Juno award-winning singer-songwriter Jann Arden brought star power to a protest at the Calgary International Airport on Tuesday, drawing attention to the export of draft horses to Asia for slaughter as a shipment prepared to depart.
Arden called the practice heartbreaking and gut-wrenching, saying the export of live animals has to stop across the board.
“We can hear some very beautiful horses… kicking in crates already,” she said.
“They haven’t even left the Calgary airport yet. They’ve got two days in turbulence on an aircraft. No food. No water. Not knowing what the hell is happening and a very unhappy ending.”
According to Statistics Canada, 2,720 live Albertan horses were exported in 2019, at a value of $19,674,481.
Of that, 1,449 live Albertan horses were shipped to Japan in 2019, totalling $13,166,132.
Samson-French said Alberta has two internationally certified slaughterhouses, so if people want to eat horse meat, the animals should be slaughtered close to home. “This is not to feed the poor in another country; this is to feed the very wealthy,” she said.
• Slaughterbound horse dies on Korean Air flight from Winnipeg to Japan, 1 Sep 2020, TuesHrs
• Kazakhstan to begin exporting horse meat to Japan, 17 Jul 2020, TuesHrs
• Tracking Canada’s horse slaughter trade from Alberta to Japan, 15 Jun 2017, TuesHrs
• Horses are still being shipped live from Canada to Japan to make specialty sashimi, 25 Apr 17, TuesHrs