Canada is a go-to source of horsemeat. These activists are trying to change that.

According to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents obtained by the CHDC and provided to VICE, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) banned shipping draft horses—a breed that can weigh more than a thousand pounds. Canadian Horse Defence Coalition image.


The Canadian Horse Defence Coalition is waging a court battle to end Canada’s role as an exporter of live horses and frozen horsemeat for human consumption

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By Adrienne Tanner | March 30, 2020

Shannon Mann sat in the woods, well supplied with food, toilet paper and her video camera, waiting for the trucks to pick up horses bound for slaughterhouses in Asia, where their meat is considered a delicacy. She had combed the Alberta countryside using Google Earth to locate the horse feedlot, two hours south of Calgary. From her hiding spot, Mann, an equestrian turned animal rights activist, watched the gates for eight hours until the trucks arrived. By then, she was accustomed to long stakeouts. She’d spent hundreds of hours in a parking lot adjacent to the Calgary airport filming crates of Belgian-cross draft horses being loaded into the belly of planes headed for slaughter, mostly in Japan. “At that time in my life I was very determined,” recalls Mann, who later volunteered for Sea Shepherd, the ocean conservation group known for high seas confrontations with whaling vessels.

Mann had read the Canadian animal-health regulations which require horses over 14 hands high to be shipped solo in containers large enough to allow them to stand in a natural posture. But she had routinely observed groups of three or four large horses being loaded into one crate with ceilings so low their ears poked through the top. “There was no way they had enough room,” she says. She condensed her footage into a three-minute YouTube video and in 2012 gave it to Sinikka Crosland at the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition, an animal rights group lobbying to stop the slaughter of horses. Here, thought Crosland, was the perfect opportunity to raise awareness for their cause.

The footage circulated among activists for years, building support for a court case that is now drawing unwelcome attention to Canada’s role in the horsemeat market—a trade activists in the United States succeeded in shutting down more than a decade ago. In 2018, nearly 3,400 live horses were flown abroad from Canada to become food for humans. Almost all went to Japan where their meat is sliced thin and eaten raw like sashimi, layered over rice or cooked in hot pots. It’s a market that for decades operated out of the public eye—perhaps because its participants feared how it would be viewed. One of Canada’s horsemeat producers is quick to defend the trade to Maclean’s but so afraid of becoming a target of activists, he would only speak on condition of anonymity. “Horses are livestock in Canada and should be considered the same as other livestock,” he says. His business provides a “humane service and financial gain” to horse owners who need to get rid of their animals, he adds: “Euthanizing them may cost thousands of dollars for vet fees, medication, and disposal fees.”

Many Canadians don’t see it that way; they regard horses as companion animals more akin to dogs than livestock. They find the idea of eating them repellent. From coast to coast, horse rescue groups are at work to save as many as possible from auction houses where they are sold for slaughter.

But finding a way to end the trade has proven challenging, so Crosland’s organization has instead taken aim at how the animals are transported—with photos from Mann and other activists as evidence. The Federal Court challenge claims the Canadian government is violating its own animal welfare regulations by allowing the transportation of large horses in containers that are too small and crowded.

The case has already drawn levels of attention and outrage that years of conventional public awareness campaigning never did. Continue reading article »

See also the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition website at »

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Support H.R.961 now

MARCH AGAINST HORSE SLAUGHTER — Calling all Americans! We end March with one last plea to ask your U.S. Representative to cosponsor H.R. 961 to help us reach 290 cosponsors which will release the bill from its Committee assignments and get it onto the U.S. House floor for a vote. H.R.961 currently has 228 cosponsors.

We hear from some of you that you feel it is not appropriate right now to be “bothering Congress”. Mrs Farrell responded to this in the comment section of a post.

Some people have said they don’t want to bother their Representatives while the virus scare is going on and Congress is so busy. That’s honorable and considerate. BUT you can contact them via email or with PopVox and your request and comments will be directed to the Aide responsible for this bill (H.R.961). Each Aide then makes a report at the end of the month of how many calls, emails etc they have gotten on a bill, for or against, how strongly they feel about it, and reports it to the “boss” who then decides whether or not to cosponsor it. So please take action. It will only take you 10-15 minutes. Thank you. For the Horses!

Make a Call

Phone calls are tallied weekly. Know who your Representative is? Use the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and they will put you through. When your reach their office, remember to ask for the Aide handling H.R.961, the SAFE Act. Have your talking points ready. Type them up beforehand and read them. They probably won’t notice, but if they do they will be grateful you prepared yourself so well before you called.

Be sure to leave your name, address and phone number (you may also be asked for your email) and ask them to read it back to you for accuracy before you hang up. This is standard. They will not mind!

Contact your US Representative today online or by phone. Ask them to Cosponsor H.R.961.

Do It Online

You can take action online any time of the day or night.

Find Your Representative (using your zip code)

Directory of Representatives

Contact Your Representative

Create a free PopVox Account (with email & password)

Horse Fund Stakeholders Page

Talking Points

Here are some ideas to get you started:

H.R. 961 (the SAFE Act) — To prevent human health threats posed by the consumption of equines raised in the United States.

Tens of thousands of American horses are shipped each year to Canada and Mexico to be slaughtered for human consumption — a practice that 80% of American voters oppose.

