Ascot acts to prevent ‘meat’ trade at sales (UK)

Now look. Those nice English racing type people are worried about horses who have raced and cannot run very fast after all where the Queen has put her Royal foot may be bought for little or nothing and eaten up by those nasty neighbors across the ditch they pretend to like all the time. Wretch. How disgusting. It cannot be allowed. So someone tell those nice chaps at Brightwells that it’s just not on, stop it right now, and here are a few tips on how you might, ahem, thank you very much.

Cross-posted from The Guardian Online


Ascot officials have acted to prevent the Royal racecourse being associated with the sale of ex-racehorses for meat for human consumption. Their contracted auctioneers, Brightwells, have been told to tighten their sales conditions to prevent any such trade taking place.

Horses can fetch up to £650 when slaughtered for meat to be sold on the continent but the minimum sale price at Brightwells is as low as £300, raising fears that “meat men” might be attracted to the Ascot Sales. The minimum sales price at Doncaster and Newmarket is much higher at £500.

But buyers of horses priced between £300 and £800 will now face a life ban from Brightwells if unable to provide evidence of what a horse is doing, or where it is living, six months after it was purchased.

Ascot media executive Nick Smith said: “We’ve told Brightwells we are genuinely concerned about any horse bought at Ascot Sales going for slaughter for meat for human consumption.

“Brightwells have agreed that their conditions of sale will state that anyone who buys a horse for £300 to £800 will have to provide evidence of what that horse is doing, and where it is living, six months after purchase. Failure to do so will mean an automatic ban from Ascot Sales.

“We will also make sure that Brightwells carry out their monitoring, which would, in effect, become part of their contract with us – which we have every confidence they will do, as they share our concern.

“Should Brightwells fail in their duty, we would take a dim view of it, and we would investigate. Their review of their customers will be mirrored by our review of their process. We are determined to protect our Sales and our integrity.”

Terry Court, joint managing director of Brightwells, said: “Ascot Authority and ourselves have had long and serious discussions to make sure horses sold at Ascot Sales are protected further than they already are from being sold for meat.”

But the new measures do not go far enough to satisfy the animal-rights group Animal Aid, whose equine consultant, Dene Stensall, said: “The only way to eliminate the ‘meat man’ is for Brightwells to cease selling horses for a paltry £300.”

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