Distinguished racehorses killed inhumanely and sometimes in front of other horses at abattoir

Cruel deaths of racehorses at abattoir as shown on Panorama

How many racehorses are slaughtered each year in the UK? Answer: thousands often under inhumane circumstances. Sadly, we can more or less answer the question in the first sentence from an article in The Times today about the cruel death of racehorses as shown in a film from an abattoir. In the UK, more than 4,000 racehorses have been slaughtered in abattoirs since 2019. Shockingly, many have been killed inhumanely with a bullet fired at a distance and in front of other horses.

Cruel deaths of racehorses at abattoir as shown on Panorama

Cruel deaths of racehorses at abattoir as shown on Panorama. Photo: Animal Aid video screenshot via The Times.

The BBC’s Panorama programme has produced evidence of failures to prevent horses dying a cruel and painful death in abattoirs. The program is called The Dark Side of Horseracing. It is to be aired on July 19, 2021, tonight. Also shockingly, some of the horses shot in this cruel way had successful careers winning thousands of pounds for their owners. And they were linked to some of the biggest names in horseracing.

The programme shows secret footage taken at the F Drury & Sons abattoir in Swindon. Three horses slaughtered there were trained by Gordon Elliott. He is a three-time Grand National winning trainer. He was suspended from racing when a picture was published of him sitting on a dead horse. These three horses were trained at his stables in Co Meath near Dublin. Elliott said that none of the animals were sent by him to the abattoir.

He said that they had been retired from racing because of injury and at the time there were sent to the abattoir they were not under his care or ownership. Two of the horses were sent to a horse dealer to be rehomed or humanely euthanised, while a third was given to another rider as requested by the horse’s owner. No money changed hands in any of cases. He learnt of the slaughter of the horses at this abattoir when the television documentary makers contacted him.

Daniel Mills, an equine expert at Lincoln University, has seen the video evidence and said that that some of the horses had not been stunned before being shot. The film shows 91 horses being shot from a distance of yards and not close-up. And on 26 occasions horses were shot on sight of each other.

The hidden cameras were set up by Animal Aid which opposes commercial horseracing. The video shows regulations being routinely ignored. A consultant for animal aid, Dene Stansall, told the programme: “We wanted to see what actually happened there. When we looked at the footage we were astounded at the sheer volume of young thoroughbreds.”

The filming was recorded at the end of 2019 and the start of 2020. Dozens of former racehorses were slaughtered most of them from Ireland. The slaughtered business concerned told Panorama that they take great care to maintain high welfare conditions. They stressed that they do not accept any form of animal abuse and all their horses are humanely destroyed. When things go wrong, they take swift action they said.

The governing bodies for horseracing both in Ireland and in Britain said that they are committed to the humane treatment of horses throughout their lives.

Conclusion: the answer to the question in the title is 4,000 racehorses since 2019. This does not tell you how many are slaughtered annually in the UK but it gives a very good indication that it is in the thousands but more importantly perhaps is the manner in which they are slaughtered.

Animal Aid is a British animal rights organisation, founded in 1977 by Jean Pink.

SOME MORE ON HORSES:

50 excuses why a horse didn't win a race in order to convince the owner to keep paying stabling and trainer's fees

Australian racing horse trainer suspended for allegedly injecting horses before a race

Garry White is facing a possible suspension having been accused of injecting four horses before a race with an unnamed ...
Read More
Picasso a famous mustang

Bureau of Land Management in the USA allegedly rounding up too many mustangs

NEWS AND COMMENT - COLORADO, USA: The Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act 1971 is an American statute which protects ...
Read More
Whipping a horse during a race in NY

Tasmania: PETA want to prove that horse whipping during a race is animal cruelty

NEWS AND COMMENT-TASMANIA: The news is that PETA is using the Australian state of Tasmania to establish that whipping a ...
Read More
Boy and foal have a close relationship

Boy and foal share special bond

Amboy, Illinois, USA: this was filmed on a farm and the boy's mother says that she breeds a "few select ...
Read More
50 excuses why a horse didn't win a race in order to convince the owner to keep paying stabling and trainer's fees

50 best excuses why a racehorse didn’t win its race

Dr Desmond Morris says that when a racehorse loses a race the trainer and the jockey have to find fancy ...
Read More
James Watt and his creation of the unit of measurement called hosepower

The origin of horsepower as a measure of engine strength

One horsepower is the force needed to move 33,000 pounds a foot in a minute. The Scottish inventor, mechanical engineer, ...
Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.