We would like to share with you a letter written by Kate Drummond, actress and Canadian Screen Award Winner 2020 for Top Lead Performance, TV Movie. Ms. Drummond is also a director, producer, and screenwriter.
Kate wrote to the Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau, expressing her concerns about the plight of horses shipped overseas for slaughter by air cargo. The tired form letter response from the Minister, which tries to justify a cruel, unnecessary practice, claiming that the horses are humanely treated, contrasts sharply with Kate’s sincerity and compassion.
We ask: what part of cramped crate confinement, food, water and rest deprivation (for up to 28 hours) does the Minister not understand?
We commend Ms. Drummond for her proactive stance in speaking out for the horses, and encourage others to follow her lead by writing to:
Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, email@example.com
Kate Drummond’s letter and the Minister’s response are included below.
Thank you, on behalf of the horses,
Your friends at CHDC
Dear Mrs. Bibeau,
My name is Kate Drummond and I am writing to you with a grave concern about the treatment of live animals, at the hands of our country. Specifically, horses are being shipped to other countries, alive, scared and jammed into crates with no room to move, for 10+ hours with no access to food or water only to be received at the other end, often by an industry that beats them WHILE ALIVE in order to maintain their “flavour”.
Is this really what we stand for in Canada? Our country was built on the backs of these beautiful animals and this is how we thank them?
I am adamantly opposed to the slaughter of horses within Canada and the shipment of horses from Canada to other markets to be slaughtered there and I ask you to take a stand against this. It is an UNNECESSARY industry. We are talking about sentient, feeling beings who have the capacity to heal humanity… and yet, our government will allow this torturous treatment of them. For what? Money? Is that what you stand for?
You MUST understand that this atrocious, and barbaric act, must be stopped. Why is it that the United State of America BANNED this practice due to the inhumanity of it? Why can’t Canada follow suit?
Please consider prioritizing this and the live export of all animals. Its heartbreaking and our country is better than this.
Visit me online:
Canadian Screen Award Winner 2020
Top Lead Performance, TV Movie
Nowhere to be Found
Ms. Drummond is a former elementary school teacher and has a TED Talk with half a million interactions worldwide.
And the Minister’s reply.
From: Minister / Ministre (AAFC/AAC) <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, Nov 5, 2020 at 2:53 PM
Subject: Your correspondence to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food – Quote 261204
Dear Ms. Drummond:
Thank you for your correspondence regarding the shipment of live horses to Japan for slaughter.
First, I assure you that our government takes issue of animal welfare very seriously and that we
are committed to ensuring the humane treatment of animals in Canada. The Health of Animals
Regulations and the Codes of Practice apply to all farms across the country.
All those involved in raising and handling horses have a duty to ensure that the animals in their
care are treated humanely. This responsibility is shared among federal, provincial, and territorial
governments; producers; industry organizations; and many others. A range of federal and
provincial legislation is in place and grants regulatory authority for addressing the well-being of
horses in Canada.
The primary regulatory responsibility for livestock on-farm and on private property rests
essentially with provincial governments. Each province has laws in place relating to animal
welfare requirements, as well as the authority for enforcement. The federal government enforces
regulations related to the humane transport of animals entering and leaving Canada and of those
being transported interprovincially.
Our government recently strengthened the Health of Animals Regulations, which had not been
updated since the 1970s. The updated regulations will improve animal welfare and reduce the
risk of suffering during transportation. They will establish clear science-based requirements that
better reflect animals’ needs. More information about humane transport and animal welfare is
With respect to the export of live horses for slaughter, at this time, any Canadian exporter who
has successfully negotiated a commercial contract with an importer in a country and who can
comply with that country’s import conditions may export horses to that country for slaughter.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has been mandated to ensure that all horse
shipments have been inspected by a CFIA veterinarian prior to export by air and to enforce the
Health of Animals Act by verifying that all animals are properly certified, fit to travel, and
transported in a humane manner that does not compromise animal welfare.
I appreciate being made aware of your views on the matter. Again, thank you for writing.
The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, PC, MP
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food