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


Jann Arden’s Horseshit website:

Letter template to Members of Parliament:

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

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