Horse racing on the turf at Woodbine in Canada. SportingLife image.

Canada: Cancellation of funding program could mean 13,000 dead horses

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Horse racing on the turf at Woodbine in Canada. SportingLife image.
Horse racing on the turf at Woodbine in Canada. SportingLife image.

Cross-posted from the National Post

    Amid all the numbers and charts and graphs contained in the 49-page interim report of the Horse Racing Industry Transition Panel, one figure jumps out: 13,000 dead horses.

    It is, the report’s authors suggest, an accurate prediction of the number of racehorses that would have to be euthanized if the Ontario government continues with its plan to cancel a program that directs a portion of revenues from slot machines housed at horse tracks to the racing industry, without arranging a new source of public funds for horse racing.

I think for a majority of these horses you would be safe substituting “slaughtered” for “euthanized”. And just to remind folks, slaughter is death by violence. Slaughter is not not humane and it is not euthanasia. Euthanasia is death by peaceful means.

Now that is cleared that up, the article continues:

    The report commissioned by the Liberal government makes clear that the Slots at Racetracks program has been hugely successful since its inception in 1998, providing the horse racing industry with a source of cash that sparked rapid growth. But with the tap set to turn off next April, the authors say the industry would collapse, which would not just mean lost jobs and wages — it would mean a lot of dead horses. The collapse doesn’t seem like a torqued prediction, either — any business that suddenly lost more than half of its revenue stream would effectively be taken out behind the barn and shot.

Death by gunshot can be considered euthanasia by someone who is trained specifically to end an animal’s life in this manner, such as a veterinarian. This does NOT include a production line scenario that exists, say, in a slaughter house. That set of circumstances radically changes the situation. Horses can only be stunned not killed outright if their meat is intended to enter the human food chain. This means that their heart must still be beating while they are bled out because toxins lethal to humans begin to set in immediately the blood ceases to circulate in the victim’s body.

The article also includes this quote:

“I think [13,000] is a conservative number, to be honest,” says Sue Leslie of the Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association, which has been lobbying without success to have the government reverse a decision that was announced, to great surprise, in March. “There’s a limited market for race horses, and though some could be sold to other jurisdictions or used for some other purpose, most would not be,” she said.

The concluding paragraphs state:

    The transition panel is working toward a final report by the end of September. She still believes the industry, and the horses, can be saved.

    “Hopefully, we get a solution,” Leslie says, “long before we have to start playing that card.”

There is more important information in this article. Please continue reading >>

Note: The image used here was not filed with original report.

11 thoughts on “Canada: Cancellation of funding program could mean 13,000 dead horses”

  1. the death of the horses that go to slaughter is death by having throat and heart cut open to allow the blood to drain out, and while the blood is draining, the limbs and skin is being removed from the body. There is nothing humane, kind, quick, or gentle about the slaughter process.


  2. This is emotional blackmail in media from greedy people in breeding. Canadians have contempt for these breeders.These media stories have been around for a long time.

    If these jhelpless, unethical people want to get paid for horses, they need to sell them to the private market and offer them there first.
    Have these so-called breeders made any effort to train, market or contact buyers in the riding/driving market? Why not? With training, horses are competitive on the market.

    If these so-called breeders wish to preserve the horses they bred and now dont want, let them get their horses to rescues. If in fact any of these whining, crying breeders cared about their own product, they would be creating contacts in markets and making an effort to train and find solutions to the problems they caused themselves.

    This threat of killing the horses means these breeders are throwing away income and unable to function in a market economy. If they are incompetent, they can’t function in business and need to go find jobs. In the meantime, to keep their own horses and foals fed and cared for, let the breeders sell whatever assets they have so that the horses will not suffer for the breeders own greed and ignorance.

    Canadians have no sympathy for these media cryers who cashed in, made money and now are weeping in public media for cash.
    Skepticism is called for here and no intelligent breeder ever kills what he can sell or give to a rescue. A business reputation suffers for irresponsible behavior.

    This is all as if to say, “I have not planned and now am unhappy with a situation I caused myself. Therefore, everyone else owes me income.” Would you respond to that?

    Emotional blackmail and romantic fiction does not belong in business. If these whiners want money, let them earn it and pay their bills.


  3. Yes, slaughter will be the likely demise even though these horses are obviously pumped up with bute, a drug that is prohibited in animals destined for the human food chain.

    And even though the EU directive and the EID are purportedly “mostly” in place (next year will tell all) to prevent such horses from entering the slaughterhouse it is common practice, documents are forged and so on.

    Nonetheless no doubt they will make their way to these hell-holes in some deceptive way and the EU will accept the toxic meat and distribute it to the horse eaters anyway. Hell, race horses are slaughtered for their meat in the UK, Europe and other countries that export horse meat to the EU for human consumption in any case so what’s the difference?

    The whole system is a sham, no matter what side of the big pond you reside on.

    It simply disgusts me.


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