Peter Moody, racehorse trainer, Victoria, Australia.

AU Racing: Peter Moody proposes industry ‘knackery’ for unwanted horses


Victoria’s former top trainer Peter Moody believes the racing industry should consider operating its own facility to humanely manage the end of life process for retired racehorses that cannot be rehomed.

Why not have a industry knackery he tweeted . . .

Before we decide what we think about the ‘Moody plan’, let’s define ‘knackery’ for those not used to the term. A lot of people, including ourselves, have seen “knacker’s yard” and “slaughterhouse” used interchangeably. So let’s set that straight first.

A knacker is a person in the trade of rendering animals that have died on farms or are unfit for human consumption, such as horses that can no longer work.  A knacker’s yard or knackery is different from a slaughterhouse, where animals are slaughtered for human consumption.

Now we have clarified that, how do you feel about the ‘Moody plan’ of euthanizing horses and sending their remains to a knackery, or rendering facility, as opposed to sending them to slaughter? Put that way, it isn’t a difficult choice to make.

Chris Lynch replied pointing out:


Our first reaction to the ‘Moody plan’ is it would mean a lot of young, healthy horses who have done nothing wrong other than not win enough for their connections will be killed.

Also highly and extremely important,  the ‘Moody plan’ will do nothing to curb the common problem of overbreeding, a big issue that exists in most horse racing nations around the world.

Then there are horses who are run “into the ground” and become injured so they are no longer “of value” to racing .  .  . or seemingly anyone else. What a quick and easy way for owners to get rid of them.

Yet, the ‘Moody plan’ would mean fewer would be abused and go to slaughter, right? We would hope anyway.

Trouble is an owner can make a bit of extra money selling a racehorse to the local slaughterhouse. Plus it costs to have a horse euthanized and for a renderer to handle the remains of the animal, right? But carcass disposal is where Moody is ahead of the game, suggesting that racing itself institutes and runs its own knackery (or rendering) facilities.

Whatever the outcome, it seems that death and racing are forever intrinsically linked for the horse.

So. What do you make of the ‘Moody plan’?

•  Source: reports »

•  Read more about rendering here »

17 thoughts on “AU Racing: Peter Moody proposes industry ‘knackery’ for unwanted horses”

  1. It’s interesting to note that on this tweeting with Peter Moody, he has removed a comment by a “Jennifer…” who voiced her disgust with his vile suggestion. It seems he cannot cope with criticism.
    Just to add, that a few months ago, representatives of Racing Victoria made a similar suggestion which was not well received. I will be blocked by a pro-racing site here if i provide a link to this effect to substantiate this, but it’s true.
    His wife, has made some “questionable” tweets in recent years upon which Racing Victoria, took action against her. They both come from outback Queensland and landed in the racing industry in Melbourne to make their “mark”.
    One of his horses “Roses …” suffered a serious heat stress incident at a race meeting in Melbourne, he
    appeared to make an attempt to save her by throwing a couple of buckets of water over her and then tried to force her up off the ground but she died in the enclosure after her race on a very hot day. It was sickening.
    Another of his horses, the three year old colt, So Man Up was having his second start, if my memory serves me correctly, in Sydney when I could see that he had injured himself on jumping out of the gates, tail up, in pain and he was expected to win, but ran last for the whole race and pulled up with a fractured pelvis and was euthanased at Randwick. How on earth his jockey didn’t realise that something was seriously wrong with the horse is unfathomable. The stewards queried it in their report. Perhaps he was so used to Black Cavier being underneath him.
    The very next day, PM announced in the media that Black Cavier would be retired. I have photos of BC appearing distressed pre-race in her tie-up stall at Randwick, not a happy girl and her handlers lacked horsemanship, in my opinion. To date, all of her off spring have failed in racing and she went to the best sires. I often wonder if the stress of racing for these famous successful mares takes a toll when it comes to reproducing. Makybe Diva and Black Caviar, to date, appear to be just a couple of examples here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for taking the time to provide this information Carolyn. It makes my heart ache to see what the treatment of racehorses has come to. Every era had had its problems and cruelties but nothing like we have today. Or so it seems. We are way past expecting reform of any kind by anyone or any country. Stay safe and be well.


  2. What do I think? I think it’s more time wasting BS. Now, some track owners will get to talk about this for a few years to the benefit of all, and then get back to synthetics, measuring moisture/hardness, stalls, living quarters, MRIs, measuring diameters of phalanges, cannons, radii, carpus’ ’til monkeys fly. l vote we be proud of our work, euthanize them openly and construct the facility for the their demise on the infield. As I typed that last sentence I was reminded clearly of Karn Evil 9.


  3. First of all, for those who are appalled at a horse going for rendering.
    What do you think happens to them after they’ve been slaughtered at a slaughterhouse? Firstly, the meat that hasn’t been contaminated by drugs (not much) will go for animal consumption.
    The rest?
    Goes for rendering.

    My concern is that, if the racing industry already has it’s own ‘in-house’ slaughter and rendering facility, it will be very unlikely that ANY attempt will be made to re-home them. Much simpler (in their minds) and cheaper would be to automatically send them to their deaths.

    How this issue develops must be carefully watched…


    1. Actually, all of the meat from a racehorse has been contaminated by drugs. Does Australia not allow export of meat from racehorses? Do they have a better equine identification system (i.e. the history of the horse’s life, drugs administered, etc.) than North America and other countries where they turn a blind eye and ship this meat for human consumption? From what I have read, Australia exports a lot of horse meat from ex-racehorses etc. – at least they used to. In 2017 they exported it to Belgium, Switzerland, France, Russia, Germany , etc. Has this changed? Just curious. Thanks.


