Racehorse breeders demand action after 'appalling' ABC abattoir investigation

Elias Hubbard
October 20, 2019

However Paul McGreevy, a professor of animal behaviour and welfare science on the College of Sydney who has been learning thoroughbreds for 25 years, mentioned round four, 000 horses "disappeared" every year.

"I was appalled, shocked and horrified but the footage of the treatment of those horses at the abattoir", he said.

While the slaughter of racehorses is legal across the nation, the figures and footage go against Racing Queensland's policies to "Minimise "wastage" of racing animals" and "ensure that all racing animals are well cared for before, during and after racing".

"Of course we condemn it, but let's not conflate two issues here. We've seen the same with live animal exports". Those practices that I saw, I know are serious offences under state animal welfare legislation.

"Where are the state government inspectors, not just in Queensland but across the country?"

The Australian Veterinary Association said the treatment of the horses in the leaked video was "highly distressing" and all parties involved should be held accountable for their "abhorrent and illegal actions". "This is not exclusive to thoroughbreds".

"We track race horses, they are chipped and we monitor them in WA until such time as they leave the industry at the moment", he said.

"The horrific abuse and suffering of horses once they have stopped making a profit shows the callousness of the industry that purports to look after them". After they are retired, we can no longer have stewards go and check them, they become the property of whoever bought them and whoever they sell them to.

"A National Horse Register would fill this gap, allow federal and state authorities access to ownership and location information and help improve equine welfare outcomes nationally", it mentioned.

"The NSW racing authority can only regulate within its borders, it can't stop horses going across the border".

Currently, when thoroughbred horses retire their owners must inform Racing Australia of their plans for the animal. "We're not the government of Australia, we can't introduce laws".

Horse racing is a popular and lucrative business in Australia, with the revelations coming on the eve of the world's richest turf race, The Everest in Sydney, and just weeks ahead of the prestigious Melbourne Cup.

"Anybody who has either breached the rules of racing or committed animal cruelty should be brought before the courts and feel the full force of the law [and] I don't believe they have a place in the racing industry so in terms of that report and integrity, that is a matter for whoever [will] put that report together".

Racing NSW CEO Peter V'landys tod the ABC he was not aware of any NSW racehorses being sent to slaughterhouses. If the industry wants to breed horses, they must take responsibility for their whole life.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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