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know all
19 Jul 21 01:30
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Date Joined: 13 Dec 03
| Topic/replies: 2,993 | Blogger: know all's blog
At least 4,000 racehorses have been dispatched to the slaughterhouse in Britain and Ireland since 2019, an investigation has found.

Some of the sport’s most successful horses were among those being put down at one of the UK’s biggest abattoirs, where undercover filming revealed that rules protecting animals from unnecessary suffering were being ignored.

Three of them, including High Expectations, had been trained by shamed trainer Gordon Elliott, the suspended three-time Grand National winner, at his stables in Ireland.

Pictured, race horse High Expectations, who had been trained by shamed trainer Gordon Elliott, the suspended three-time Grand National winner, at his stables in Ireland    +2
Pictured, race horse High Expectations, who had been trained by shamed trainer Gordon Elliott, the suspended three-time Grand National winner, at his stables in Ireland

Elliott was banned from racing in Britain in March after he was photographed sitting on a dead horse, holding a mobile phone to his ear and making a victory sign.

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Dene Stansall, horse racing consultant at Animal Aid – the campaign group which set up hidden cameras at the Drury and Sons abattoir in England for the BBC’s Panorama investigation – said: ‘We wanted to see what was actually happening there. When we looked at the footage, we were absolutely astounded at the sheer volume of young thoroughbreds.’

The covert cameras were filming at the end of 2019 and the start of 2020 and captured dozens of former racehorses, mostly from Ireland, being slaughtered.

Elliott told Panorama the three horses had retired from racing due to injury and were not under his care or ownership when they were killed.

‘None of those animals were sent by me to the abattoir,’ he said.

The investigation found rules meant to protect horses from a cruel death appeared to be ignored at the abattoir. Regulations state every effort should be made to ensure a rapid death and horses should not be killed in sight of each other.

But the footage revealed that on 91 occasions, horses were shot from yards away, and animals were shot together 26 times over four days of filming. After watching the footage, equine expert Professor Daniel Mills said: ‘It doesn’t look like the horse is even stunned. You can see it’s turning its head. It seems to have got some control actually over its head and neck.

‘Taking a shot from a distance at a horse, to me, that’s completely out of order. If you’re going to euthanise a horse, you’ve got to get a bullet in the right place.

‘If that’s representative of how they’re being killed, then we’ve got a really serious problem.’

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He added: ‘The regulations are that an animal should not be slaughtered in sight of another.

‘A gunshot going off is going to be startling, seeing another horse suddenly drop, these are all going to be very distressing for a horse in this situation.’

Many of the horses had travelled more than 350 miles by road and sea and were suffering career-ending injuries.

Veterinary expert Dr Hannah Donovan, who also reviewed the footage, told Panorama: ‘The 350 miles potentially carrying an injury is not a humane process. This is unnecessary suffering.


‘The bottom line is these horses, if they are to be euthanised, could and should be euthanised at home.’

Drury and Sons said: ‘We take great care to maintain high welfare conditions and do not accept any form of animal abuse. All horses are humanely destroyed and on occasions where issues do occur, we take swift action to review and rectify.’

Horse Racing Ireland said it placed great importance on the welfare of horses in the industry. It did not respond to questions regarding the number of racehorses being slaughtered.

The British Horseracing Authority said it had demonstrated ‘a clear commitment to improving already high standards of care for racehorses... before, during and after racing’.

It added that it would ‘consider carefully any issues raised’.

nPanorama: The Dark Side of Horse Racing, is on BBC One at 8.30pm tonight.

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Replies: 19
By:
know all
When: 19 Jul 21 01:32
fk shocking
By:
dpm
When: 19 Jul 21 08:06
So what should we do with these horses which are too lame or not able to retrain to become riding horses due to temperament, nobody wants to ask that question do they.
By:
CROPSICK
When: 19 Jul 21 08:18
I wonder how many healthy dogs are put down every year
By:
fairweather
When: 19 Jul 21 08:33
Maybe the show should have been called 'The Abbattoir industry's Dark Secrets'. Im struggling to see why poor practice in an abbatoir should be blamed on horseracing. Maybe there's more to come tonight though..
By:
leif
When: 19 Jul 21 09:00
"We've got some incredibly hard-working, passionate people but there is a real lack of understanding across the sport about what the BHA does. It's about getting our own house in order."

