Trade is on the agenda as Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida made his first visit to Canada this week. A group of concerned Canadians joined Animal Justice in braving a blustery snow storm to speak up for horses on Parliament Hill today, as Prime Minister Kishida and Prime Minister Trudeau met in Ottawa. The Liberals committed during the last election to a ban on the live export of horses to Japan for slaughter, but horses are still being flown to their death.
The demonstrators were there to highlight how thousands of live horses are exported from Alberta and Manitoba every year to be killed overseas. Their journey is nothing short of torturous. These gentle giants are forced to endure long flights confined in tiny crates. The entire trip can take more than 24 hours, during which they have no opportunity to eat food, drink water, or rest. The conditions are stressful, dangerous, and sometimes deadly.
On December 16, 2021, Prime Minister Trudeau directed Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau to end the live export of horses for slaughter in a ministerial mandate letter, but over a year later, the practice continues, with a shipment as recently as last Sunday.
Continued delay to make good on the government’s commitment will doom more horses to suffer and die needlessly. It’s time for Canada to ban the cruel export of live horses for slaughter immediately.