Panorama tonight - racing industry and slaughterhouses

Birker2020

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You're kidding, right? So it's ok to travel a horse on three legs from Ireland so that the meat is fresher??
It's awful, I refused to travel mine to be PTS at the vets as he was in pain which was kept at bay for the most part towards the end but travelling would have caused him undue pain and suffering. Humane destruction should always be at home.
I saw the footage of the grey with the broken foot waiting overnight to be pts and the bay was left a week in the lairage and thought how dreadfully sad.

Something is wrong somewhere, I just feel sorry for those poor, poor horses that were shot at from a distance by that t*at of a bloke.
And I feel dreadfully sorry for anyone with beloved pet horses that have gone to Drury's as they will always be questioning in what manner their horses were killed.
 

Abby-Lou

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Tops spec Vet of the Year, Natalie McGoldrick has just written a brave post on Facebook saying how much she hated her time as a vet, in slaughterhouses. The horses were all terrified, without exemption, and so were cows and sheep.
I wish this was banned, and a humane destruction at home was compulsory.
Not all slaughter houses are the same, when we take one of our cattle to be killed for the freezer, we drop the tail board the heifer goes straight in to the kill pen, I take comfort by the time I am a mile down the road the animal has been dispatched, the on site vet is strict and the workers are professional and show compassion.
 

littleshetland

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Yes, you are right - an awful lot of people wouldn't even think about the colour of the horses in the programme BUT those people who need to take this seriously in order to push for change, i.e the racing industry will notice and will think that the quality of research etc is laughable because of these silly, cheap errors. It is about credibility for an informed audience and that does matter in terms of impact.
But surely the people in the racing industry know and have known for a long time about what really goes one and yet nothing has changed for years.
 

Quigleyandme

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Ireland Dispatch. A government select committee was already due to sit today to discuss doping in the horse racing industry; specifically Jim Bolger who is currently banned for four years for this offence. The committee will now also discuss the Panorama documentary because, and I imagine only because, the Irish government provides generous financial support to the industry. €77,000,000 of tax payer support in 2021 most of which is used as prize money which will clearly have a direct bearing on the sort of abuses we have been discussing here. Before I came to live here in 2019, so I don‘t know the detail, there was a similar expose about the woeful welfare standards in greyhound racing, also government sponsored. It caused quite a stink at the time but I don’t know if it changed anything in the longer term.
 

rabatsa

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Cheaper to travel it live, no refrigeration.
Meat on the hook takes up a lot less space, you are not travelling waste material. I do not know the killing out % of horses but it will be no more than 60% so 40% of what is being moved is to go as paid for disposal. Meat cannot drop dead in transit and so be unfit to go on the hook.

"People's normal pet horses suffer the most" You honestly believe that?!
In a lot of cases I do believe that pet horses suffer more than racehorses. At least in racing people notice if horses are lame and have large open wounds. I have seen crippled, aged, pet ponies with maggots as the owners only ever looked over a gate a couple of times a week.

There are good pet owners but there are also a great deal with no knowledge who think because they are in a field with grass everything is ok.
 

meleeka

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But there is also a pistol that can be used legally https://www.hsa.org.uk/methods/free-bullet-firearms
Was he using a shotgun or a rifle? it does seem such a clumsy way of doing it.

Not all slaughter houses are the same, when we take one of our cattle to be killed for the freezer, we drop the tail board the heifer goes straight in to the kill pen, I take comfort by the time I am a mile down the road the animal has been dispatched, the on site vet is strict and the workers are professional and show compassion.
That’s where I think the industry has a lot to answer for. Those horses were given to a (well known) dealer presumably so the owners/trainers can wash their hands of the problem. He then sends them over from Ireland where they are kept in pens for a week or so before being transported and left overnight at Drury’s. If they are lucky they don’t see any of their friends get shot first. That’s a huge difference to you being responsible and escorting the animal so you know it’s end is quick and dignified.
 

ester

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Meat on the hook takes up a lot less space, you are not travelling waste material. I do not know the killing out % of horses but it will be no more than 60% so 40% of what is being moved is to go as paid for disposal. Meat cannot drop dead in transit and so be unfit to go on the hook.
.
True, I'd forgotten that.
 

Marigold4

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Meat on the hook takes up a lot less space, you are not travelling waste material. I do not know the killing out % of horses but it will be no more than 60% so 40% of what is being moved is to go as paid for disposal. Meat cannot drop dead in transit and so be unfit to go on the hook.



In a lot of cases I do believe that pet horses suffer more than racehorses. At least in racing people notice if horses are lame and have large open wounds. I have seen crippled, aged, pet ponies with maggots as the owners only ever looked over a gate a couple of times a week.

