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We don’t know whether Ambassador was born in Canada or the United States. What we do know is that he was shipped by air to Japan for slaughter earlier this year.
Like all foals, his life began in the tender care of his mother whose protective instincts would have prompted her to do anything to protect her baby. His soft ears perked up at the sound of his mother’s nicker as she tenderly encouraged him to stand and wobble about for the first time. Hungrily, he guzzled her rich, warm milk. He loved the spring sun on his back and the wind stirring his short, infant mane as he learned to gallop. With the passing months, he grew faster and stronger and was soon easily able to keep up with his mother as they cantered together.
Perhaps it is a good thing that Ambassador and his mother knew nothing about his future.
During the days they spent with each other, they didn’t know that his life was worth nothing more than the money his flesh would bring. They didn’t know that Ambassador would eventually be transported to a quarantine feedlot and be shipped with other horses to a faraway country for the sake of being slaughtered and eaten.
Ambassador’s mother may well have suffered the same fate.
Every year, approximately 7000 horses are transported by air from Calgary and Winnipeg (Canada) to Japan. These shipments are often conducted weekly, with up to three to four large horses crammed together in wooden crates with little room to move around, let alone lie down to rest. No food or water is provided during the gruelling journey to another continent. Canadian legislation permits horses to be transported without food and water for up to 36 hours. Sometimes, due to flight delays, the 36-hour period is breached. During one year alone, six horses died during transport, three perished as a result of a landing accident, and one horse was found upside down and dead in his crate.
Canadian legislation prohibits horses over 14 hands high (like Ambassador) to share a crate with other horses. The law says they must be singly shipped. Their heads must not touch the ceiling of the crate. Horses must not be deprived of food and water for any longer than 36 hours.
The law says all of the above things. But for reasons of profit, Canada ignores the law.
The carrier responsible for shipping these horses to their deaths is Atlas Air, Inc., based in Purchase, New York.
In Ambassador’s memory, we invite you to politely request that Atlas Air stop shipments of live horses for slaughter. Sign Petition »
New footage of shipment of live draft horses arriving in Japan – https://canadianhorsedefencecoalition.wordpress.com/2015/07/12/never-before-released-video-footage-of-a-shipment-of-live-draft-horses-arriving-in-japan/
Footage from the Calgary, Canada airport from 2013 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04S9Qt_mH5Y
Draft horse hitting the top of crate with his head – https://vimeo.com/130818790