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Can Vet J. 2015 Jun;56(6):581-6.

Patterns and durations of journeys by horses transported from the USA to Canada for slaughter.

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Sir James Dunn Animal Welfare Centre, Department of Health Management, Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, 550 University Avenue, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island C1A 4P3.


in English, French

Concern has been expressed over the welfare of horses transported from the USA for slaughter in Canada. United States Department of Agriculture owner/shipper certificates for the year 2009 were analyzed to provide quantitative information on the patterns and durations of these journeys. In 2009, horses from 16 states in the northern USA were transported to 6 equine slaughter plants in Canada. Thirty-two percent of loads were from auction centers, 33% from feedlots, and 35% from horse collection centers. The median duration of the journey was 19 h. Thirty-six percent of horses were transported for < 6 h, 11% for 6 to 18 h, 13% for 18 to 24 h, 25% for 24 to 36 h, 9% for 36 to 48 h, and apparently 6% > 48 h. Some journeys exceeded those specified in regulations and, based on other research, would put these horses at risk of negative welfare outcomes, such as dehydration, injury, and fatigue.

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