For over a decade the CHDC has reported about the live shipment of draft horses to Japan and occasionally South Korea. We have offered irrefutable proof that these shipments cause the horses great distress and has resulted in numerous deaths.
Once advocates began writing to past Agriculture Ministers demanding that the shipments be terminated, the Ministry launched their campaign of rhetoric by way of pacifying form letters. The words ‘animal welfare’ were always a favourite to help justify the continuation of the shipments.
In these present times all of this was supposed to end. At least that is what the current government promised the Canadian public during their election campaign.
On Dec. 16, 2021 Prime Minister 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!
It is now well into March, 2022 and the live shipments of gentle draft horses continues, reportedly in increasing numbers.
Recently the CHDC gratefully received an e-mail response to an advocate’s letter asking why the shipments have not stopped plus specifically mentioning the mandate letter. (We have chosen to not include the advocate’s name for privacy reasons.)
This is the Agriculture Minister’s reply. Once you have read the following ‘form’ letter, you may ask yourself if this sounds like the Minister is ready to ban the live shipments or is it the same old ‘blah, blah, blah?
Minister Bibeau’s responding e-mail
On Tue, Feb 22, 2022, 11:22 AM Minister/Ministre(AAFC/AAC)
Thank you for your correspondence regarding the shipment of live horses to Japan for slaughter. First, I assure you that our government takes the issue of animal welfare very seriously and that we are committed to ensuring the humane treatment of animals in Canada. The Health of Animals Regulations and the Codes of Practice apply to all farms across the country.
All those involved in raising and handling horses have a duty to ensure that the animals in their care are treated humanely. This responsibility is shared among federal, provincial and territorial governments; producers; industry organizations; and many others. A range of federal and provincial legislation is in place and grants regulatory authority for addressing the well‑being of horses in Canada.
The primary regulatory responsibility for livestock on‑farm and on private property rests essentially with provincial governments. Each province has laws in place relating to animal welfare requirements, as well as the authority for enforcement. The federal government enforces regulations related to the humane transport of animals entering and leaving Canada and of those being transported interprovincially.
Our government recently strengthened the Health of Animals Regulations, which had not been updated since the 1970s. The updated regulations will improve animal welfare and reduce the risk of suffering during transportation. They will establish clear science-based requirements that better reflect animals’ needs. More information about humane transport and animal welfare is available on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) website.
With respect to the export of live horses for slaughter, at this time, any Canadian exporter who has successfully negotiated a commercial contract with an importer in a country and who can comply with that country’s import conditions may export horses to that country for slaughter.
CFIA has been mandated to ensure that all horse shipments have been inspected by a CFIA veterinarian prior to export by air and to enforce the Health of Animals Act by verifying that all animals are properly certified, fit to travel, and transported in a humane manner that does not compromise animal welfare.
I appreciate being made aware of your views on the matter. Again, thank you for writing.
The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, PC, MP Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
If you find this unacceptable and think Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau should honour the Prime Minister’s mandate, then we ask you to consider the following:
Please visit www.horseshit.ca and send the letter to your MP.
In addition to the letter to MPs the CHDC is asking supporters to please consider contacting Minister Bibeau , with the following message:
“I respectfully ask you to do your duty and act on the mandate banning the live exports of horses for slaughter. The majority of Canadians are opposed to this cruel trade and wish to see a quick end to it. Thank you for your attention to this matter. “
Minister Bibeau’s contact information:
House of Commons
(No postage required!)
Phone: 1 613 995-2024
Constituency Main office – Sherbrooke
175 Queen Street
Sherbrooke QC J1M 1K1
Phone: 1 819 347-2598
E-mail: You can reach the office of Marie-Claude Bibeau at
Other methods of writing, including template letters, can be found on our website