canadian horse defence coalition

Dan Levy and Jann Arden want Canada to stop shipping horses to other countries for slaughter

Animal rights activists are speaking out about Canada's practice of air-shipping horses from Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg airports to Japan for human consumption, and Canadian celebrities Jann Arden and Dan Levy are encouraging people to sign a petition against it.

The petition, addressed to the House of Commons and created by the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition and Arden, explains that large draft horses over 17 hands-high are being shipped from these airports, with three to four horses loaded into crates smaller than a single horse stall.

Flights can last as long as 13.5 hours, according to the petition, with additional hours for ground transportation and the loading/unloading process — during which time horses have no access to food, water or rest.

"Deaths and injuries occur on these flights, as well as broken crates and one known incident of damage to aircraft fuselage," reads the petition. "Horses air-shipped to Japan for human consumption are usually purpose-bred in Canada."

It explains that scientific evidence shows horses suffer both physically and psychologically during long-distance transport, and that Canadian animal welfare laws have no jurisdiction over the treatment of these horses when they reach Japan.

"Public awareness about this issue is increasing, with media interest and celebrity involvement," it states. 

Arden, who is a well-known singer-songwriter and actress as well as an outspoken animal rights activist, has been posting about the issue on social media and encouraging Canadians to sign the petition — which surpassed 28,000 signatures as of March 14. 

Some animal lovers located outside the country have also been asking how they can take action, and Arden pointed them in the direction of the international version of the petition on the CHDC website.

Levy, who has long championed animal rescues after adopting his adorable dog Redmond, retweeted Arden's post linking to the international petition — effectively throwing his support behind the cause and encouraging others to do the same.

In a 2019 Nanos poll about the practice, 69 per cent of Canadian respondents said they were opposed to the slaughter of horses for human consumption while nearly seven in ten said they would support stopping the slaughtering of horses in Canada for human consumption rather than continue the policy.

Lead photo by

CHDC


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