“An important aspect of the course is to strive towards taking a leadership role as a veterinarian in the local community, in pulling together community experts required to best address the question or problem at hand and to work towards a solution that is acceptable to as many stakeholders as possible.”
Bob Henderson, president of WHOAS, says, “It’s a valuable experience for the students to be able to come out here and witness the program, and be able to observe the wild horses to get a better understanding of all the issues that surround them.”
As a follow up to our August post on the live draft horse shipments out of Calgary, Alberta, new footage of the Kagoshima quarantine station in Japan is now being released.
This footage was taken in March 2015. In the first segment we see video of horses on a feedlot, followed by footage of horses being unloaded from crates after the long flight to Japan. These crates are smaller than the average horse stall and designed for three (but loaded with up to 4 horses) which is contrary to Canada’s Health of Animals regulations.
At the quarantine station, the horses are unloaded to the concrete, bunker-like quarantine station where they will stay for a few weeks before being slaughtered. In the background you can hear Atlas Air taking off, no doubt to return with another shipment of horses on their next flight from YYC.
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.
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.
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!