+ RMA Rural Municipalities
of Alberta

Resolution 8-24S

Support for the Export of Live Horses for Slaughter

April 1, 2024
Expiry Date:
February 28, 2027
Active Status:
County of Wetaskiwin No. 10
5 - Edmonton East
Sent to Government
Vote Results:

WHEREAS Bill S-270 is introducing an Act for the prohibition of exporting live horses for slaughter and Bill C-355 is introducing the Prohibition of the Export of Horses by Air for Slaughter Act; and

WHEREAS the Government of Canada is proposing new legislation and changes to three Acts that will dramatically impact the industry of raising draft horses by imposing fines of $50,000 and up to six months imprisonment for a summary conviction or $250,000 and up to two years imprisonment for an indictment for transporting horses by air for slaughter; and

WHEREAS the Government of Canada is regularly seeking new trade partners and opportunities; and

WHEREAS restrictions on export of live horses for slaughter will shut down an existing market with products already leaving Canada; and

WHEREAS the Government of Canada has not conducted or completed a scientific study as to the impact of transporting draft horses overseas by air on draft horses; and

WHEREAS there are approximately 12,000 to 13,000 draft mares, studs, and foals in Canada that are currently being raised for this market; and

WHEREAS numerous western Canadian slaughter facilities for horses have ceased operations and are not purchasing animals to be processed at their facility; and

WHEREAS producers do not have a local market to distribute their product, but have an already established market globally;

Operative Clause:

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Rural Municipalities of Alberta collaborate with the Government of Alberta and Alberta’s Agricultural Service Boards to oppose federal legislation restricting the export of live horses for slaughter.

Member Background:

In June 2023, singer-songwriter Jann Arden and Senator Pierre Dalphond introduced the Horse Protection Act to the Senate; proposing to ban the export of live horses for slaughter overseas. The ban will come into effect the day the Bill is adopted.

In February 2022 the Canadian Food Inspection Agency suspended its Safe Food for Canadians License for Bouvry Exports in Fort Macleod, Alberta. This facility processed several types of meat including horse, beef, elk and bison and was an avenue for producers to get their product to market. When Bouvry’s ceased operations, producers had to find other ways to get their product to market. Shipping live horses overseas was one way of accomplishing that.

Canada has seen an increase in the number of animals sent overseas in 2023. There are approximately 12,000 to 13,000 mares, studs and foals (mainly draft type) that are raised for this market with an approximate value of $6,000 to $8,000 per mare, $5,000 to $7,000 per stud and $2,000 to $3,000 per foal. Losing this export option will result in many animals either being set loose to the wild and becoming feral or being euthanized. It will have an impact on other businesses such as farriers, truckers, vets and hay producers.

As a result of this legislation, the Government of Canada will quash an already established market while meeting with other nations around the world to open new markets and trade agreements.

• Bill S-270: https://www.parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/44-1/bill/S-270/first-reading
• Bill C-355: https://www.parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/44-1/bill/C-355/first-reading

RMA Background:

RMA has no active resolutions directly related to this issue.

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