Live transport of horses to slaughter. Digital News Agency Photo.

CFIA fails own standards regarding live horse exports

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CFIA Fails Again at Enforcing Regulations for Live Horse Exports to Japan

CALGARY AB CANADA (Oct. 18, 2012) — Footage taken of Alberta horses being shipped live to Japan for slaughter shows that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is violating their own standards set forth in the Health of Animals Regulations. The Regulations prohibit the transportation of all animals under conditions that would expose the animals to undue injury or suffering.

The 2012 footage shows horses in a feedlot being loaded with electric prods into transport trucks, transported to the Calgary International Airport and being crated in wooden crates so small they cannot stand in their natural position, in violation of Section 142 of the Health of Animals Regulations (“No person shall transport or cause to be transported animals in a railway car, motor vehicle, aircraft or vessel unless each animal is able to stand in its natural position without coming into contact with a deck or roof.”).

Some horses were even being crated together, even though it is in violation of Section 141.8 of the Health of Animals Regulations, which states that horses over 14 hands high must be segregated for air transport.

Canadian draft horses from various producers are routinely live shipped to Japan for slaughter from the Calgary and Winnipeg International Airports. On arrival in Japan, horses are transported to a feedlot; once they reach desired weight they are slaughtered for horse sashimi, which is considered to be a delicacy in Japan. The meat must be eaten within three days because it is highly perishable; according to the 2008 Alberta Horse Welfare Report, each Canadian horse is worth approximately $20,000.

“Footage shows large horses overcrowded (not segregated) into wooden transport crates, often unable to stand in their natural position for a long journey to Japan, in clear violation of two of the CFIA’s own regulations”, says Sinikka Crosland, executive director with the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition. These transport conditions not only are inhumane but also are likely to lead to injuries and potential deaths during transport.

“Once again we see the CFIA turn a blind eye and choose to protect industry profits rather than do their job”, says Crosland. “The CFIA’s mandate is both to protect human health and monitor animal welfare. We have recently seen them fail to protect the public from contaminated meat and now we have clear evidence of them failing to follow their own regulations when it comes to live transport of horses for meat.”

To view the footage of Alberta horses being shipped live to Japan:


To learn more about the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition:


The CFIA “The Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirms it is to be audited later this month by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the first time in three years,” states an article on CFIA meat recall.

8 thoughts on “CFIA fails own standards regarding live horse exports”

  1. How can we stop all this terrible agony to our horses? I did read the horse is the most abused animal Now I believe. It is in front of my eyes. If only, if only, we could hit Washington, DC en masse, by the hundreds, Now that would make a worldwide statement not to be ignored. OMG. May the angels be with these beautiful “babies.” Amazing Grace to protect. Prayers. Prayers. Until we know how to help. I remember PETA stopping America Airlines from shipping animals. Maybe??? Yes, I am emotional, to say the least. Horror.


  2. Sorry dint include the moat important ONE OF ALL !!!!!!!!!Another answer they unanimously give without hesitation is , it will come from within, infiltration…………………


  3. The suffering of the most beautiful animal ever to grace this earth has gone on for toooooooooo many year, the unspeakable Horrors the horse has been subjected is mind boggling to say the least , i will never understand how thousands of people have tried to stop this and here we are it still goes on, I for one am damn sick of it !!!! There has to be something that will stop it !!! What can it be ????????? My heart has been broken for them for years , i HAVE TRIED AND LAID AWAKE SOMETIMES all night long trying to come up with something???????? I look at the horses when I am with them and I can I see is beauty and so much worth , they warm my very soul , I talk to the horses and ask them what can I do to keep you safe????? There answer is unanimous just keep trying and it will happen !!!!! We are here to serve and help mankind it will be recognized , but the key is LAWS and there enforcement !!!! There must be more I can do , there must be an answer to this ?????????????


  4. I do not know what to say….it is so sick…and inhuman,,,,,I pray God will punish these sick people….no horse or any animal deserves to suffer this way ever….nope…I know we have lots of horses that people can not care for and I know we have wild horses that are starving too…so America instead of sending money to fight dumb wars and or support countries that hate us….why not help our horses and our peoples….the treatment of these horses is as bad as aborting a live baby….these ponies are bron and then tortured and killed in a terrible inhuman way. Way to go America, Canada and Mexico….you will pay on judgement day and God does not forget one of His animals….if He sees every sparrow that falls He sees his horses too.


  5. These local governments collect taxes from all of this because it’s a business so they are not going to rock the boat by complaining about it. The local humane society’s don’t bother or complain about them at all because they are told not to. And this has been going on for years and its legal to kill the horses just like it was here.. Can you imagine how much money these horse breeders donate to the local politicians for their reelection campaigns and that includes the owners of the slaughter plants themselves. This is exactly what the horse killers in the US had in mind when they wanted the slaughter plants opened up. What needs to be done here is pass a bill or a amendment blocking the funding of inspectors for horse slaughter plants permanently. That would save a lot of trouble that all of us have to be put through trying to stop it in one of the states.


  6. I just don’t know how much longer I can watch these things. it simply tears me inside out. Some days are worse than others……


  7. The Canadian government can not run a humane horse slaughter program any more than our USDA can. That’s not a coincidence, it is an indisputable fact that horses suffer grievous harm and fatalities via the horse slaughter industry.
    There are no revisions that would make this industry humane, while still maintaining its profitability. This is the reality:
    Act now to shut down the American horse slaughter industry: actively support The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act: S1176 and HR2966 in Washington, DC. Be heard for horses, find your elected officials now:


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