American horses are not raised for food and routinely given a wide range of medications that are expressly prohibited for use in meat products for particularly for human consumption.

Phenylbutazone (commonly known as “bute”) is a painkiller used legally by more than 85% of US horse owners to treat everyday soreness and inflammation, is banned completely in food-producing animals.

Even so, the problem of horses and burros being butchered for human consumption persists because “kill-buyers” can legally purchase horses at auctions or from unsuspecting owners in order to transport them to slaughterhouses across US borders.

Horse slaughter being a predatory business, various regulatory agency ID documentation systems for slaughterbound horses, including “passports” showing a horse’s origin and medical history, have all miserably failed.

The problem of hundreds of thousands of American horses being shipped to slaughter across our borders has persisted for far too long and despite overwhelming public opposition to this practice.

The negative food safety and animal welfare concerns associated with the horse slaughter industry are simply too great to continue to ignore.

The US has a moral obligation to outlaw the slaughter of horses for human consumption and prevent unsafe horse meat from entering the human food chain.

Support the SAFE Act of 2019 by cosponsoring and voting for H.R.961.

Republican Support

Please see our call to action post on getting more Republican support. Anti horse slaughter bills have traditionally received bipartisan support. If they have cosponsored a similar bill in the past and not this time, it is mostly likely because they have not heard from enough of you. Remember, they are getting calls from those who oppose the bill too!

Horse meat cuts painted on a live, grazing horse.
Horse with Types of Meat Painted On.

Something to Consider

We know that some of you are thinking it is too late to get this bill through. So long as Congress is in session, it is not too late. Time, however, is of the essence. We need to get this done before the Summer Recess even if they shorten it or do not take it at all.

In the meantime, consider this.

H.R.961 is called the SAFE Act which stands for the Safeguard American Food Exports Act of 2019. It is called that for a reason. Horses are given a long list of drugs throughout their lifetimes that bar their meat from entering the human food chain.

We need every single individual who cares about horses and food safety to take action on this bill. Surely everyone can see, with what we are going through right now, how urgent food safety is.

It is immoral of us as a nation to continue to ship toxic horse meat around the world knowing it is for human consumption. Would you have the U.S. behave as China?

Thank You

Thank you for taking action.

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March against horse slaughter 2020 finale

Horses are shipped to Korea to be slaughtered.

March Against Horse Slaughter 2020 ends tomorrow March 31.

When we planned our March campaign against horse slaughter, we did not know that the nation and the world would be in crisis. We know it has been a scary and distracting time for so many and your thoughts and concerns have been elsewhere.

Thank you to everyone who have read, “liked”, commented and shared our March Against Horse Slaughter 2020 posts.

A huge thank you to Jane Allin who has so diligently provided us yet again with her peerless reports.

New Campaign

The numbers and information Jane Allin provided us during March Against Horse Slaughter 2020 have helped us at the Fund for Horses tremendously in planning where to the launch its new innovative campaign against horse slaughter and horse meat consumption.

It is a unique and inspired international campaign and we are very excited about it. We were going to begin on the final day of March, but of course the timing is anything but advantageous. So, it is back to the drawing board regarding a date and time. We are putting our collective heads together to determine when the most optimum time will be. Stay tuned! In the meantime, we would love to have your input too.

Final day

We will have an Action Alert on our final day, so please check back with us tomorrow, March 31st.

All reports

In the meantime, here are links to all of Jane Allin’s horse slaughter and horse meat production reports.

Horse slaughter and horse meat production worldwide — Introduction »

Horse slaughter and horse meat production — A global perspective »

Top 10 countries ranked by horses slaughtered and horse meat production — 2018 »

Top 10 importers and exporters of horse meat worldwide »

All posts

Here is a link to everything we posted during this year’s March Against Horse Slaughter campaign »

Stay safe and be well.

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Canada’s horse slaughter plants and US ports of entry

Truck full of slaugherbound horses. Image via



Horse Slaughter Plants — Canada

Three slaughterhouses are federally licensed to slaughter horses in Canada:

(1) Viande Richelieu Inc. in Massueville, Que.; Reg No 076; 

(2) Les Viandes de la Petite-Nation in St-Andre- Avellin, Que.; [517 Rang Sainte Julie E, Saint-André-Avellin, QC J0V 1W0]; Reg No 505; (no website)

(3) Bouvry Export Calgary Ltd. in Fort MacLeod, Alta.; Reg No 506; 

Canada — US Ports of Entry

Here are the only designated ports of entry for slaughter-bound horses:

Canadian Food Inspection Agency Port of Entry:Corresponding US Port of Entry
Kingsgate, British Columbia
Eastport, Idaho
Coutts, Alberta
Sweetgrass, Montana
North Portal, Saskatchewan
Portal, North Dakota
Sarnia (Point Edward), Ontario
Port Huron, Michigan
Windsor, Ontario
Detroit, Michigan
Niagara Falls (Queenston), Ontario
Lewiston, New York
Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Quebec
Champlain, New York
Woodstock, New Brunswick
Houlton, Maine

Updated Apr. 2, 2020 — Canadian Premium Meats Inc. in Lacombe, Alta. is no longer in operation.

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