Posted 28 Jun 2022
Help us to find the name of this race horse
Posted on the 10th September 2021
Shouted and sworn at, shot through the head then dragged through a pool of his own blood – the horrific end to the life of a race horse …
Ahead of the racing industry’s celebratory National Racehorse Week 12 to 19 September 2021, Animal Aid is demanding that the racing industry makes public the name of a race horse who was killed at a UK abattoir last year.
The video is below: Viewer discretion advised.
In horrific scenes, the gentle giant of a horse, was taken into the slaughter room in a terrified state, where his life was ended. Because he was scared and would not stand still, he was verbally abused and shouted at. The graphic footage shows the roughly 17hh horse – still with his aluminium racing plates on his hooves – being shot through the head, his throat slit, and dragged through a pool of his own blood to the yard outside. He was described merely as “one for the bin” by the slaughterman.
Since Animal Aid’s investigation into Drury’s abattoir in Swindon – which was featured on BBC One’s Panorama in July 2021 – the racing industries of Britain and Ireland have attempted to dodge the issue of race horse slaughter by blaming slaughter techniques employed by the abattoir. They also used the term ‘euthanasia’ as a softer tone to the reality of the slaughterhouse.
Animal Aid is demanding that racing regulator, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), should admit full responsibility for the shocking slaughter statistics of horses from the racing industry, and is asking the government to intervene. According to official figures, of the 2,165 equines sent to slaughter in the UK in 2019, 347 held passports issued by Weatherbys (the passport issuing agency for the racing industry). In that same year, more than 2,000 horses with Weatherbys passports were sent for slaughter in Ireland.
This is not the first time the industry has tried to avoid the issue of horse deaths. Following the release of photos of Gordon Elliott sitting atop a deceased young horse, called Morgan, who died in training, Animal Aid asked the BHA how many horses have died in training. The BHA has been unable to provide any data relating to this matter.
Animal Aid’s parliamentary petition is calling on the government to intervene, by imposing a cap on the number of horses bred each year. Fewer horses bred, means fewer becoming ‘unwanted’ and therefore an end to the slaughter of horses.
Says, Iain Green, Director of Animal Aid:
“Animal Aid believes that the public will be rightly horrified that the racing industry is condoning the sending of horses to slaughterhouses. It’s high time for the government to step in and take control of an industry that recklessly overproduces horses – in the hope of finding the next big winner – only to turf them out when they cease to show promise or to be of use. This hugely wealthy sector has failed horses on so many levels – not least in providing all horses with a lifetime of care. We’re calling on all compassionate animal lovers to sign our petition – which, when it reaches 100,000 signatures will trigger a government debate and bring the long-overdue changes that are needed for horse welfare.”
- View Animal Aid’s petition
- View background and other videos from the investigation
- Panorama’s exposé on ‘The Dark Side of Horse Racing’, which featured some undercover footage captured by Animal Aid is available on BBC iPlayer.
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