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End the Agony of Canadian Horses Bound for Slaughter

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Sponsor: The Animal Rescue Site

Halt the heartbreaking journey of Canadian horses to foreign slaughterhouses — end this cruel trade.

Every year, thousands of Canadian horses face a harrowing journey to Japan, only to meet a grim fate at slaughterhouses far from their homeland. This practice, deeply woven into the fabric of international trade, strips these majestic animals of their dignity and subjects them to unbearable stress and suffering.

A Journey of Heartache

Imagine the vast, open fields of Canada, where horses roam freely, embodying the spirit of the wild. Now, picture these same creatures confined in cramped crates, enduring a journey across continents without the basic necessities of life—food, water, or rest. This is the reality for Clydesdales, Percherons, and other breeds exported primarily for their meat, a journey that begins in Canadian feedlots and ends in Japanese slaughterhouses1.

The Voice of Advocacy and Concern

The outcry against this inhumane practice grows louder each day. Critics and animal welfare advocates describe the transport conditions as nothing short of horrific. "When horses for slaughter are shipped, they are crammed into these crates," voices Sinikka Crosland from the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition1.

Economic Gain at What Cost?

While the trade might boost certain economic sectors, fetching high prices in foreign markets, we must ask ourselves: at what cost? The welfare of these horses, sentient beings capable of fear and pain, is compromised for financial gain. Cultural differences in the perception of horse meat do not justify the suffering endured during transport and eventual slaughter2.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is tasked with ensuring the humane treatment of these animals during export. Yet, incidents where regulations were breached have come to light, raising serious concerns about the efficacy of oversight3.

In one notable case, a shipment exceeded the legal 28-hour limit for transport without basic care, prompting legal complaints and calls for action3.

Your Voice Matters

The tide is turning, with prominent figures like Canadian musician Jann Arden lending their voice to the cause, advocating for an end to this cruel practice. It's a call for compassion, a plea for empathy, and a demand for legislative change that resonates with people across the nation and the globe4.

Stand with us today. Lend your voice to the thousands of horses whose pleas go unheard. Sign the petition calling on the Prime Minister of Canada and the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food to enact an immediate ban on the export of Canadian draft horses to Japan and South Korea for slaughter. Your signature represents a beacon of hope, a step towards a future where compassion and humanity prevail over economic gain.

Together, we can rewrite the story for Canada's horses. Join us in making a change. Sign the petition now.

More on this issue:

  1. Karen Pauls, CBC (6 February 2023), "Canada isn't doing enough to protect horses flown to Japan for slaughter, advocates say."
  2. Katie Dangerfield, Global News (8 june 2017), "Live horses shipped from Canadian airports to Japan for slaughter."
  3. Government of Canada (23 November 2023), "Live horse exports to Japan – Know the facts."
  4. Kim Izzo, Horse Canada (7 June 2023), "Jann Arden busks for horses."
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The Petition:

To the Honorable Prime Minister of Canada and the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food,

We, the undersigned, call upon your offices to enact an immediate ban on the export of Canadian draft horses to Japan and South Korea for the purpose of slaughter. This practice, which subjects these noble animals to exceedingly long, stressful, and often inhumane transport conditions, starkly contrasts with the values of compassion and humanity that Canada is known for globally.

Horses have served alongside Canadians for centuries, not just as beasts of burden but as companions and symbols of our national heritage. The journey these animals endure, crammed into crates without adequate space, food, or water, is not only a grave animal welfare issue but also a moral challenge to our collective conscience.

Countries around the world, recognizing the intrinsic value and sentient nature of horses, have already taken steps to ban horse slaughter within their borders and the export of horses for such purposes. It is time for Canada to join this compassionate international movement and set a precedent that aligns with our values of kindness, respect for life, and ethical treatment of all beings.

By ending the export of horses for slaughter, Canada not only upholds its reputation as a leader in animal welfare but also fosters a more humane and just society. This action would resonate deeply with Canadians from all walks of life, reinforcing our national commitment to protecting the vulnerable and voiceless among us.

We urge you to consider this petition not just as a call for policy change but as a plea for empathy and moral leadership. Together, we can ensure a brighter, more compassionate future for all beings, one that reflects the true spirit and values of Canada.


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