Panorama tonight - racing industry and slaughterhouses

cauda equina

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You really think that? You want the only slaughterhouse in the UK to shut? You want the horses to travel hound reds, potentially thousands more miles to a much less regulated slaughterhouse abroad?
It's a very poor state of affairs if the choice is seen to be between a cr*p death at this place or a cr*p death somewhere else, especially within an industry that's not short of money
 

marmalade76

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This. The slaughterhouse is apparently not killing them all of clean and per proper practice. Some horses are being shot from from a distance, and some with other horses present. They are being caused unnecessary stress, pain and suffering.

'The footage recorded horses being shot together 26 times over the four days of filming.

On 91 occasions the cameras recorded a slaughterman shooting horses, not close up, but from a distance.'


I've no problem with well run slaughterhouses.

How on earth do poor practices still remain in the industry?

Horse racing: Thousands of racehorses killed in slaughterhouses https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-57881979
If this is the case, the problem is with the slaughter houses and not the racing industry.
 

Cheeky Chestnut

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In defence of the eventing young horse classes, I, as a really not very good amateur was able to take a horse broken in the spring of her 4 yr old year and do reasonably well at BYEH. It's no problem for pros to take a quality young horse and make it look very impressive at that level in a couple of months.

I'm not saying there aren't horses that are broken at 3 and doing these classes but there will be plenty there that haven't done a great deal at all.
No matter how anyone tried to justify it it more harm is being done to these young horses skeletally by doing these classes. The same is being said about racing at a young age. Horses don’t mature skeltally until 6.

I am not defending racing however if you are going to tar one then you need to tar them all.
 

TPO

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In defence of the eventing young horse classes, I, as a really not very good amateur was able to take a horse broken in the spring of her 4 yr old year and do reasonably well at BYEH. It's no problem for pros to take a quality young horse and make it look very impressive at that level in a couple of months.

I'm not saying there aren't horses that are broken at 3 and doing these classes but there will be plenty there that haven't done a great deal at all.
I think the crux is how many go on to live long, healthy lives?

It'll be on here somewhere but there were stats showing that many who won/placed in the classes didnt stay sound long term.

At the end of the day it all comes down to money and nothing will change while racing makes so much of it
 

splashgirl45

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If this is the case, the problem is with the slaughter houses and not the racing industry.
yes agreed, but there is so much money in racing the industry needs to take some responsibility and be proactive to ensure the well being of all racehorses and not just the successful ones....there are too few slaughterhouses and that needs to be addressed by someone so why not the industry!!!!
 

Polos Mum

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It's wrong that the slaughter house wasn't meeting appropriate standards and that should be fixed asap.
I would still think a badly managed last few hours is better than being given to any random do-gooder and left to suffer for years.

greyhound industry is the same but with less money - they used to leave dogs tied to fences to starve to death not worth a bullet.

Should we all be looking at other ways to prevent the high levels of wastage in the sport. If money is no object than top quality frozen semen, donor top quality mares eggs and then surrogates should be encourages to really up the quality of what is being breed then more chances of being successful / kept longer term. Less guesstimates in the outcome from average mares and average stallions.

I believe most of their career ending issues will be they were too slow not that they travelled them 100's of miles with a broken leg / ruptured tendon etc.
 

TheMule

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I can only speak from my own experience with this abattoir, I visit there for work (not to take horses to be slaughtered) and have been doing so for over 10 years.
Every horse day there are several visitors, normally from vet schools, research facilities etc collecting specimens for education and research. We are all allowed in, nothing is hidden and I've never observed anything that has made me question the humane treatment of the horses.
There is CCTV up permanently, there are at least 2 vets there at all times- 1 checking the horses as they arrive and before they go through to be shot and the other(s) inspecting the carcasses.
The man that shoots the horses is calm and patient with them- they get a lot of feral ponies through that have never had a head collar on and are understandably head shy so, whilst I have never witnessed it myself, I can see there would be situations where a shot from further away is necessary to avoid undue stress to the animal. The welfare standard for killing horses is much higher than for cows/ sheep/ pigs. The horses are not put in a chute as that is stressful for them but I imagine it would make a direct contact shot easier.

Would I take my own horses there? No. But only because I like mine done at home where there is zero stress, not because I would worry about welfare issues at the abattoir.
 

bonny

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I can only speak from my own experience with this abattoir, I visit there for work (not to take horses to be slaughtered) and have been doing so for over 10 years.
Every horse day there are several visitors, normally from vet schools, research facilities etc collecting specimens for education and research. We are all allowed in, nothing is hidden and I've never observed anything that has made me question the humane treatment of the horses.
There is CCTV up permanently, there are at least 2 vets there at all times- 1 checking the horses as they arrive and before they go through to be shot and the other(s) inspecting the carcasses.
The man that shoots the horses is calm and patient with them- they get a lot of feral ponies through that have never had a head collar on and are understandably head shy so, whilst I have never witnessed it myself, I can see there would be situations where a shot from further away is necessary to avoid undue stress to the animal. The welfare standard for killing horses is much higher than for cows/ sheep/ pigs. The horses are not put in a chute as that is stressful for them but I imagine it would make a direct contact shot easier.

