Through Access to Information, for the first time the CHDC has obtained documents regarding the transport of horses to Korea for slaughter.
According to figures available from Statistics Canada, 360 horses were exported to that country in 2018, all during the month of September and all from the province of Alberta.
While information regarding all flights to Korea was requested, documents were provided for only one. We have been informed that one company has appealed to the Federal Court for a review of the Agency’s decision to release information encompassed in this request. We will provide updates on this as information becomes available.
September 6, 2018 Flight from Calgary International Airport to Incheon International Airport
On September 5, 2018 one hundred fourteen horses were conveyed by trucks to the Calgary International Airport where they were loaded in crates to await transport to Korea the next day. The airline which handled this shipment was Korean Air Cargo.
The Humane Transport of Animals form and other documents record the owner as Willjill Farms Inc., 41519 Shorlea Line, St. Thomas, Ontario.
While no non-compliance is recorded in sections 37 and 38 on page 1 of the form, the reason for not enforcing Health of Animals Regulations (HAR) 141(8) is supplied in the comments section (39) on the following page:
(8) Every equine over 14 hands in height shall be segregated from all other animals during transport by air.
Page 1 of the Inspector’s report records a total of 161 horses were examined on August 9 for export to Korea with blood collected to be tested. Positive tests resulted in notifications to remove several horses from the shipment.
August 13- Three horses tested positive for EVA-SN. Equine Viral Arteritis is an “annually notifiable disease” according to the Canadian Animal Health Surveillance System. In the case of an “annually notifiable disease,” Canada must submit an annual report to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) indicating its presence within Canada. Willjill Farms was notified to remove these horses from the shipment.
August 20– One horse was positive for both WEE (Western Equine Encephalitis) and EEE (Eastern Equine Encephalitis) suggestive of previously vaccinated animal and 3 samples were non-negative (unfit for testing because of hemolysis). Willjill Farms was notified to remove these four horses from the shipment.
According to the Pen Weight chart for this flight, twenty-nine crates were used; twenty-eight held four horses and one crate had three. An error appears to have been made as the total here equals 115 and does not correspond with the 114 horses recorded on the HoA form.
Individual Health Certificates are required by Korea and were provided for 123 yearlings. Each one includes the horse’s description, breed, age, gender, colour and brand(s), with distinctive marks indicated on a diagram. Each horse on this shipment bore a large number brand on their right side along with the BAR OVER BAR (=) brand which is registered in Alberta to Willjill Farms Inc.
The yearlings included in this shipment were identified as either a Belgian cross (99), Percheron cross (10) or Clydesdale cross (5). All were born in 2017.
Of the one hundred twenty-nine horses who tested as eligible for export, nine horses were not shipped and remained on the premises.
In an internal e-mail, an unidentified individual explains that “the exporter keeps a few spare export qualified horses as part of the isolated group that may be substituted on the day of loading to fill the cargo airplane in case of lameness”.
The crates were loaded on the aircraft from 1:17 a.m. to 2:26 a.m. on September 6 (1 hour 9 minutes); the flight was 11 hours and 6 minutes in duration. The condition of the horses upon arrival was requested but not provided.
A summary of the number of loads and horses exported by Willjill Farms to Japan and Korea from 2012 to 2018 was also included with the documents released:
2012: 5 loads, 454 horses
2013: 13 loads, 1110 horses
2014: 29 loads, 2465 horses
2015: 28 loads, 2406 horses
2016: 17 loads, 1474 horses
2017: 12 loads, 1349 horses
2018: 14 loads, 1586 horses (one load of 114 horses to Korea on September 6)
Total: 118 loads, 10,044 horses (possibly a typing error occurred here, by our calculation these figures total 10,844)
All released documents can be viewed at the bottom, and appear as received, having portions exempted under sections 13(1), 15(1),17, 19(1), 20 (1)(b), 20 (1)(c), 21(1)(a), 21(1)(b) and 21(1)(c) of the Access to Information Act.
13 (1) Subject to subsection (2), the head of a government institution shall refuse to disclose any record requested under this Act that contains information that was obtained in confidence from
- (a)the government of a foreign state or an institution thereof;
- (b)an international organization of states or an institution thereof;
- (c)the government of a province or an institution thereof;
- (d)a municipal or regional government established by or pursuant to an Act of the legislature of a province or an institution of such a government; or
- (e)an aboriginal government.
15(1) The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Act that contains information the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to be injurious to the conduct of international affairs, the defence of Canada or any state allied or associated with Canada or the detection, prevention or suppression of subversive or hostile activities, including, without restricting the generality of the foregoing, any such information
(a) relating to military tactics or strategy, or relating to military exercises or operations undertaken in preparation for hostilities or in connection with the detection, prevention or suppression of subversive or hostile activities;
(b) relating to the quantity, characteristics, capabilities or deployment of weapons or other defence equipment or of anything being designed, developed, produced or considered for use as weapons or other defence equipment;
(c) relating to the characteristics, capabilities, performance, potential, deployment, functions or role of any defence establishment, of any military force, unit or personnel or of any organization or person responsible for the detection, prevention or suppression of subversive or hostile activities;
(d) obtained or prepared for the purpose of intelligence relating to
- (i)the defence of Canada or any state allied or associated with Canada, or
- (ii)the detection, prevention or suppression of subversive or hostile activities;
(e) obtained or prepared for the purpose of intelligence respecting foreign states, international organizations of states or citizens of foreign states used by the Government of Canada in the process of deliberation and consultation or in the conduct of international affairs;
(f) on methods of, and scientific or technical equipment for, collecting, assessing or handling information referred to in paragraph (d) or (e) or on sources of such information;
(g) on the positions adopted or to be adopted by the Government of Canada, governments of foreign states or international organizations of states for the purpose of present or future international negotiations;
(h) that constitutes diplomatic correspondence exchanged with foreign states or international organizations of states or official correspondence exchanged with Canadian diplomatic missions or consular posts abroad; or
(i) relating to the communications or cryptographic systems of Canada or foreign states used
- (i)for the conduct of international affairs,
- (ii)for the defence of Canada or any state allied or associated with Canada, or
- (iii)in relation to the detection, prevention or suppression of subversive or hostile activities.
17 The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Act that contains information the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to threaten the safety of individuals.
19 (1) Subject to subsection (2), the head of a government institution shall refuse to disclose any record requested under this Act that contains personal information as defined in section 3 of the Privacy Act.
20 (1) Subject to this section, the head of a government institution shall refuse to disclose any record requested under this Act that contains
- (a)trade secrets of a third party;
- (b)financial, commercial, scientific or technical information that is confidential information supplied to a government institution by a third party and is treated consistently in a confidential manner by the third party;
- (c)information the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to result in material financial loss or gain to, or could reasonably be expected to prejudice the competitive position of, a third party; or
21 (1) The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Act that contains
- (a)advice or recommendations developed by or for a government institution or a minister of the Crown,
- (b)an account of consultations or deliberations in which directors, officers or employees of a government institution, a minister of the Crown or the staff of a minister participate,
- (c)positions or plans developed for the purpose of negotiations carried on or to be carried on by or on behalf of the Government of Canada and considerations relating thereto, or