First off, yes I not a vegetarian – just to stop any comments that the reason that I did this posting is because of my eating habits.
To start with the export of horses for human consumption is not permitted by our closest neighbour the United States of America.
So, what do these entrepreneurs do? They bring the horses over the border into Canada and then plump the horses up in conditions that prevent the horses from accessing grass pastures – instead of in gated padlocks which are covered with horse waste.
Then they ship the horses oversea's to Japan. This group used to use FedEx, yes Fedex but alas once Fedex found out why these horses were being shipped they immediately denied any shipment or horses for human consumption.
Now, Korean Air does allow the horses need to be shipped to Japan.
The horses are then put at least three and up to five per crate, note picture taken at Calgary Airport as the horses await their flight to their fate. And apparently, the Canadian Disease Control (who overseas these type of shipments) allows the horses to be crammed into crates and to be allowed to stand for up to 28 hours…
In 2020 1,606 horses were live-shipped to Japan for slaughter, down from 2,800 in 2019. This translates to about $11 million in revenue in 2020 and $17 million in 2019.
The flight over to Korea means the horses are transported through turbulence which can result in horses falling with many flights reporting horses dead upon arrival in Japan.
Then the horses are killed for their very valuable horsemeat which is eaten raw by the wealthy Japanese society.
Now, add this to the equation. In Canada, there is a large shortage of horses available for rehabilitation and care of handicap Canadian's.
I know these charities very well as the pony “Moonlight” who was ridden by myself and my two sisters was given to the local chapter of the Therapeutic Horseback Riding For The Blind – Click for more information and still brings a tear to my ere knowing that “Moonlight” enjoyed her elder years teaching blind children to ride – which provides blind children with the vital motoring and movement tools to be able to advance in the general public.
Apparently, the CDC's (Canadian Disease Control) hands are tied in doing anything about the export of horses or human consumption, even though the USA counterpart CDC had no issue pressuring the USA government for laws to be changed.
So in a nutshell, the USA outlaws export of horses for consumption, but a loophole in Canadian laws allow for this – making Canada the largest export of horses for human consumption, all while charities and groups who could be using these horses for handicap rehabilitation and care are not able to provide these vital services to those handicap individuals.
Now the good news. Draft legislation has been put together to allow for the export of horses for human consumption by out-lawed. This legislation is being backed by a member of parliament but needs 100,000 signatures to proceed to parliament. The details of the draft legislation references:
- Large draft horses over 17 hands high are air-shipped annually from Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg airports to Japan for human consumption;
- Three to four horses are loaded into crates smaller than a single horse stall;
- Numerous horses in these crates lack sufficient head clearance, with ears protruding through crate roofs;
- Flights are 10.5 to 13.5 hours long, with additional hours spent for ground transportation and the loading and unloading process;
- During this time, horses have no access to food, water or rest;
- Deaths and injuries occur on these flights, as well as broken crates and one known incident of damage to aircraft fuselage;
- Horses air-shipped to Japan for human consumption are usually purpose-bred in Canada;
- Their well-being can be compromised due to lack of veterinary and farrier care and withholding of drugs prohibited from the human food chain;
- Scientific evidence shows that horses suffer physically and psychologically during long-distance transport and during loading and unloading;
- Canadian animal welfare laws have no jurisdiction over the treatment of these horses when they reach Japan;
- A 2019 Nanos poll revealed that 69% of Canadian respondents are opposed to the slaughter of horses for human consumption; and
- Public awareness about this issue is increasing, with media interest and celebrity involvement.
Now, this is what you can do:
- Click here to sign the petition to bring the draft legislation to the Canadian Parliament so that this can be outlawed in Canada. Note that you will need to confirm the petition submission by clicking on a link that will be sent to your e-mail address – if you can not find this e-mail check your spam or junk folders.
- Phone 1-833-784-4397 for the Canadian CDC. Maybe ask them to pressure the Canadian Government to bring this legislation forward.
- Phone 1-800-438-5000 for Korean Airlines. Maybe ask them to deny the shipment of horses for consumption.
- When you book a flight – remember that Korean Airlines currently allows the export of horses for human consumption – maybe pick another airline.