The Canadian Horse Defence Coalition

Defending Horses, because they can’t defend themselves!

It may be hard for some to believe that tens of thousands of horses are routinely slaughtered in Canada for human consumption.

Most of  their meat is shipped to Japan, the European Union and other countries.

A small amount of this meat is consumed in Canada and some is shipped to the United States.

This barbaric practice has been stopped in the United States since 2007 due to government defunding of equine slaughterhouse inspections; however, horses from

the United States continue to be shipped to Canada and Mexico for slaughter for human consumption.

In addition, Canada allows for the transportation of live horses to Japan and South Korea to be slaughtered for human consumption and, unfortunately, the transportation of horses destined for slaughter within Canada, and by air, is far from humane.

Click HERE for a W5 Report on the issue.

What we do

What we do

The Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC) is a registered not-for-profit organization working towards ending horse slaughter and the live export of horses for slaughter for human consumption.

Number of Horses that were exported
for Slaughter in 2020

0
HORSES

The Power of Advocacy: A Giant Step Forward for Horses

In this season of hope and miracles, we have some amazing news to share and to celebrate! 

On December 16, 2021, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued mandate letters to his Ministers. Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, was informed that the exports of live horses for slaughter are to be banned! 

Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Mandate Letter

CHDC first became aware of these inhumane shipments over a decade ago by an intrepid airport employee, Tamara Goertz. Tragically, Tamara passed away in 2020, but she left behind a legacy of information and essentially shaped our campaign. 

Beginning with a 2012 CHDC press release about this clandestine industry, a great deal of effort was placed into attempts to stop the live exports. Our relentless volunteers, eyes and ears to the ground at the major airports of Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg, proceeded to gain valuable intel, photos and video footage concerning the shipments. Consequently, armed with evidence, CHDC launched a lawsuit against the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for the way in which horses are transported to Japan for slaughter. Although we lost the first round, our determined sleeves remained rolled up and CHDC lawyer Rebeka Breder once again prepares to fight for the horses at an appeal hearing booked for January 24 and 25, 2022. 

To our gratitude, other animal protection organizations joined the fight and governmental lobbying initiatives grew. Then, in recent years, Jann Arden’s powerful voice chimed in to lead the chorus. With her passionate involvement and the persistence and determination of horse defenders and animal welfare advocates throughout Canada, an incredible momentum for the horses was achieved. 

We thank Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for taking the step of calling for a ban on live horse exports for slaughter. As well, we are grateful to MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, who sponsored parliamentary petition e-3187, calling for an end to these appalling shipments. That petition achieved almost 78,000 signatures – Canadians speaking out against this cruel industry!

We also thank members of the All-Party Animal Welfare Caucus and every MP who added his or her voice to ending the air cargo shipments of live draft horses to slaughter.

Horse defenders, your hard work has paid off – the government listened! We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You wrote letters to your Members of Parliament and lobbied hard for an end to the cruel exports. 

Let’s continue this tsunami of advocacy until a ban is actually in place. Phone calls, letters and emails to your Members of Parliament and to the Agriculture Minister are still in order and much appreciated. 

Thank you again, on behalf of the horses,

Your friends at CHDC

Resources:

Jann Arden’s Horseshit website: https://horseshit.ca/

Letter template to Members of Parliament: https://canadianhorsedefencecoalition.org/contact-your-mp/

If you wish to write your own letter, we offer these links:

https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/services/protocol-guidelines-special-event/styles-address.html

https://cpj.ca/writing-a-letter-to-your-mp/

If you wish to find out who your MP is, go here: Find Members of Parliament – Members of Parliament – House of Commons of Canada (ourcommons.ca)

Volounteers

Volunteers

Do you want to get involved? Contact us & let us know how
you'd like to help!
We need you

We need you

Are you willing to lend your voice to our cause?
We have a few ways you can help!

CHDC FILES GROUND BREAKING LAWSUIT

 

“People are surprised to learn that horses are being slaughtered in Canada [for human consumption].

Perhaps even worse, they are being exported in crammed conditions, to Japan [and South Korea] to be slaughtered for meat.

Horses that may have been someone’s pet.”

UPDATE: Thank you for your support! Please see below for an update on Parliamentary petition e-3187. NOW CLOSED - PETITION REGARDING THE LIVE DRAFT HORSE SHIPMENTS FOR SLAUGHTER SPONSORED BY MP NATHANIEL ERSKINE-SMITH

Thank you for your support! Please click here for an update on Parliamentary petition e-3187.

All Canadians concerned about the protection of horses:  please speak out against the live exports of our Gentle Giants for slaughter.  

Majority of Canadians Oppose Horse Slaughter

  • A Nanos Poll was taken across Canada in June 2019 by Ottawa, ON lobbying firm, The Parliamentary Group.
  • Findings show that over two-thirds of Canadians say they are uncomfortable or somewhat uncomfortable with the export of horse meat from Canada for human consumption.
  • Nearly seven in ten Canadians say they would most support stopping the slaughtering of horses in Canada for human consumption rather than continue the policy.
  • Canadians are over four times more likely to say they would have a more positive impression rather than a more negative impression of a politician that supported a ban in Canada on the slaughter of horses for human consumption.

The full report can be read here.

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