Would I take my own horses there? No. But only because I like mine done at home where there is zero stress, not because I would worry about welfare issues at the abattoir.
You would be no good on a sensationalist panorama programme !
I suspect it’s going to be hard watching, any film of animals being killed is partly because we are not used to seeing it and partly because it’s easier just not to think about it.
I hope tonight’s programme doesn’t do any unnecessary harm to an industry that’s already struggling and I suspect it won’t come up with any answers.
 

scruffyponies

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Obviously the slaugterhouse is at fault, but there are a number of issues which this brings up which I think we could do something about.

There are too few experienced homes for OTTB horses (more so post hunting ban). Everything possible should be done to encourage and democratise rural equestrian sport to bring more riders to the level where this is credible option for them and the horse. That means more access and bridlepaths / public gallops.

I'm sure there are changes that could be made in racing to minimise 'wastage', including ending racing of very young horses. This will cost money, and racing is a huge business, but I think it has to come. I am against a blanket ban on 'workng' young horses. A young horse in a light cart for a short distance comes to no harm as part of a gentle education.

The loss of local abbatoirs has been a disaster for horses and small farmers. There should be one within 50 miles no matter where, even if they have to be publicly subsidised. It is not acceptable to have to transport stock further than that for slaughter, never mind horses.
 

mariew

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I can only speak from my own experience with this abattoir, I visit there for work (not to take horses to be slaughtered) and have been doing so for over 10 years.
Every horse day there are several visitors, normally from vet schools, research facilities etc collecting specimens for education and research. We are all allowed in, nothing is hidden and I've never observed anything that has made me question the humane treatment of the horses.
There is CCTV up permanently, there are at least 2 vets there at all times- 1 checking the horses as they arrive and before they go through to be shot and the other(s) inspecting the carcasses.
The man that shoots the horses is calm and patient with them- they get a lot of feral ponies through that have never had a head collar on and are understandably head shy so, whilst I have never witnessed it myself, I can see there would be situations where a shot from further away is necessary to avoid undue stress to the animal. The welfare standard for killing horses is much higher than for cows/ sheep/ pigs. The horses are not put in a chute as that is stressful for them but I imagine it would make a direct contact shot easier.

Would I take my own horses there? No. But only because I like mine done at home where there is zero stress, not because I would worry about welfare issues at the abattoir.
It's really nice to hear the other side, not just the side that is against animals being killed. It sounds like a well run abattoir from what you are saying. I also agree that there are far worse fates than a quick death. I hope the program doesn't do bad damage where this service is still needed.

I guess the contentious issue is travelling the horses a far distance, possibly in pain. I am guessing this comes down to finances sadly and lack of a close abattoir. And overbreeding in the horse world. Better a racehorse with a swift end than a coloured colt left dead in a ditch with its feet tied. (Which wasn't a single occurrence in South Essex)
 

Horse2018

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The horse where still alive for 30 minutes after being shot they didn’t shot them correctly and they broke a load of laws on how it’s meant to be done. To be honest there is way to many horses being breed for racing industry to terrible stallions and mares with issues the racing industry should be fines for wastage of horses .
 

scruffyponies

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Better a racehorse with a swift end than a coloured colt left dead in a ditch with its feet tied. (Which wasn't a single occurrence in South Essex)
If it makes you feel any better, the colt will have died elsewhere, quite possibly naturally. The feet are tied because the easiest way to 'fly tip' a dead horse (pre-loaded onto your flat bed) is to tie its legs to a tree so it drags off as you drive away. More likely a case of avoiding disposal costs than deliberate cruelty.
 

Tarragon

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I think it is going to be over sensationalised and rather selective in what it shows, which is a shame as it looks like some lessons need to be learned and some bad practises exposed and dealt with, which may be lost in a knee-jerk back-lash reaction to the racing industry as a whole.
 

TheMule

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Hopefully!! From what I hear this one has a pretty bad reputation since it was sold.
It wasn’t sold?
The horse where still alive for 30 minutes after being shot they didn’t shot them correctly and they broke a load of laws on how it’s meant to be done. To be honest there is way to many horses being breed for racing industry to terrible stallions and mares with issues the racing industry should be fines for wastage of horses .
That's not possible- the horses are shot and immediately winched up by their hind legs and their throats are cut to bleed them out. Sorry if that is too graphic, but it's just not possible for a horse to be alive for 30mins after being shot there.
 

Caol Ila

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Interesting post, Mule. Good counterbalance.

I noticed this in the Guardian write-up of the program: "The programme, titled The Dark Side Of Horse Racing, is based on footage supplied by the animal rights group Animal Aid, which campaigns for an outright ban on horse racing and an end to the slaughter of animals for food."