There are good pet owners but there are also a great deal with no knowledge who think because they are in a field with grass everything is ok.
Meat on the hook takes up a lot less space, you are not travelling waste material. I do not know the killing out % of horses but it will be no more than 60% so 40% of what is being moved is to go as paid for disposal. Meat cannot drop dead in transit and so be unfit to go on the hook.



In a lot of cases I do believe that pet horses suffer more than racehorses. At least in racing people notice if horses are lame and have large open wounds. I have seen crippled, aged, pet ponies with maggots as the owners only ever looked over a gate a couple of times a week.

There are good pet owners but there are also a great deal with no knowledge who think because they are in a field with grass everything is ok.
 

Marigold4

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Meat on the hook takes up a lot less space, you are not travelling waste material. I do not know the killing out % of horses but it will be no more than 60% so 40% of what is being moved is to go as paid for disposal. Meat cannot drop dead in transit and so be unfit to go on the hook.



In a lot of cases I do believe that pet horses suffer more than racehorses. At least in racing people notice if horses are lame and have large open wounds. I have seen crippled, aged, pet ponies with maggots as the owners only ever looked over a gate a couple of times a week.

There are good pet owners but there are also a great deal with no knowledge who think because they are in a field with grass everything is ok.
I have never seen anything like that. Everyone I know looks after their horses pretty well. I think cases of unattended maggot infested wounds might be a small minority. RSPCA or another charity can and should be called to deal with such treatment. It doesn't excuse what goes on behind closed doors in the racing industry by rich people for monetary gain.
 

Michen

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Just watched it. I'm furious, apalled, disgusted. Racing has a lot to answer for IMO.

And WTF is with the vet that just watched them shoot horses at a distance? God knows what kind of vet ends up doing that sort of job anyway, albiet of course someone has to, but to let such blatant abuse just slide..
 

Goldenstar

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Someone once said to me when she heard one of my horses had been shot at home that I did not love my horses as much as she loved hers as she could bear to do that
This is why I can, having your own horse shot at home is distressing and heartbreaking etc etc.
When I went out last night to have a a little cry into Sky’s mane I was crying for departed friends but for those horses on a slow route to slaughter I could do nothing to help .
 

Lipglosspukka

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I don't think it's fair to say pet ponies suffer more.

I believe most owners have their horses best intentions at heart. They are mollycoddled. Realistically most are in light work and other than often being a bit porky, they don't really want for anything do they? Fly sprays, sparkly hoof oils, fly masks, endless supplements, every weight rug you can think of. We dote on our horses don't we?
 

humblepie

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I fully appreciate that saying one thing is bad in one area doesn't make another area right but horses from many different disciplines will have similar lifestyles re the feeding regime and the worst piece of riding I have seen which still sticks in my mind was a well known dressage rider/trainer on their own horse when I was the yard for a clinic. Talk about socking a horse in the mouth with a double bridle on and booting it whilst wearing serious sized spurs - and that was whilst there were outsiders on the yard.
 

luckyoldme

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But surely the people in the racing industry know and have known for a long time about what really goes one and yet nothing has changed for years.
This is what shocks me the most.
I honestly thought everyone knew that this was the story.
I spoke to grooms in the 80s who loaded horses at yards for the slaughter house.it broke their hearts.it's just not possible to use the vast amount of horses for such a short amount of time then care for them for the rest of their natural lives.
I thought this was just a sad fact of life that everyone accepted and that I was a soft shite for feeling so sad about it.
Does anyone honestly think that now that owners and trainers have supposedly just found that it will change.
They will ride the tiny little storm of the moment then back to business as usual.
Money is king
 

milliepops

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I have a rehomed one.... :rolleyes:;) Mine came straight from the trainer and despite having been turned away for a good while his teeth and worming etc were up to date. I was pleasantly surprised by that and also the efforts they made to secure suitable homes. Unfortunately he was lame and is also terminally broken... perhaps he would have been better as a pts candidate rather earlier rather than a rehomer 😔

I'm actually less bothered about racehorses ending up at the abattoir, in my mind i find production of animals for meat to be as unpleasant as the wastage in racing but appreciate that's a minority view.

the bigger problem to my mind is more about the abattoir apparently being so deficient in their standards.
 

TPO

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I find it really strange how people can compartmentalise slaughter houses for horses bad, no animal deserves that end away from home and slaughter houses for sheep/pigs/cows is acceptable because we eat them.

Pigs are more intelligent than horses and have a greater understanding of what is going in at an abattoir than any other animal. Unsurprisingly sheep are the least intelligent but therefore the least stressed by the process.

