This is not euthanasia. This is horse slaughter.

Posted on the 27th July 2021

Animal Aid releases undercover film.

Warning: upsetting content. Viewer discretion advised.

Today, Animal Aid released more footage of horse slaughter at an abattoir in England.

The four-minute film reveals in heart-breaking detail, the final journey of horses and ponies to the abattoir. The footage includes their deaths and subsequent butchering.

Following Panorama’s exposé on ‘The Dark Side of Horse Racing’, which featured some undercover footage captured by Animal Aid, the racing authorities in Britain and Ireland were quick to try and shift the blame to the slaughterhouse and the government vets, present at the abattoir.

However, this does not address the reason why so many horses are being sent to slaughter nor the root of the problem: unregulated and speculative breeding of horses.

Animal Aid’s footage shows that a huge variety of equines are presented for slaughter – young thoroughbreds discarded by the racing industry, ponies from managed feral herds and other tiny young ponies. Whatever their story, there is money to be made from their meat.

Animal Aid has released more footage in order to refocus attention on the very heart of the problem, in order to get government intervention and action. It is disingenuous for those with the power to make real change to blame the slaughterhouse or the government vets. Instead, the government should examine the number of horses being bred, the trade in horses and the numbers of horses from Britain and Ireland for whom there is no home, no funding and no hope.

Says Iain Green Director of Animal Aid:

The sheer amount of finger-pointing and blame-shifting over the last week has been astounding and shameful. Get to the heart of the problem by reducing the number of foals being bred, and ensure that there is funding and homes for every single horse – regardless of type.

Animal Aid wants to send the message out loud and clear to all horse breeding societies: Stop trying to label it euthanasia; these horses are being transported and slaughtered for their meat. Stop blaming the slaughterhouse and get your own house in order. Take responsibility.”

Notes to Editors:

  • Graphic and non-graphic photos and videos from the slaughterhouse, which should be credited to ‘Animal Aid’, are available (WARNING: Viewer discretion is advised. Over-18s only).
  • View and sign Animal Aid’s petition
  • Animal Aid has a strict investigations policy which adheres to biosecurity measures, obtains access to premises without causing any damage to property and seeks to ensure that no stress is caused to animals at sites visited.

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,2,161 had passports issued by Weatherbys (British and Irish).
  • Panorama’s research revealed the names of some horses from the racing industry being shot at the abattoir, including High Expectations and Kiss Me Kayf.
  • Watch the Panorama programme 

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