The Live Transport of 7,000 Draft Horses Annually To Japan

Every year, approximately 7,000 horses are transported by air from Calgary and Winnipeg (Canada) to Japan.  These shipments are often conducted weekly, with up to three to four large horses crammed together in wooden crates with little room to move around, let alone lie down to rest.  No food or water is provided during the gruelling journey to another continent.  Canadian legislation permits horses to be transported without food and water for up to 36 hours.  Sometimes, due to flight delays, the 36-hour period is breached.  During one year alone, six horses died during transport, three perished as a result of a landing accident, and one horse was found upside down and dead in his crate.  Upon arrival in Japan,  the horses are fed to much larger proportions often to the point of laminitis,  and then slaughtered.

Visualize if you will, how large the stall is in the average horse barn, built for the average-sized riding horse. Some are 10 x 10, others are 10 x 12, and so on. We are told that the crate size designed to contain THREE DRAFT HORSES is approximately 9.5ft by 7ft floor space by 7.6ft high. If you think that’s outrageous, imagine cramming FOUR DRAFT HORSES into the same space – a space already smaller than the average horse stall.  Loading three or four 1,500 – 1,700 lb horses in a 66.5 square foot crate does not meet the IATA international standards or Canada’s agreed-upon national standards. This is overcrowding and not compliant with the Health of Animals Regulations.

This is the approximate size of the average horse stall. Now image a space SMALLER than this being used to transport up to 4 large draft horses with no food or water during that flight. In addition to the transport time, horses may be left for long periods on the tarmac subjected to engine noise, ground crews, and de-icing sprays while waiting to be loaded/unloaded.

Canadian legislation prohibits horses over 14 hands high to share a crate with other horses.  The law says they must be singly shipped.  Their heads must not touch the ceiling of the crate.  Horses must not be deprived of food and water for any longer than 36 hours.

The law says all of the above things.  But for reasons of profit, Canada ignores the law.

The carrier responsible for shipping these horses to their deaths is Atlas Air, Inc., based in Purchase, New York.

We invite you to politely request that Atlas Air stop shipments of live horses for slaughter.

Click Here for a link to the the petition

Links to supportive articles:

New footage of shipment of live draft horses arriving in Japan –

Footage from the Calgary, Canada airport from 2013 –

Draft horse hitting the top of crate with his head –

Debate on live horse shipment:

CHDC Issues Press Release –

CHDC files complaint with CFIA:

CFIA Failure to Enforce Regulations:

CVEWC Supporter Dr. Judith Samson-French Nominated As Petplan’s Veterinarian-of-the-Year

We are very pleased to acknowledge CVEWC’s supporting Veterinarian Dr. Judith Samson-French, who has been nominated as Petplan Insurance’s 2016 Veterinarian of the Year!

In 2013, Dr. Samson-French was awarded by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association for her participation in programs designed to provide contraception, deworming, microchipping, and food for homeless and feral dogs. Dr. Samson-French created a first-of-its-kind program using contraceptive implants to break the reproductive cycle of the female dogs. The implants take a few minutes, they are painless when given with a local freezing, and they present no ill effects. Dr. Judith has also partnered with pet food suppliers to sell her specially designed promotional bookmarks as well as donate a portion of the sale of their dog food to her project.

In addition to her support for anti-slaughter initiatives for horses, she owns and operates Banded Peak Veterinary Hospital and has worked with both the Calgary Zoo and the Honolulu Zoo. Dr. Samson-French has invested several years of her career to pursuing medicine and surgery for ratites (flightless birds such as the kiwi/emu/rhea/ostrich) in North America and Europe, and has experience as an emergency veterinarian. Dr. Judith has even performed fieldwork on green iguanas in Costa Rica, and has included in her practice small ruminants, equine patients and the rehabilitation of sick and injured wildlife.

Congratulations to Dr. Judith – she is truly an overachiever when it comes to caring for animals!