC regarding the CFIA’s failure to enforce their own regulations for the live draft horse shipments to Japan.
Dr. Bruce Archibald, President
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Dear Dr. Archibald:
Further to the June 25, 2015 letter from our organization (addressed to Hon. Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, and copied to yourself), I would like to request from you a response to our concerns about the live export of horses to Japan for slaughter.
Details can be found here.
In short, we have reviewed e-mails and reports obtained through Access to Information, and are shocked by the fact that the CFIA continues to violate the Health of Animals Regulations, permitting horses to be shipped illegally out of Calgary and Winnipeg airports and white-washing serious incidents that have occurred. Regarding the segregation law, an internal CFIA e-mail mentions, “…don’t have enough resources to enforce therefore WAY down on the priority list, therefore no point in spending time and resources enforcing that.”
This is completely unacceptable. It is unconscionable that the CFIA should permit live animals to be shipped under such haphazard stewardship and propensity to violate existing protective legislation. Must government be reminded of its responsibility to adhere to laws, and that changing the wording of legislation requires a process, i.e. amending acts must be created?
As you know, Canada also must respect IATA regulations. But those regulations permit the shipping of Icelandic and polo ponies together in crates, not large draft horses well over 14 hands high, who must be transported singly if all regulations are to be properly met.
Furthermore, given the catastrophic nature of six large horses dying during a flight, three horses perishing during a landing accident and, on a separate occasion, a dead horse being found upside down in his crate, human safety begs consideration when horses are flown overseas for the sake of profit.
We await your prompt response to our concerns.
c.c. Hon. Edward Fast, Minister of International Trade; Hon. Peter Gordon MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
The Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
284 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H8
Dear Hon. Mr. MacKay:
On behalf of the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC), I am requesting a thorough examination by your ministry of the issue of live horse exports from Canada to Japan for slaughter.
We have recently studied Access to Information documents concerning the air transport of these horses overseas, and are frankly appalled at the blatant legislation violations revealed and attempts to re-word legislation without taking appropriate legal steps to do so. For example, in spite of lengthy debate within the agency concerning overloading crates with four heavy horses, the practice is still continuing.
The Health of Animals Regulations stipulate that horses over 14 hands high must be segregated for air transport, and that they must be able to stand in a natural position, without coming into contact with a deck or a roof. Both laws are being broken on an ongoing basis, with the CFIA fully aware of this and, on horse shipment formwork, simply 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.
We realize that Canada also must respect IATA regulations. But those regulations permit the shipping of Icelandic and polo ponies together in crates, not large draft horses well over 14 hands high, who must be transported singly if all regulations are to be properly met.
Details of our concerns may be found here.
We await your prompt reply. Thank you.
Sinikka Crosland, Executive Director
Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC)
c.c. Dr. Bruce Archibald, President, Canadian Food Inspection Agency; Hon. Edward Fast, Minister of International Trade