Amazon, your customers don't want partner Atlas Air shipping LIVE HORSES to Japan for food
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In reference to the announcement of your long-term relationship with Atlas Air Worldwide, and the fact that Atlas Air continues to ship live horses as outlined below, we ask you to use your influence to stop the inhumane shipments of these horses or discontinue your plans to further contract with Atlas Air to deliver Amazon Prime shipments.
Atlas Air transports thousands of live horses each year from Canadian cities to Japan, where they are slaughtered for a luxury item, raw horsemeat basashi. The great majority of Americans and Canadians are against the slaughter of our equines for human consumption. This is currently a hot issue in both the United States and Canada.
There is an incredible amount of suffering these horses endure on this journey that Atlas Air is part of.
1) International Air Transport Association (IATA) and current Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regulations have been routinely broken. Regulations regarding head clearance and segregation of horses over 14 hands high have been ignored and not enforced by the CFIA. These transport conditions (multiple horses crammed in small crates with little room to move) are inhumane and are more likely to lead to injuries and potential deaths during transport. Veterinarians consulted are concerned that when horses go down during turbulence or takeoff and landing, they may be unable to get up again in a crowded crate and are at risk for being trampled.
2) Access to Information documents reveal that several horses have died in transit. Six horses died on one flight alone, and on another occasion a horse was found dead upside down in his crate.
3) The long duration of the transports. Total time includes loading at the feedlots and transport time to the airports. Typically, several trucks full of horses arrive at the airports the evening before a flight. The horses are loaded, usually three or four to a crate, into wooden crates where they will spend approximately 11-12 hours overnight until the cargo plane for Japan leaves the following morning. In the event of a delay, this can be even longer. On September 12th 2017, for example, there was a delay of several hours and horses spent over 18 hours at the airport (YYC) in crates. This lengthy period is followed by a flight to Japan of between 10.5 and 12 hours (depending on which cities they are departing from/arriving at), where they are unloaded and driven to quarantine centers. We have observed most of these shipments to be in the 28-30 hour range, but they are even longer if there is a delay.
4) If the journey is not expected to exceed 36 hours, no food and water is provided. Canadian law permits horses to be transported for up to 36 hours without food, water or rest.
5) Horses often panic in stressful situations. Raised on feedlots and unused to travel, being exported to another country is likely highly stressful for them. An airport tarmac with high levels of noise, jet blasts and exposure to deicing fluids is no place for animals.
6) Horses raised for the live export market are usually bred and raised on barren feedlots mired in mud and manure, with no enrichment or shelter from the elements.
Despite many complaints to Atlas Air by organizations like the Canadian Horse Defense Coalition over a period of several years, these problems continue. According to Humane Society International, “Canadian animal transport standards are among the worst in the industrialized world”.
Long distance transportation of animals is opposed by many animal welfare organizations, both in Canada and internationally.
The Alberta SPCA ascribes to five core beliefs (also known as the “Five Freedoms”). They are freedom from hunger and thirst; freedom from discomfort; freedom from pain and injury; freedom to express normal behavior, and freedom from fear and distress. Horses being exported to Japan are compromised in all five areas.
Suffering is inherent in long distance transport. The longer the time of the journey, the greater the risk of serious health and welfare problems such as respiratory problems, colic, gastrointestinal problems, injuries and death.
Atlas Air is taking part in an unethical industry.
In view of these factors, we are asking Amazon to withdraw all further connections with Atlas Air until and if they stop the live exports of our horses to Japan.
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