      1. Jane, I will try to answer your questions. To the best of my knowledge Australia allows export of meat from racehorses.

        This takes place at Meramist, an abbatoir situated at Caboolture in south-east Queensland. Meramist is owned by a Belgian company and the meat is exported for human consumption to the countries you referred to. They also own another abattoir at Peterborough in South Australia where they used to slaughter horses (including racehorses and ex-racehorses) and I’ve been told that they’re currently slaughtering camels.

        A few months ago, our ABC 7.30 Report television programme exposed the sickening unspeakable cruelty to the horses in the process of slaughtering them at Meramist, it was horrendous.

        My understanding is that because it is an export business it comes under the legislation of our Australian Federal government and according to such legislation (it might be under the guidelines) a veterinarian is to be present for the slaughtering of the animals in such an abattoir. How a veterinarian could just stand there and watch those atrocities, as shown in the expose, is beyond me.

        After the ABC expose, the security was tightened at Meramist but i believe that truck load after truck load of horses continue to arrive at Meramist – it’s business as usual. The Queensland government is conducting some sort of inquiry.

        Some years ago, my daughter rescued two racehorses from Meramist and one of them was dropped off at the abattoir indirectly by a Queensland racehorse trainer. The horse had recently raced. So, the drugs?

        Insofar as the identification goes, the racing industry here has been using microchipping for its horses for at least the past 20 years – horses needed to be correctly identified on race day and for other various reasons e.g. veterinarian procedures, ownership. Well, why didn’t the racing industry put in place a system with all of the slaughterhouses (abattoirs and knackeries) so that each thoroughbred and standardbred (harness racing) that entered the premises was scanned for identification and to immediately notify the racing authorities who in turn could protect the horses from slaughter. It could’ve easily been done in the past and it could easily be done now.

        Racehorses have been transported from Victoria to Meramist for many years, it’s a horribly cruel journey for them over 2-3 days. The expose showed one horse who was close to death, being dragged off the truck with a rope along the ground – just one example.

        In Australia, one can read up on a racehorse’s racing history, change of trainers, etc. on sites similar to Equibase.

        One occasionally comes across some medical history in the media via trainer/owner e.g. horse having a spell due to a respiratory issue. The stewards’ reports sometimes reveal a health issue with a horse. In my experience, drugs administered is revealed when a trainer is charged with a drug violation.

        Several years ago, on national television the then CEO of Racing Australia, Peter McGauran stated that only about 1% of racehorses go to slaughter. A blatant untruth. From my observations over many years, the great majority of racehorses come to a horrible end. Apologies if this comes across as a bit disjointed – Australia is on fire and it is truly devastating.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Thanks Carolyn. I appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions. We are all thinking of our Australian friends during these devastating wildfires. Take care and be safe.


      2. Thank you for your kind words, Jane.
        When I go to do a “like” on this site, I cannot remember/find my password and end up in a mess with the prompts, bit of a ludite with all this technology 😒

        Love the work that you do, the horses say thank YOU!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. The actual definition of knackery is one thing, however, many so-called “knackeries” in Australia are nothing more than slaughterhouses. They are synonymous.

    .”During the week of the Melbourne Cup, while thousands of racegoers were celebrating at Flemington racecourse, undercover investigators from the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses ventured into a knackery – where horses are killed for dog meat – to document the last day on earth that many ex-racehorses face. What they found shocked even the most experienced of investigators.”

    Lots more “slaughterhouses” use the same term.

    So until Moody makes it clear what his plan is, I am not buying that they will be humanely euthanized before being sent to the “knackery”. Nope.

    And I agree with Chris Lynch – quit breeding for greed. This is by far the biggest issue – flooding the market with horses who may never “make it” in the racing world and then discarding them like a “wrapper off a candy bar” in the prime of their life. It’s sick.

    Humans – the worst species found on planet earth.


    1. Some slaughterhouses etc are clearly misusing the term knackery no doubt to trick the public. Horse racing savagery knows no limits no matter where it is conducted. And the sites where horseracing gamblers are wringing their hands over racehorse deaths are equally appalling. Their bets fuel the industry. But that’s another story.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Correct, Jane. The knackeries in Australia are slaughterhouses. I’ve been told by a reliable source that a knackery south of Sydney makes available some of the racehorses straight from the track/trainer for experiments. A scientific representative, of say for example a manufacturer of dishwashing liquid, will put stuff in the horse’s eyes to see the outcome. And then horse is inhumanely slaughtered after having been bred, owned, raced, gambled on, whipped and injured by the horse racing industry.
      Another person who was in the industry had to drop off two racehorses that we’re finished with, at a knackery, she had been caring for them. As the horses are also deprived of food for 2-3 days prior to being killed, her husband gave her a significant amount of money to pay off the guy to kill them straight away, which was done.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. A vile and repugnant suggestion.

    But what more would one expect from this former racehorse trainer who was found guilty of Cobalt charges. Black Caviar, our famous mare, was under his care and she was found to have Cobalt in her system but within the parameters of the then limit (200). Not long after, that limit was brought down to 100. After being found guilty, he chose to walk and by all reports, he had about 80 horses in his stables. Some went to other trainers but the rest of them, don’t know. Some were owned by him/family and today he continues in racehorse ownership.

    Death camps for the finished with horses used up by the racing industry. Nauseating. Rest assured, the Australian public won’t stand for it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. He was good when he was making you millions, now what is Black Caviar doing? Pumping out foals for the racing Industry each year? Hypocrite much.


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