Horse in a field


Number of horses destined for slaughter and transported to Japan from Canada since 2013



Number of hours that horses can legally be transported without food, water or rest in Canada

Horse in a field


Percentage of Canadians who are unaware that this cruel practice is happening across the country

The issue

Angie Dierkes

Horse owners are often unaware of the pain, fear, and suffering their animals endure before being slaughtered, starting with transport, potentially over long distances without food, water or rest, in trucks where they are easily injured. Slaughterhouse conditions are very frightening for horses. In some countries, horses are stabbed in the neck to paralyze them prior to slaughter. Horse flesh is shipped to Europe and Asia for human consumption—the meat a specialty product no one needs. Instead of being shipped to slaughter, horses should be re-homed, sent to sanctuary or humanely euthanized by a veterinarian. Join our campaign to end the cruelty.

About horse slaughter:

  • Horses are slaughtered in Canada primarily to provide horse meat to European and Asian countries, where it is eaten as a delicacy.
  • Horses are transported in cruel conditions to Japan, where they are slaughtered and their meat is consumed as sushi.
  • Horses are brought to slaughter in every possible condition—old, young, sick, healthy, injured, and even pregnant.
  • They are not unwanted—often, their guardians can no longer afford to keep them, and bring the horses to auction hoping to find them a good home. Horse rescues exist to aid in the rehoming of these animals.
  • Loading and unloading is extremely stressful and dangerous for horses as they are moved along the relatively steep ramps and hauled in open trailers without partitions.
  • Sometimes injured and emaciated, horses are beaten and electro-shocked in overcrowded pens and must endure the smell of blood and the sights and sounds of other horses in pain and being killed before they, too, are led into a kill chute.
  • The panic and instinctive desire to escape they experience in the slaughterhouse causes them to thrash their heads frantically in the kill chute, making it difficult to render them unconscious prior to slaughter.
  • Thousands of U.S. horses are imported into Canada annually for slaughter. Since U.S. and most Canadian horses are not intentionally raised for food, many are given a wide variety of drugs that make their meat unfit for human consumption.
Meredith Lee/The HSUS

Our work in action

End the export of live horses for slaughter from Canada

Urge Canada to stop allowing thousands of live horses to be flown to Japan to be slaughtered for meat

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