Undercover footage shows tiny ponies slaughtered for their meat in British abattoir

Posted on the 3rd August 2021

Animal Aid, whose investigation into horse slaughter in the UK, featured on BBC One’s Panorama, has today released further footage showing the slaughter of ponies.

The harrowing footage shows tiny ponies being herded into the kill room.

In one particularly upsetting scene, the slaughterer shouts to the workers in the butchery:

“Don’t cut this little one’s legs off. They’re having him whole.”

 Many of the tiny ponies who we filmed were shot in sight of one another, watching helplessly as their companion collapses to the floor in a sea of blood, faeces and urine.

Animal Aid is campaigning to bring an end to horse slaughter in the UK. The root of the problem is unregulated breeding of all types of horses – from feral ponies right through to thoroughbred horses from the racing industry.

To combat the problem, Animal Aid has launched a parliamentary petition, which calls for the government to intervene and place a limit of the number of horses bred every year, as well as lifetime funding for all horses. Fewer horses being bred means fewer unwanted horses and an end to horse slaughter in the UK.

Says Fiona Pereira, Campaign Manager at Animal Aid:

Watching tiny ponies being shot in the head, often in front of one another, is one of the most heart-breaking things I have ever witnessed. It truly is the slaughter of the innocent.  

We desperately need to reach 100,000 signatures on our government petition in order to trigger a debate in parliament – which we hope will result in parliamentary action to put a stop to this horrific practice.

We can bring an end to this – but Animal Aid can’t do it without the help of the public. Please, please sign the petition.”

Notes to Editors

Additional Information:

  • Between October 2019 and February 2020, Animal Aid recorded the killing of 267 horses and ponies at F Drury & Sons
  • Using the Freedom of Information Act, Animal Aid discovered that, in 2019, 2,165 equines were slaughtered in the UK and, of this figure, 16% (347) held passports issued by Weatherbys – the passport issuing agency for the racing industry.
  • Data from the Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine showed that, in 2019, 5,177 horses were slaughtered in Ireland and of those, 2,161had passports issued by Weatherbys (British and Irish).
  • Panorama’s exposé on ‘The Dark Side of Horse Racing’, which featured some undercover footage captured by Animal Aid is available on BBC iPlayer: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000y2xm/panorama-the-dark-side-of-horse-racing

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