End live horse export for slaughter


Two bills have been introduced to ban the live export of horses from Canada for slaughter. Read the update and support the bills here.

It’s been one year since the Prime Minister issued a mandate for the federal Minister of Agriculture to ban the live export of horses for slaughter. Since then, approximately 2,000 horses have been shipped on lengthy and stressful transport journeys abroad, destined for slaughter.

Speak up for horses: Support the recent federal e-petition calling for a ban by sending a message to decision-makers.

Action: Contact your MP and federal decision-makers

Use the email template below to send a personalized message to your Member of Parliament, the federal Minister of Agriculture and the Prime Minister, asking them to act to end the export of live horses for slaughter.

Note: If you live outside of Canada and want to take action, you can email the Prime Minister at: and the Minister of Agriculture at:

UPDATE – September 19, 2023: Private member’s bill introduced

Private member’s bill C-355 was introduced in the House of Commons by Liberal MP Tim Louis, aiming to ban the controversial practice of exporting live horses from Canada for slaughter abroad. This bill, along with the Senate bill introduced in June, presents a crucial opportunity for the federal government to follow through on their promise to ban live horse export for slaughter once and for all. Send the new email urging decision-makers to support this urgent change and save thousands of horses’ lives!

UPDATE – June 21, 2023: Senate bill introduced!

Singer-songwriter and animal advocate Jann Arden and Senator Pierre Dalphond have announced the introduction of the Horse Protection Act, a Senate bill which proposes to ban the export of live horses for slaughter. MP Tim Louis also plans to introduce a private Member’s bill in the House of Commons this fall to ban the practice. Thank you to everyone who advocated for an end to cruel live horse exports, including more than 36,000 Canadians who signed the federal petition!

Update – March 29, 2023: Federal Minister of Agriculture responds to e-petition

The federal Minister of Agriculture, Marie-Claude Bibeau, responded to the petition that calls for a ban on the live export of horses for slaughter. The Minister’s statement notes that they “remain committed to ban the export of live horses for slaughter, as communicated in the Minister’s mandate letter” and that the government is engaging in stakeholder consultation and “exploring the legal and policy framework for a ban on live horse exports for slaughter.”

The VHS and other animal protection organizations continue to advocate for a ban to be implemented as soon as possible. Each month that action is delayed, hundreds of horses continue to suffer through long, stressful overseas journeys without food, water, or rest. 

Update – February 17, 2023: Letter from animal protection organizations highlights egregious suffering

A letter signed by nine animal protection organizations across Canada highlights the egregious suffering of horses sent on overseas journeys and urges the federal Minister of Agriculture to quickly end the cruel live horse export industry. Read an excerpt from the letter below:

Since the 2021 election, more than 2,000 horses have been exported from Canada to Japan for slaughter. Some of these horses were shipped out of Winnipeg on December 12, 2022. Because of flight delays, the horses were in transport without food, water, and rest for well over 28 hours. By the time they left Winnipeg at 9:18am that day, they had already been in transit without food, water, and rest for approximately 16.5 hours and there was no way that the 28 hour limit would be met if they continued on to Japan. Yet those involved proceeded with the shipment. Further delays in Seattle resulted in an even longer journey. So arduous were the conditions that at least three horses collapsed during the trip.

Read the full letter from Animal Justice Canada, the Winnipeg Humane Society, the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition, Manitoba Animal Save, the Vancouver Humane Society, Animal Save Movement, Humane Canada, World Animal Protection, and the BC SPCA.

Update – February 13, 2023: Federal e-petition has been presented in the House of Commons

A federal parliamentary e-petition, led by Jann Arden and sponsored by MP Alistair MacGregor, calls on the Minister of Agriculture to follow through on the federal government’s promise to end live horse export for slaughter.  

Petition e-4190 to help protect horses from suffering through long, stressful journeys to slaughter closed February 7, 2023. The petition has been presented to the House of Commons and is awaiting response. Please stay tuned for updates.

Most Canadians would be surprised to learn that Canada is one of the top exporters of live horses for slaughter. Every year, approximately 3,000-5,000 live draft horses are loaded onto planes, packed tightly with 3-4 horses per crate, and flown abroad where they will be slaughtered for meat.

Horses’ journeys to slaughter are long and stressful

  • Horses can be transported for up to 28 hours without access to food, water or rest.
  • As sensitive prey animals with strong fight or flight instincts, this journey can be incredibly stressful.
  • Deaths and injuries have occurred, including one known incident of damage to an aircraft, which led to an emergency landing and the death of the horse involved.
  • There is also no obligation for countries on the receiving end to report back to Canada about the condition of the horses upon arrival.

Canadians are calling for change

Polling shows that a majority of Canadians are opposed to the practice of exporting live horses for slaughter.

The VHS supports organizations including the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition and advocates, like singer-songwriter Jann Arden, who have long been calling for an end to live horse export for slaughter. In Spring 2021, the VHS signed a group letter calling on the federal government to end the practice.

A federal parliamentary e-petition garnered more than 77,000 public signatures in support of a ban, making it one of the most popular animal-related federal petitions on record.  

Despite promises, horses continue to suffer due to government inaction

In December 2021, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau directed the Minister of Agriculture, Marie-Claude Bibeau, to ban the live export of horses for slaughter. One year later, horses continue to be shipped to their death as a result of government inaction.  

Can you help protect horses from suffering through long journeys to slaughter?

Learn more

  • Check out Canadian singer-songwriter Jann Arden’s #HorseShit campaign, which aims to end the practice of live horse export for slaughter. 
  • Get an in-depth look at the horse export and slaughter industry, thanks to the work of the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC).
  • Read or listen to and share this episode of The Informed Animal Ally, the VHS’s monthly podcast, featuring guest speaker Sinikka Crosland of the CHDC. 
  • Read and share the VHS’s op-ed, published in the Daily Hive, to raise awareness about this inhumane industry.
  • Read and share this article in CTV News, which includes an interview with Jann Arden and an in-depth video investigation which first aired in 2021.

Cover photo: Canadian Horse Defence Coalition