Critique of Horse Slaughter Industry by Dr. Maureen Harper Published in Canadian Veterinary Journal

The October 2017 Issue of the Canadian Veterinary Journal features an article written by  Maureen Harper,  DVM, MSc (Epidemiology),  discussing the transport of slaughter-bound horses.

Dr. Harper approaches the problematic issues with the CFIA governance over the horse slaughter industry in Canada from an analytical point of view – citing examples of substandard treatment of horses, inhumane slaughter and transport, and the many procedural violations of Canada’s antiquated 40+ year-old Health of Animals Regulations.

“Canada is a major international supplier of horse meat in the world. In 2016, over 54 000 horses were slaughtered in this country. It is estimated that 65% to 70% of the horses slaughtered in Canada originate from the United States. This is because horse slaughter ceased in the United States in 2007. Also, according to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 5839 live horses were shipped to Japan for slaughter in 2016.

Horse slaughter in Canada has become a contentious issue in recent years. There have been numerous undercover recordings showing the improper stunning of horses.”

Please read more here: (scroll to page 1117)

maureen harper veterinary ethical question

Access-To-Information Documents Reveal Horse Death On Atlas Air Flights To Japan

The attached Access-To-Information documents, relating to live shipments from  the Calgary Airport in Alberta in March 2015, describe the conditions under which several horses went down once loaded or prior to being loaded on a flight to Osaka Japan via Atlas Air.

Of the horses that were taken back to be assessed,  one horse was found to be deceased in the crate.  Note that the brand has been obscured.  No explanation was provided for the cause of death,  and it`s unknown whether a necropsy was performed on the deceased horse.