On January 4, 2021 Korean Air Cargo flight number 9214 left the Edmonton International Airport, carrying 99 horses to Japan to eventually be slaughtered for human consumption.
Documents obtained through Access to Information describe the horses as Grade geldings, two years old (born in 2019) with an average weight of 806 kg.
(Grade horse refers to a horse who is not purebred or registered.)
On January 3, the horses were loaded on 6 trailers at the feedlot beginning at approximately 5:30 p.m. then transported to the Edmonton International Airport. They were loaded into crates upon arrival, three horses in each one.
The plane departed from Edmonton at approximately 3:28 a.m. on January 4 and landed at the Kansai International Airport approximately 12 hours 48 minutes later. This included a 2 hour stop in Anchorage.
No food or water was made available to the horses from the time they left the Alberta feedlot until their arrival at the quarantine facility in Japan, over 23 hours later
Total flight time was 12 hours, 48 minutes
The following photos were taken by advocates at the feedlot premises on January 3, 2021, prior to the horses’ loading that evening.
Number brands recorded on the Veterinary Health Certificate Export Horses for Japan form (see HA1138 above) are visible on the sides of some of the horses photographed. Although one hundred twenty-one horses were eligible for export ninety-nine were actually on this flight. It is unknown which group the following horses belong to:
The flights transporting horses to Japan and South Korea originate from three Canadian airports: Calgary International, Edmonton International and the Winnipeg Richardson International Airport
In 2020 the total number of horses transported by air to Japan for slaughter was 1606, down 42.6% from the previous year.
It remains to be seen how large a role global pandemic measures played in this decline and if the trend continues.
Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada