Government Update on Live Horse Exports for Slaughter
Government is in the early stages of analyzing their commitment to ban the exports of live horses for slaughter. We will post more information as it becomes available.
Since government has indicated that they will be consulting with industry, now is the time to make sure that the Agriculture Minister and Members of Parliament know the views of horse advocates across Canada.
Please contact your MP and the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, to express your opinion on behalf of the horses.
To send a letter to your Member of Parliament, please visit www.horseshit.ca and complete the form, to have one sent on your behalf.
The letter we are posting below can be copied, or used as a guide when writing to Minister Bibeau.
Dear Honourable Minister:
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, Kate Drummond, Bif Naked and Rachael Ancheril 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.
Minister Bibeau’s contact information:
House of Commons
(No postage required!)
Phone: 1 613 995-2024
Main office – Sherbrooke
175 Queen Street
Sherbrooke QC J1M 1K1
Phone: 1 819 347-2598
You can reach the office of Marie-Claude Bibeau at firstname.lastname@example.org
[Your name, address, and e-mail]