Jann Arden among those protesting live export of horses from Canada to Japan for slaughter

Blobal News Image. Horses await live ship to Japan to be slaughtered for gourmet meals.

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.

Read more at Global News »

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Slaughterbound horse dies on Korean Air flight from Winnipeg to Japan

An example of raw, sliced horse meat, served in Japan called Basashi.


On May 10, 2020 another 114 horses were shipped by air from Canada to Japan for slaughter for human consumption.

Through Access to Information (ATI), the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC) has recently received Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) reports as well as correspondence regarding this flight and the condition of the horses. These documents reveal one horse died.

Upon their arrival in Japan, five horses were not standing in crates and one was dead. Four others “did not show physical strength although they stood up for unloading”.

Back in April 2020 blood samples were collected from 141 horses of which these 114 horses were a part. The blood was taken to determine eligibility for export to Japan in order to meet the Veterinary Health Certificate for Export of Horses to Japan (VHC) requirements. The blood draw was accomplished by restraining the horses in a tilting hydraulic chute system. One gelding went down in the chute post testing. Read more of this report »

Featured image: An example of raw, sliced horse meat, served in Japan called Basashi.

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China’s Equine Industries in a Transitional Economy

Horse in profile against a black backdrop. From MarketingtoChina.com.

Development, Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities

By Qingbin Wang and Yang Zou
Received: 1 April 2020; Accepted: 19 June 2020; Published: 24 June 2020

Note: We are posting the Abstract with a link to the full document in pdf format ( 14 pp).


China had the most horses in the world from 1961 to 2004 but, since the market-oriented economic transition started in the late 1970s, its horse population has declined significantly and steadily, from 11.50 million in 1978 to only 3.47 million in 2018.

While there are minimal studies on China’s equine industries in the literature, this paper reviews the development of China’s equine industries since 1949, identifies major factors contributing to the steady decline in its horse population since 1978, and discusses the challenges and opportunities for the development of China’s equine industries.

Empirical results suggest that the changes in China’s horse population since 1949 have been closely associated with its agricultural and rural development and policies, and the key factors contributing to the declining horse population since 1978 include agricultural mechanization, a steady decrease of the agricultural sector’s share in the GDP, urbanization, improvement in rural transportation with more motor vehicles, and decreased land availability for and the lack of economic returns from horses.

Together, such factors may continue to reduce China’s horse population, but, on the other hand, the rapid development in the tourism, recreation, and sport sectors may provide potential growth opportunities.

Moreover, China’s horse population is likely to be more concentrated in Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Tibet, and the western Sichuan province, which have relatively low population density and high proportion of ethnic population with the tradition of horses in their cultural, religious, sport, and economic activities. At the same time, equestrian events and activities are expected to continue to increase at significant rates in and around large Chinese cities.

China anticipates a significant increase in horses used to supply pregnant mare’s urine for the menopausal drug market, along with horse milk, horse meat and other byproducts.

Open quote

As the economic and cultural exchange and collaboration between China and other nations continue to increase, many horse-related activities such as horse-assisted therapy and pregnant mare urine (PMU) for pharmaceutical products and medical treatments will likely be introduced to China and provide additional opportunities for China’s equine industries. (Sect. 5: Concluding Remarks).

Source: China’s Equine Industries in a Transitional Economy: Development, Trends, Challenges and Opportunities; by Qingbin Wang and Yang Zou; Published 24 Jun. 2020 (14 pp, pdf)

Featured Image: MarketingtoChina.com.

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Related Reading

Which Countries Have the Most Horses? »
The FAO Stat from 2014 reported there were around 60 million horses worldwide, or 1 horse per every 120 people.

Equestrian Market in China: A Fast and Furious Development »

Kazakhstan to begin exporting horse meat to Japan

Fresh horse heart meat prepared to be eaten raw, considered a delicacy in Japan.

Japan also want live horses exported for meat

THE ASTANA TIMES reports on 15 Jul. 2020:

Kazakhstan will begin exporting horse meat to Japan, according to the Kazakh Agriculture Ministry’s press service. 

“A huge amount of preparatory work made it possible for Kazakh horse meat to enter a new market. To boost export potential, in 2018, the ministry’s veterinary control and supervision committee sent the first request to foreign colleagues, where it expressed the interest of Kazakh farmers and entrepreneurs to supply horse meat to Japan,” said the ministry in a press statement. 

Japan, one of the world’s biggest horse meat importers, approved the veterinary certificates for meat export and sent the official request in May. 

Thirty-four Kazakh enterprises are ready to supply the horse meat to Japan, said the ministry. The information on the volume of exports and the start date, however, was not specified. 

Japan also expressed interest not only in horse meat but also in the supply of live horses for slaughter in Japan. Its key horse meat supplier was Canada, where the federal government faced a lawsuit launched by animal welfare activists, who sought to end the export of horses for slaughter in Japan. Read full report »

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