Wherever in the world you go, it seems that horse racing and horse slaughter go hand in hand.
This in from Australia, where we know racehorses are slaughtered as a matter of routine. Now they’ve added a gruesome partner in the butchery of their horses.
The Guardian reports:
The brother of the Australian racing legend Winx is one of thousands of exported thoroughbreds killed for meat in Korea under conditions the RSPCA has called “very distressing”.
Footage filmed secretly at the Nonghyup abattoir in South Korea last year shows horses being repeatedly beaten on the head with lengths of black polyethylene pipe in an attempt to herd them into the facility.
That treatment would be in breach both of Australian animal welfare laws and of the requirements imposed on abattoirs that process live export animals if it was part of a formal Australian supply chain, the RSPCA said.
But because the horses were exported to race or breed, rather than for slaughter, and because horses are not classified as livestock in Australia, they are outside the protection of laws that govern the live export industry.
As if that is not nauseating enough, listen to this:
The Greens and animal welfare group have called on Australian racing authorities to halt exports until conditions in the slaughterhouse meet Australian standards.
My question to Australian horse racing is this. Why don’t you halt exports until they stop slaughtering your horses? And what sort of animal welfare group condones horse slaughter? “Very distressing,” the RSCPA calls it. You think?
What takes place in a slaughterhouse is the same around the world. No matter where it takes place, it is a brutal and terrifying death. You can never under any circumstances make slaughter humane.
Don’t take our word for it. Merriam Webster defines slaughter as:
1 : to kill (animals) for food : butcher. 2a : to kill in a bloody or violent manner : slay.
Additionally, it is the considered opinion of medical and psychological experts we have interviewed that it is similar, if not worse, than lining up human beings and putting them through the slaughter process.
My father, who was a doctor and also raised horses, told me, “When a horse dies that is when he is most like a human”.
In the meantime, my question for Australian horse racing is this. Why didn’t you decide to stop sending your racehorses to S. Korea the moment you heard they were slaughtering them? Because you send them to slaughter at home.
I will leave you with this quote by Cynthia D’Errico from her book, “Ground Matters“,
“What he liked about horse racing was the minimal investment and the high returns. He didn’t mind horses at all; they were easy on the eyes and exciting to watch.”
“The horse industry in general was a zero-waste proposition: this was one animal you could take from birth, exploit all its qualities — speed, strength, tractability — through breeding, racing, eventing, caléche or companion service, and then profit from its flesh when it had outlived its usefulness.”