It doesn’t matter where in the world you live, you can phone & write & email the Canadian politicians who can bring about change.

Your phone call, letter or email doesn’t have to be fancy. 

You can even call after hours and leave a message.

Simply state, your name and  that you are opposed to the slaughter of horses within Canada and the shipment of horses from Canada to other markets to be slaughtered there.  

It literally only has to take 2 to 3 minutes to phone and email,  but YOUR actions are  incredibly powerful.

To find your Member of Parliament please go here.

To send your MP a quick letter please go here.

The following letter can be copied and pasted to your email and sent to the Minister of Agriculture regarding the live draft horse shipments to Japan and other countries where our horses are slaughtered for human consumption.   Please keep it polite and factual.  Thank you.  For the horses!

The Hon. Lawrence MacAulay
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Dear Hon. Mr. MacAulay:

I am writing to you today with regards to the very troubling practice of sending draft horses to Japan and South Korea for slaughter.   There is no doubt in my mind that citizens of other countries view Canada as a progressive and humane nation, but the callous disregard with which these noble animals are treated is not beneficial to Canada’s international reputation.

I am sure you know that up to four large horses are forced to travel together in wooden crates smaller than a single horse stall, and some of them are so tall that the tops of their heads reach the ceiling of their crates, forcing them to stand for 10-12 hours in a position that is not natural to the horse.  Add to that another 10 hours at least on the tarmac as the horses wait to be loaded onto the aircraft, as well as travel time to and from respective feedlots in Canada and overseas.

Take-off and landing is particularly stressful for these animals because it is difficult for them to maintain their balance.  Indeed, over the years there have been documented cases of horse deaths while in transit to overseas destinations for slaughter.

According to new transport regulations, horses can still be deprived of food, water and rest for up to 28 hours.  This is unhealthy for these highly mobile animals who are naturally accustomed to grazing and consuming food and water over extended periods of time.

Knowledgeable horse owners are aware of the sensitivity of horses in this regard, that deadly colic can occur if feeding practices are irregular.  In fact, knowledgeable horse owners take meticulous care when needing to ship their animals anywhere; the horses are transported singly in specially designed equine containers, and food and water is provided for them.

Furthermore, Canada has no jurisdiction over feedlot and slaughter practices in countries like Japan and South Korea.  Therefore, the horses are at the mercy of whatever end-of-life horrors await them at that end.

I would like to stress that in response to my concerns, I wish to receive a thoughtful reply, not your standard form letter, which insists that the government of Canada takes animal welfare seriously and that there are veterinarians on site at the airports to ensure that no infractions take place.

I want you to consider the fact that the very practice of prolonged crate confinement is stressful and hurtful to horses, and that it is no wonder that concerned celebrities such as Jann Arden and Kate Drummond have joined the chorus, insisting that this practice should stop without delay.  I would like you to give serious thought to what they and a growing number of Canadian citizens have to say about this matter.

I look forward to your well-studied response, not a form letter.  Thank you.

Yours truly,

[Your name, address, and e-mail]

The letter below can also be copied and pasted to your email and sent to the Minister of Agriculture regarding the domestic slaughter of horses for human consumption.   Please keep it polite and factual.  Thank you.  For the horses!

The Hon. Lawrence MacAulay
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Dear Hon. Mr. MacAulay:

It has come to my attention that Canada slaughters tens of thousands of horses annually in two slaughterhouses that are run by the same family.  The meat of these horses is mainly shipped to countries of Europe and Asia for human consumption.

I am also aware of a Nanos poll conducted in June 2019 with findings showing that 69% of Canadians surveyed are opposed to the slaughter of horses for human consumption.  In fact, a growing tide of citizens in our country is becoming aware of this trade and would like to see horses off the menu.

Most horses have not been raised for the dinner table.  They have arrived at auctions, feedlots and slaughterhouses from a variety of directions – breeding establishments, rodeos, family farms, the  racing industry, trail riding outfits, etc.  Some stolen family pets have ended up slaughtered.  Most horses, at some point in their careers, have been administered common drugs that have lifetime prohibitions as far as entering the food supply is concerned – drugs such as phenylbutazone and clenbuterol.

When horses enter the slaughter pipeline, all that is required is an Equine Information Document (EID) that lists drug information and follows the animals from auction to feedlot to slaughter.   The system is completely reliant on human honesty and integrity. It is not a reliable method of determining what drugs have, in truth, been ingested by these animals during their lifetimes.  Horses also change hands so frequently that an accurate paper trail is often not possible.  The end result is that drugs toxic to humans do slip into the food supply.

I would also like to bring animal welfare concerns to your attention.  Auctions and crowded feedlots are rife with ill and injured horses, and farrier and veterinary care are essentially non-existent for animals destined for slaughter.  Being “flight” animals with long, mobile necks, horses are not easy to slaughter.  Once in the kill box, they often rear and thrash about and collapse in fear.  Covert footage captured within the last decade has revealed shocking images of suffering in Canadian equine slaughterhouses, with multiple shots required to adequately stun horses in numerous cases.

I ask you today to support an end to the slaughter of horses in Canada, as well as their export to other countries for slaughter.  Horses are not food for humans.  They are pets, companions, working partners and need protection.  They are as dear as dogs and cats to the hearts of many Canadians.  Committed horse owners do not want to live with the worry that their horses might be stolen and end up on foreign dinner plates.

Your prompt reply would be appreciated (no form letter, please, as I would like to receive a response that has been given ample consideration and thought).

Thank you.

Yours truly,

[Your name, address, and e-mail]

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Member of Parliament.

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