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Live Export of Horses to Japan 

A Deep Betrayal of Trust

Most people love horses. Some love them as wonderful companions, others as the beautiful, gentle creatures who have lived with and laboured for humans for thousands of years. So it comes as a shock to many that we are exporting live horses to Japan for slaughter. What is even more disturbing is that this is being done for an expensive raw horse meat delicacy called horse basashi , eaten by wealthy Japanese.

Voice for Animals (V4A) is assisting and supporting Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC) to put an end to the barbaric practice of shipping live horses to Japan for slaughter. To that end, members of V4A have spent several nights at the Edmonton International Airport documenting the process of loading the horses onto cargo planes.

The horses are forced off the semitrailers through chutes into small wooden crates. Here they will spend the next seven or eight hours, either in a warehouse or on the tarmac, waiting to be loaded onto the plane. This is only a fraction of the time they will spend without food, water or rest. It is difficult to watch these frightened horses herded into the small crates; it's heart-wrenching to hear the panicked drumbeat of their hooves against the wooden sides.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regulations state that horses can be transported for 28 hours without food, water or rest. However, even this grossly inhumane length of time is often surpassed due to flight and other delays. This is clearly a violation of Canadian law. In addition, the horses are unloaded and slaughtered on another continent where Canada has no oversight and where our laws have no jurisdiction.

Despite regulations which state that horses over 14 hands must be crated separately, we witnessed many crates with three or four horses crammed together. Our photographic and video evidence shows  that when some of the horses stood upright, their heads touched the top of the crate. This is another violation of the regulations which also state that horses must be able to stand in a natural position without coming into contact with a deck or roof.

For more information on live exports of horses for slaughter (or equine slaughter in general), and what you can do to help, please visit
















Below are a number of petitions asking for an end to this cruel industry. Please take the time to sign them.

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