Progress! Bill to End Live Horse Exports for Slaughter Passes Crucial Vote

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An exciting win for horses! The House of Commons has voted to send legislation aiming to end the live export of horses for slaughter to committee for further study.

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On January 31 at Bill C-355’s second reading, Members of Parliament voted 181-137 in favour of moving the proposed law forward to the Agriculture Committee, where it will be reviewed before progressing to the next stage in the legislative process.

Every year in Canada, thousands of Canadian horses are shipped to Japan, where they are killed and served raw as sashimi—a delicacy for the rich. Horse trafficking is big business for a small handful of wealthy businesses, even though most Canadians find it unacceptable. The government promised to ban this horrifying practice years ago, but today, terrified horses continue to be flown across the Pacific in wooden crates, without food, water, or rest for the entire trip.

Since the new year began, concerned citizens have gone to airports and documented multiple shipments of horses being sent to Japan. The legal time limit for live horse exports is a shocking 28 hours, but in some instances, the shipments have illegally gone even longer.

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The practice is widely condemned by Canadians. In 2023, a federal e-petition calling on the government to make good on its promise gathered over 36,000 signatures—making it the third-largest petition in this session of Parliament.

In September 2023, MP Tim Louis tabled private member’s Bill C-355 to end live horse export for slaughter. In June 2023, Senator Pierre Dalphond and Canadian icon Jann Arden joined forces to introduce Senate Bill S-270, the Horse Protection Act, which also aims to ban live horse exports.

While these shipments continue, it’s promising to see that progress is finally being made to protect horses from suffering in the live export trade.

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Animal Justice will continue mobilizing in support of these legislative efforts to ban the live export of horses for slaughter. Please join us in speaking up!

Banner: Canadian Horse Defence Coalition

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