Given they clearly have an agenda and they provided all the footage, how reliable is it? Could they have slipped in the odd bit from dodgy slaughterhouses in Eastern Europe or wherever? I don't know. BBC should validate and fact check, but they want people to watch their programs instead of Netflix, so I wouldn't count on it.
 

ester

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As I used to be local/worked with people who used to collect samples from Potters for the vet school they had always had a good, professional reputation.

The story that came out last year re. the lame mare being left with both Drurys and Potters being involved upset me. I couldn't quite work out why they were going from the somerset site to wiltshire in the first place).

Personally I think the ££ of the racing industry should ensure PTS and disposal for their horses.
 

Pearlsasinger

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Obviously the slaugterhouse is at fault, but there are a number of issues which this brings up which I think we could do something about.


The loss of local abbatoirs has been a disaster for horses and small farmers. There should be one within 50 miles no matter where, even if they have to be publicly subsidised. It is not acceptable to have to transport stock further than that for slaughter, never mind horses.

Absolutely this.

We are very fortunate locally that the family-run slaughterhouse that used to be a thriving well-run business became an Equine Crematorium when it had to close as an abbatoir.
 

Old school

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Rabatsa, you are 100% correct. But I believe if you own a horse, give it a dignified end of life.

My husband whose business is slaughtering animals was at a factory where horses were slaughtered. He came home fairly distressed after seeing multiple blue bins filled with hooves that had shoes on. It was the end of the P2P season here. He could not get his head around how many obviously healthy animals were just 'factoried'. Here in ROI people nearly take offence when you suggest humane disposal over the factory. 'What about the €500/€600' they say. To own a horse in training, and simply bin it for whatever reason, is appalling. This practice deserves to be called out. The said factory was run superbly. The lairage bedding was clean and 3 feet deep. Lovely and snug. The staff were extremely experienced and fully licensed and authorised to do their job. It is Joe Bloggs horse owner that is the problem, not the factory.

Really looking forward to massive changes over the next 30 years in how we treat our animals. It will be difficult to adjust, but it will be worth it. FWIW, am a meat eater....of our own produce.
 
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scruffyponies

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It used to be the case that you would be paid a couple of hundred pounds for a horse at the abbatoir gate. This led to unscrupulous people 'rehoming' loved pets with the promise of retirement, taking them straight for slaughter. It also meant that some horses were prematurely euthanased for financial reasons, especially if they were hard to sell (old injuries, behaviour etc).

Now because it costs, and because owners have to face 'the deed' in person, horses are kept beyond use, health and happiness, often in misery, and passed around for years before the inevitable.

Actually I think it used to be better for the horse. It was certainly better for the horse population.
 

ester

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Did anyone else see the online response last week to the very successful australian racehorse selling at auction for 10k? (IIRC)
 

tristar

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Interesting post, Mule. Good counterbalance.

I noticed this in the Guardian write-up of the program: "The programme, titled The Dark Side Of Horse Racing, is based on footage supplied by the animal rights group Animal Aid, which campaigns for an outright ban on horse racing and an end to the slaughter of animals for food."

Given they clearly have an agenda and they provided all the footage, how reliable is it? Could they have slipped in the odd bit from dodgy slaughterhouses in Eastern Europe or wherever? I don't know. BBC should validate




ct check, but they want people to watch their programs instead of Netflix, so I wouldn't count on it.
we have already seen dodgy s h in the uk closed and the footage, no need to go abroad

and other first hand reports none horsey, ie halal other animals, we need to sort our own backyard out really, seriously, quickly
 

tristar

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the race horse fujiyama crest the seventh horse ridden by frankie dettori to win in one day, was sold on, i think for 60,000 then ended up at malvern and frankie bought it to save it from the meatman, home for life

feted and fawned over by millions on the day, soon forgotten rapid spiral into obscurity and a dodgy end, saved at the last minute

even successful horses are not safe
 

fankino04

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It wasn’t sold?


That's not possible- the horses are shot and immediately winched up by their hind legs and their throats are cut to bleed them out. Sorry if that is too graphic, but it's just not possible for a horse to be alive for 30mins after being shot there.
Sorry I thought there was something at the time everyone was getting upset over the young Welsh ponies going there that potters had said it wasn't theirs anymore and obviously they had always had a good reputation.
 

fankino04

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I do find myself very conflicted regards horse racing in that I really enjoy it but think the age they are started is wrong, some of the yards don't treat them well (whilst others treat them like royalty) and the wastage is ridiculous. I just have no idea what the answer is, if there were less low end meetings would less get bred or would there be even more wastage? What could you do to ensure that breeders make provisions for the horses after training? After all they probably aren't the owner at that point but it is the number of TBs bred that leads to the wastage....
 

Birker2020

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What about riding them at 18 months?
I know I watched a 2 year old race at Newbury on Saturday morning TV, just happened to flick over to it, they literally had foal tails. Imagine getting your toddler to run a marathon.

Such a bloody shame, half of them will be knackered by the time they are five or six.
 
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