A harrowing new undercover investigation exposing cruel and sickening horse slaughter has rocked New Zealand and Australia. Video footage obtained by Australia’s ABC TV revealed former Australian race horses being violently abused and slaughtered for meat at an abattoir in New Zealand.
Australia is supposed to have laws that protect former race horses from being slaughtered for meat, but those laws are loosely enforced once horses are retired from the racing industry.
One thoroughbred named War Ends was actually recognized on camera by one of her former riders, who took to social media to express her sadness. The undercover video shows War Ends being repeatedly battered while a slaughterhouse worker calls her a “stupid fucking cunt.” He then bolts her in the head and kick her as she lies dead. Other horses were beaten and subjected to electric shocks on their genitals before being killed.
In just a 22-day period, more than 300 race horses were killed at this facility even though official numbers from Racing Australia say that only one percent of Australia’s race horses fall through the cracks and end up at slaughterhouses. At that rate, only 34 horses would be slaughtered per year. Professor Paul McGreevy, a founding member of the International Society of Equitation Science, puts the actual number closer to 4,000. Horse meat is then sold and shipped overseas where it is popular – places like Europe, Russia, and Japan.
Yes, This Happens in America Too
In 2003, Americans were shocked when it was reported that Kentucky Derby winner, Ferdinand, ended up in Japanese slaughterhouse where he was killed for pet food. At that time, tens of thousands of horses were being slaughtered per year in the United States, around 10 percent of them were thoroughbreds. Though horse slaughter in the US was later banned, horses were still being shipped overseas and to Canada where they were killed for meat.
But a violent slaughter is only the brutal end of a life filled with cruelty. Other undercover investigations by animal rights activists have shown that abuse runs rampant in the horse racing industry, with hundreds perishing due to injuries every single year. Just look at what’s going on in southern California at the Santa Anita Race Track, where 33 horses have died just since December.
The horse deaths at Santa Anita have sparked local outrage with many demanding the race track be shut down for good – but horse racing has no business in the 21st century. Period. It’s an inhumane industry that should be stopped.
Main image: ABC TV | 7.30