Tracking Canada’s horse slaughter trade from Alberta to Japan

'Breakway' by Robert Spaith was previously situated in the Domestic Terminal Building, but now graces the Arrivals Level in the new terminal. Image source: Calgary International Airport.
‘Breakway’ by Robert Spaith was previously situated in the Domestic Terminal Building, but now graces the Arrivals Level in the new terminal. Image source: Calgary International Airport.

HORSE SLAUGHTER. Source Article: VICE. By Anna Brooks (June 15, 2017) — Walking through the Calgary International Airport, you’ll pass a bronze statue of wild horses running.

Entitled “Breakaway,” the immortalized horses were intended to be a metaphor for Calgary’s spirit and strength.

But there’s another story of horses at the Calgary airport, a story some veterinarians are calling a “huge animal welfare issue.”

For years, animal advocacy groups like the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC) have opposed the transport of live draft horses to Japan for slaughter. In Canada, alongside Mexico and parts of Europe, this practice is legal, unlike countries like the US where horse slaughterhouses are banned.

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.
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.

Horse meat is a delicacy in Japan, and places like Kumamoto specialize in fresh dishes like basashi—horse sashimi. Horse oil is also a sought after beauty product in Hokkaido, where it’s used to treat wrinkles, acne, and sunburns.

Slaughtering and selling horse meat has been outlawed in the US, whereas in Canada, there are four active federal slaughterhouses producing horse meat for human consumption—two of which are in Alberta.

While most of Canada’s horse meat is exported to countries around the world, horse meat is still locally available, especially in Quebec.

While groups like the CHDC had hoped to see horse exports decline over the years, recent data from Statistics Canada show 1,350 live horses exported as a commodity to Japan between January and March 2017, a batch valued at more than $2.6 million.

The number of live horses shipped from Canada to Japan has dropped since January, but prices per horse have increased; according to Statistics Canada, the average price per horse in February 2017 was $1,451, compared to March’s average of $4,136.

Read full article for more »

Take Action Canada

Prime Minister

Contact the Canadian Prime Minister and include in your personal message that (1) you are opposed to the live shipment of horses for the purpose of slaughter for human consumption and (2) to please see that existing regulations against the live transport of draft horses are enforced.

Health Minister

Contact the Health Minister who oversees the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and politely deliver the same message as above.

Please share everywhere. Let’s do this in numbers on behalf of these horses. Thank you.

Related Reading

Horses are still being shipped live from Canada to Japan to make specialty sashimi; Tuesday’s Horse; April 2017

Disneyland opens new Circle D Ranch for its horses in Norco

The crew at Disneyland’s Circle D Ranch facility in Norco, post for a photo with two of the horses that stay there. Posing with the crew are Mickey Mouse, along with Mary Niven, vice president of the Disneyland Resort (in a light blue coat) and to the right of Mickey is Mikey Trujillo, Disneyland Ambassador. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)
The crew at Disneyland’s Circle D Ranch facility in Norco, post for a photo with two of the horses that stay there. Posing with the crew are Mickey Mouse, along with Mary Niven, vice president of the Disneyland Resort (in a light blue coat) and to the right of Mickey is Mikey Trujillo, Disneyland Ambassador. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

CALIFORNIA (June 10, 2017 — Disneyland’s horses have a new place to roam as stables for the theme park’s equine population officially opened in Norco.

Called the Circle D Ranch, it takes the place of the previous Circle D Ranch that was located backstage at Disneyland. That old site is now under construction as part of the “Star Wars” land project scheduled to open up at the theme park in 2019.

“We looked for two years to find a place for our horses, and this location was the perfect fit,” said Mikey Trujillo, a Disneyland Ambassador speaking at the ribbon-cutting ceremony held Saturday, June 10, at the ranch.

One of the large horses at the Circle D Ranch in Norco, checks out all the visitors to the ranch on Saturday, June 10, during an open house at the Disneyland Resort owned facility. The ranch is now the home for the horses used at the Disneyland Resort to pull the Horse-Drawn Streetcars on Main Street U.S.A. and for other special events. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)
One of the large horses at the Circle D Ranch in Norco, checks out all the visitors to the ranch on Saturday, June 10, during an open house at the Disneyland Resort owned facility. The ranch is now the home for the horses used at the Disneyland Resort to pull the Horse-Drawn Streetcars on Main Street U.S.A. and for other special events. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Among the types of horses staying at the ranch are Percherons, Belgians, Brabants, Shires and Clydesdales, with one weighing in at nearly 2,000 pounds.   Continue reading »

Norco is a city in Riverside County, California, in the United States. According to city ordinances, the architecture of Norco “shall reflect a desired Western theme,” including qualities “described as rural, informal, traditional, rustic, low-profile and equestrian oriented.”

Horse Fund logo by © Vivian Grant Farrell.

Tuesday’s Horse is the Official Blog of The Horse Fund

Australia considers the live export of horses and donkeys for slaughter

AUSTRALIA (Horse Slaughter) — The Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources have indicated they are fielding inquiries from exporters seeking to ship horses and donkeys from Australia for slaughter in overseas markets.

The issue was raised in response to questions posed by Victorian Senator Derryn Hinch at recent Senate meetings.

In response to the Senator’s question DAWR staff confirmed they are preparing advice for the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources to consider extending the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System to include horses and donkeys.

Dr. Narelle Clegg, DAWR assistant secretary regarding animal exports, stated that ESCAS applies only to livestock so the live export of horses and donkeys could not currently be controlled by ESCAS.

Dr. Clegg indicated that they had received inquiries only and that no formal application has been made.

The DAWR is not aware of any live export of horses and donkeys from Australia for the purposes of slaughter.

Putting it together: Our Reading List for Summer 2017

SUMMER 2017 — The time of year when we put together our Summer Recommended Reading List is fast approaching.

Our list is usually a combination of continuing favorites with a new book or two added into the mix.

Along with William Shatner’s new book this one is looking really good to us.

The Perfect Horse: The Daring U.S. Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped by the Nazis

by Elizabeth Letts; August 2016; Hardcover $11.85
• Buy it now »

About the Book

In the chaotic last days of the war, a small troop of battle-weary American soldiers captures a German spy and makes an astonishing find — his briefcase is empty but for photos of beautiful white horses that have been stolen and kept on a secret farm behind enemy lines. Hitler has stockpiled the world’s finest purebreds in order to breed the perfect military machine — an equine master race. But with the starving Russian army closing in, the animals are in imminent danger of being slaughtered for food.

With only hours to spare, one of the U.S. Army’s last great cavalrymen, Colonel Hank Reed, makes a bold decision—with General George Patton’s blessing—to mount a covert rescue operation. Racing against time, Reed’s small but determined force of soldiers, aided by several turncoat Germans, steals across enemy lines in a last-ditch effort to save the horses.

Buy The Perfect Horse now from Amazon.com.
Click image to buy it now from Amazon.com.

New York Times Bestseller | From the author of The Eighty-Dollar Champion

Reviews

“Winningly readable . . . Letts captures both the personalities and the stakes of this daring mission with such a sharp ear for drama that the whole second half of the book reads like a WWII thriller dreamed up by Alan Furst or Len Deighton. . . . The right director could make a Hollywood classic out of this fairy tale.”—The Christian Science Monitor

“Hard to put down . . . One need not be an equestrian or horse lover in order to appreciate this story.”—New York Journal of Books

“The Perfect Horse raises the narrative bar. Applying her skills as a researcher, storyteller and horsewoman, Letts provides context that makes this account spellbinding.”—Culturess

Related Reading

Reading List for Summer 2016