Activists seek to ban horses flown on long-haul flights for horse meat in Japan

Yvonne O'Halloran

Horses are being flown to Japan from Canada and France to meet the demand for horse meat. According to The Guardian, about 40,000 live horses have been flown to Japan from airports western Canada. This trip can stretch for up to 28 hours, where the animals are allowed to go without food, water or rest.

It’s inhumane,” said Sinikka Crosland of the non-profit organisation. “Those crates are the size of a single conventional horse stall – what people would normally keep one horse in – and they’re putting up to three or four horses into these crates.”

Once they land in Japan, the horses are taken to a government quarantine facility for 10 days. From there, they are transferred to feedlots, fattened for up to a year, and then slaughtered to meet the demand for popular delicacies such as: Horse sashimi, Raw food, thinly sliced horse meat etc.

25% to 40% of Japanese horse meat comes from imported animals and often seeks to save on the high costs of feeding horses.

Canadian government figures show exports to Japan of live horses for slaughter began picking up in 2000 with the sale of 96 animals, worth C$231,000. A year later, the value of these exports had risen more than fivefold; by 2018 it was worth more than C$20m (£11.5m).

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