I've never worked in racing but I've been on a lot (!) of yards and pts at an abattoir would be a kindness compared to what these "loved" horses had to endure.
 

cauda equina

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How many of us send our horses to an abattoir at the end? Not many, probably
And how many of us can afford to have a racehorse?

I find the idea of horses being processed through an abattoir more upsetting, even if done humanely, than other animals because (most) horses have been trained to have a relationship with their human handlers in a way that farm animals are not
They have been brought up to trust us and we should repay that trust by giving them a quiet end
 

littleshetland

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On Leisure horses I was a welfare officer and yes I definitely think more leisure horses suffer than racehorses .
Lots of people are wearing rose tinted spectacles in that respect .
I agree but am I naive in thinking that individuals who own horses can be dealt with on an individual basis? Perhaps through education or legislation...? The problem with the racing industry is this daily holocaust for animals is happening on an industrial scale. It's like a huge machine chewing up animals and spitting them out.
 

Laafet

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I didn't watch it but can someone confirm when these horses came over from Ireland because if they came over after January 1st, they would have been seen by a Government vet for their health papers in Ireland and this is exactly what the new rules are meant to stop?! And as there are a lot more equine licenced slaughterhouses in Ireland than here, it seems strange to pay all the money to get them over on the ferry to bring them to the UK.
I am saddened by it all, Racing always gets picked on and everyone seems to forget huge amounts of money from racing go into developments in veterinary care etc for the benefit of all horses. Over production is a huge problem in all corners of the equine world too. We need to tackle that first. Brexit has ironically helped in decreasing the amount of Thoroughbreds put in foal this year which helps.
The BHA has some interesting stats which surprised even me -

The BHA also issued some data in an attempt to give context to the discussion around aftercare of racehorses, noting that around 20,000 individual thoroughbreds race each year, making up less than three per cent of the total horse population of Britain. It noted that 9,007 horses are now registered on the Retraining of Racehorses website and more horses took part in ROR dressage competitions in 2019 than ran in steeplechases, by 4,148 to 2,965.

So we are going in the right direction on that front.

As for the practice in the Slaughterhouse - that really needs looking at. For a start, in the tiny bit I did see they were using a shot gun. I have never seen that in all the horses that I have witnessed being put down. When we put the broodmares down the vet shot them with a pistol with a silencer on. The local knackerman does exactly the same but without a silencer. It all seems very wrong what was going on there.

For what it's worth, I do think there are worse fates than death for horses, especially ex racers that end up being passed about. However that death should be a respectful one as possible. I didn't see many horses put down/die when I worked in racing. I can count the amount of horses on one hand. In fact it was in Australia I saw the most, one drowned in a swimming pool on exercise and two collapsed with heart attacks after barrier trials. I saw more when I was in stud work, around 10 mares in over 100 plus foalings, that was not at all pleasant but not one suffered for a long time, the vet was there quickly and the decision made swiftly. All the racehorses were done on the yard they lived on, the only time I have seen horses go for slaughter was from the Riding School I worked in as a kid.
 
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windand rain

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"People's normal pet horses suffer the most" You honestly believe that?!
Actually I do think pet horses suffer much more than racehorses. How many over 18 year old horses do you see for sale, how many companion only due to injury, how many much loved oldies for extortionate amounts of money because sonny is going to university etc it is far more than a few hundred that go from uk yards to slaughter. I do think on this site we are preaching to the converted but I did watch it I did think that some of the short term practices were appalling but they were short lived compared to the suffering of many that lasts for years sometimes decades in homes who cannot bear to PTS their "loved" horse
I have always kept mine from cradle to grave unless I pretty much know their new owners might not always be the case now as they might well outlive me but I have done my best.
The horses from Ireland could and should be stopped. The biggest failure in modern times has been the closure of the abattoirs that were local to every market town so no animals travelled far from home to the meat market.
 

Lammy

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I agree but am I naive in thinking that individuals who own horses can be dealt with on an individual basis? Perhaps through education or legislation...? The problem with the racing industry is this daily holocaust for animals is happening on an industrial scale. It's like a huge machine chewing up animals and spitting them out.
I understand that you’re upset but I think the comparisons of horse racing to slavery and the Holocaust is way over the line and you need to stop.
 

I'm Dun

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I'm finding the multiple social media posts stating 'but not our bit of racing'/ but look I have a rehomed one a bit tedious this morning. I'd much rather those people acknowledged the issues and became part of the solution.
I posted about mine. I did it before watching it as I wanted non horsey friends to know that not all race horses end up being slaughtered.

There is lots about racing I dont like, but how do we become part of the solution? Is there anything we can do to stop 2yr olds racing? To make sure something is done about the wastage? To try and bring in better living conditions for racehorses in training?

If there is something I would love to be involved!
 
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