Australia butcher race horses in mass killings raising protests | Sunday Observer

Australia butcher race horses in mass killings raising protests

SYDNEY AFP: Australia’s thoroughbred industry was reeling Friday after an investigation revealed the mass, and sometimes inhumane, killing of thousands of retired horses, with their meat destined for human and pet consumption.

While the slaughter of racehorses is not illegal in Australia, a two-year undercover probe by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation alleged the practice was far more widespread than acknowledged.

According to the broadcaster, around 8,500 horses are retired from the track each year.

The industry insists less than one percent end up in an abattoir or knackery, with some states, including New South Wales, requiring all retired racehorses be rehomed.

But Paul McGreevy, a professor of animal behaviour and welfare science at the University of Sydney who has been studying thoroughbreds for 25 years, said around 4,000 horses “disappeared” each year.

“We’re talking about destroying animals on an industrial scale,” he said.

“We’re seeing animals suffering. I don’t think anyone in the industry can defend this.” The Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses said they had been monitoring one abattoir north of Brisbane for two years and claimed it slaughtered 500 horses a month.