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.