That was a recent quote from BHB head 'Grafter' Harrington.

Another PR disaster following the Elliott incident makes her job even harder by the time the public watch this upcoming programme.

She'll be in overdrive trying to persuade the public and horseracing's sponsors that everything is being rolled out to ensure the welfare of horses, dead or alive, is at the forefront.

You have to feel for the owners and stable staff if they were unaware that their charges were less than humanely euthanised at the end of their lives. Possible coverage of people taking pot shots at horses without stunning them first is not going to land well.


Grafter's week off to a bad start.Plain
By:
elisjohn
When: 19 Jul 21 09:04
i read or saw something last year , really dont remember the trainer involved but he was a top name, anyway he was showing a owner or someone wanting to put horses with this trainer, and he was being  shown  around  this immaculate  top class yard, stables , eventually he saw in the far distance some horses in the field , skinny unkept in a terrible state, so he asked the trainer about the horses , trainer replied , " oh theyre unpaid bills "
By:
know all
When: 19 Jul 21 09:27
most of these poor horses are running for peanuts as we get more and more races for the bookmakers the bha are to blame big style, low grade **** races a overpopulation of horses and races imo
By:
shoodacoodadidnt
When: 19 Jul 21 09:46
exactly dpm - what DO you want to do with them - maybe a military ceremony and buried at Sea with a 20 gun salute?! - FFS - you know I don't even care how you bury/cremate/dissect me when I'm dead - what is REALLY the issue?
By:
ericster
When: 19 Jul 21 09:55
There's nothing to see here, it's all just another day at the office.
By:
1st time poster
When: 19 Jul 21 10:13
so in an informed debate on a racing channel chappers just 3,998 horses out when he said i,.m sure 1 or 2 horses will be mistreated
By:
ericster
When: 19 Jul 21 11:09
So many young horses, rejected because of they're physical attributes, or lack of, that don't even make it to the sale-room.
And yes CROPSTICK, [dogs].
By:
Facts
When: 19 Jul 21 11:23
4000 horses allegedly slaughtered. Where does it state in the documentary ALL were ' mistreated '
By:
Facts
When: 19 Jul 21 11:27
Cheap, salacious reporting by BBC. Shock horror stories bybAnimal Aid in desperate bid to get ratings up.
All they're doing is putting themselves on par with the likes of C5. ( apologies to C5).

Will not be watching.
By:
know all
When: 19 Jul 21 11:46
Our great sport ruined by the bha sh>t low rate races put on for bookmakers to make them millions, as ever a cover up will emerge the bha wants taking to the slaughterhouse
By:
sageform
When: 19 Jul 21 12:19
Of course some horses have to be euthanised and if the welfare rules are enforced, they are sufficient but 2 questions arise from the brief outline we have so far.
1. Why do so many of these horses come from Ireland to a UK abattoir? Don't they have enough approved abattoirs there?
2. What happens to the carcases? Are they exported to countries where eating horse meat is legal such as Belgium and France or does it all go into pet food?
We are now outside the EU so could ban the movement of live horses for slaughter from Ireland and ban the sale of horse meat to countries where it is still used for human food.
By:
sageform
When: 19 Jul 21 12:20
know all, the BHA have no authority over Irish trainers.
By:
jackdaw
When: 19 Jul 21 13:37
The BBC did their usual trick of announcing this as 'news' on their main bulletin on R4 at 8am this morning, only to go on to say that it was the subject of tonight's Panorama ie advertising their own programmes.
By:
know all
When: 19 Jul 21 13:45
know all, the BHA have no authority over Irish trainers

i think we know that the irish iha is doing the same all p-ss in the same pot
By:
Early Morning Riser
When: 19 Jul 21 14:57
Not many ex racehorses for sale for under £4000 in the horse ads, my cousin has been looking for one this last 4weeks and nothing going for under £2k.
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