“It’s wrong on every level,” states a horse defender to our Agriculture Minister. She is talking about the shipments of live horses to Japan for slaughter and the red tape involved in putting a final end to this horrific trade.
The mandate to stop the shipments was announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in December. So why are the wheels moving so slowly?
If you would like to get in touch with Minister Bibeau her contact information can be found on the Live Exports page on our website.
From: “Minister” <email@example.com>
To: xxxx xxxxxxxxx
Sent: Wednesday, May 25, 2022
Subject: Your correspondence to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food – Quote xxxxxx
Dear Ms. xxxxxx
Thank you for your follow-up email regarding the export of live horses for slaughter. I regret the delay in this response.
As you know, a commitment to ban the live export of horses for slaughter was included in my mandate letter from the Prime Minister. The Government of Canada is currently in the early stages of analyzing this commitment. The Government acknowledges the need to develop effective and science-informed policies and strategies and values the perspectives of stakeholders who are affected by its decisions. Stakeholders will be engaged in consultations, as applicable. In the meantime, CFIA will continue to enforce the Health of Animals Act and the Health of Animals Regulations and to verify that exported horses are fit to travel and are transported humanely.
I am pleased to report that the federal government has allocated over $430,000 in funding to develop and update the Codes of Practice for the care and handling of farm animals during transport and the care and handling of equines in Canada. Beneficiaries of this funding have included the Canadian Animal Health Coalition (CAHC), whose operations now fall under Animal Health Canada, and the Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada.
Under the AgriAssurance program, the CAHC was granted approval for funding of up to $4.5 million for its project focusing on animal welfare entitled “Advancing Animal Welfare and Public Trust Through Codes of Practice.” With this funding, the CAHC will develop or update four codes of practice for the care and handling of farm animals, including for dairy cattle, goats and animals from aquaculture production, as well as for the safe transport of animals (including horses). The CAHC will also provide the necessary communications to support the successful development and updating of these codes.
The Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada was also approved to receive funding for up to $316,956 under AgriAssurance for its project to increase awareness of the welfare and health standards as defined in the Code of Practice for the care and handling of equines for equine owners, custodians and the public.
I trust that this information will be of assistance. Again, thank you for writing.
The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, PC, MP
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
Date: Thu, Jul 7, 2022
Subject: Re: Your correspondence to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food – Quote xxxxxx
To: Minister <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: Prime Minister, Premier Ministre <PM@pm.gc.ca>
The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, PC, MP
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
Thank you for your reply. I really do appreciate it.
I also have to say I commend you that there are some steps that are being taken regarding this very upsetting industry.
I understand the red tape that has to be gone through to stop this horrific practice which brings in a great deal of monetary value, I’m sure. It affects many people who rely on the income from this industry, as well as the jobs.
However, the bottom line is, it is to be banned and it is wrong on every level. The money and time that it takes to analyze this commitment is costing more and more horses a horrific end and also costing the government extra funds that in the end will have the same results.
We have no control of what happens to them once they land in Japan. How they are treated, as well as slaughtered… alive, I’ve heard. That would make for the freshest meat. Any slaughter for a horse is not a humane one. Anywhere. Even here in Canada. The kill pens are not set up properly for this. Horses do not die instantly and are more often than not slaughtered while still conscious, pregnant and giving birth. This should also be in the study. We have laws in Canada against animal abuse. To drag a horse to it’s slaughter is morally wrong. To keep a horse in a holding pen, with little food, water and letting it’s hoofs get so long it can hardly stand or walk…is wrong. I could go on but I think you get the picture.
However, so much funding is being poured into humane transportation, which is really hypocritical when you look at the big picture. Albeit anything to make the suffering less…but who actually watches to see if these rules are abided by?
Are random checks actually done? This I would be interested to find out.
There are lots of avenues in agriculture where there are money making ventures…most are legal, but some are illegal…some are unknown…and then there is a situation like this where Canadians are speaking out, our Prime Minister has promised it to be banned, and yet there are still horses going for slaughter. Is it to appease the Canadian public by saying it is going to be banned? But meanwhile, we’re going to start a very slow process that will take years to keep this promise, say that we are
putting money into the care and transport of these equines that are going to slaughter, but it isn’t ending. It is not being banned…for who knows how long?
Please speed up this process and ban the export of horses for slaughter as the Prime Minister has put in his mandate for you to accomplish. Preferably this year…or this month. It should be immediate. At least the shipments should be cut back.
The actions of the United States can be used as an example to do this. How some are getting around it to send horses to Canada and Mexico for slaughter is also being looked into. These doors must also close.
Their horses are not to be shipped for slaughter within the United States or to other countries. They have respect for these animals that have worked to settle the land and have worked side by side with settlers, soldiers,
are used for equine therapy, and have statues built for famous horses. You do not see statues of cows, pigs, or sheep. They are also to be treated with care and dignity, but a horse is different.
Our Minister of Agriculture should be touring these facilities where horses are being slaughtered, being held in holding facilities, touring horse auctions, being at an airport when horses are being loaded into crates, seeing how long
and what kind of conditions they endure while waiting to go on a plane – the noise level alone is absolutely terrifying for a horse. Never mind not being able to lie down for days…and if they do they can’t get back up…there is no room or
they are absolutely overwrought with terror. And that is just the beginning to what awaits them. Even watch a video of what they go through, the one of dragging a horse 40 feet off of a trailer and then also attend a horse auction. That alone speaks volumes to watch this and be able to say that it is okay to do this. We’re in Canada. This should not be legal. If you don’t take the time to actually see what is happening…how can you respond honestly to these letters you are receiving?
If you would make that effort to show that you are deeply concerned of what is happening here and to understand why you are getting the letters, postcards, emails, instructions from the Prime Minister to ban the export of horses for slaughter, invites
from Humane Societies, talk shows, radio stations, etc. then this whole practice would be more out in the open and the public would see that you are a caring person who really does want to make a difference and are working with all Canadians.
I hope I have not overstepped my boundaries in this letter but I find it so frustrating why this is happening and is continuing to happen after hearing the news (which was such a HUGE relief), that it is being banned.
I cannot believe how long this has gone on. In this day and age, I will never get over hearing on the radio two years ago how those horses with in crates in -50C sat on the tarmac for hours at the Winnipeg airport at 3 a.m….while
a Korean airliner pulled up along side them and slowly loaded them…never mind the flight…no food or water for hours, maybe days, what they landed to and endured until their final death. I honestly couldn’t believe it was even legal…in Canada of all places! This was my introduction to the world of horses being exported for slaughter.
And this is only one horror story…the more I look into this…the stories are even more horrific. From slaughter houses in Alberta and Quebec, to auctions across the country.
I thank you for your time in reading this letter.
I hope someday it will make a difference. And I pray that day will come soon.