Canada – and in particular Alberta – is one of the world’s biggest suppliers of horses for meat. More than 25,000 are slaughtered annually. The meat is frozen and exported, mainly to Japan, France and the U.S. But what is most controversial is how the industry feeds the desire for fresh raw horse meat in Asia. Thousands of live horses are loaded onto airplanes annually and flown thousands of kilometres away, where they are fattened up for slaughter. The Canadian Horse Defence Coalition describes that voyage as cruel and inhumane: “They are…stuffed…into small wooden crates, three to four horses per crate. Often, there isn’t enough headroom. There’s no room to lay down. They can’t stretch out. Sometimes horses have fallen…during takeoff and landing,” executive director Sinikka Crosland tells W5. The horses are flown almost weekly out of airports in Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg. Their destination is 9,000 kilometres away in Kumamoto Prefecture, western Japan. Horse meat is a delicacy in Japan.