Racing industry responds to 7:30 report on horse slaughter

Racing NSW has responded to a report on 7:30 last night which revealed what really goes on when racehorses’ lives end in knackeries and abattoirs.

The dark side of the horse racing industry” showed widespread slaughter of racehorses for pet food and human consumption at abattoirs and knackeries in New South Wales and Queensland.

The undercover investigation, which included hidden cameras, revealed disturbing treatment of horses at one abattoir before and during slaughter.

The slaughter of racehorses is not illegal in Australia but it is against Racing NSW policy and rules, which state that all retired racehorses should be rehomed.

Racing NSW Chief Executive, Peter V’landys condemned the alleged abhorrent actions of the Meramist Queensland Abattoir , which was identified by ABC.

Racing NSW has called upon the Queensland Government and its Department of Primary Industries to take the strongest possible action against the alleged perpetrators.

Mr V’landys said, “Racing NSW is the only State in Australia that has a Rule of Racing that prohibits horses from being sent to a knackery or abattoir if they have been predominantly domiciled in the NSW Thoroughbred Racing Industry. Further, in NSW it is illegal for an abattoir to process a horse for human consumption, unlike other States.”

In a statement, Queensland Racing Integrity Commissioner said, “The Queensland Racing Integrity Commission has responsibility for the welfare of animals currently involved in racing in Queensland. The primary focus of the Commission is to safeguard the welfare of racing animals during their racing career. The Commission advocates strongly for the welfare of all racing animals and invites the racing community and the public to report racing animal welfare concerns for investigation.”

Full statements, from Racing NSW, Queensland Racing Integrity Commission, Harness Racing Australia, Racing Victoria and Racing Australia -and the original 7:30 report- are available at ABC.


  1. This story made me sick. Many people are not aware of ( or don’t want to know about) the dark side of the racing industry. It’s not all champagne and pretty dresses. The reality is, It’s a cruel industry with little respect for horses and all about the gambling.
    I haven’t supported the Melbourne Cup for many years.

    • The champagne and pretty dresses are the smokescreen, which is getting ever denser, and is aimed at the pleasure-seeking section of young people who don’t yet have the maturity to consider the cost of their entertainment. The more the depravity of animal-gambling is exposed, the more money will be invested into the “experience”.

      Already, the industry is trying to buy off the outrage with promises of a register of horses, Weak.

  2. Horses are livestock there is nothing wrong with using them for pet food, and it’s make economic and environmental sense to use the resource. The problem is that the knackeries were violating laws for animal handling and slaughter, which there is a history of because as they aren’t producing food for humans they aren’t subject to as tight regulation and inspections and abattoirs.

  3. Ban all forms of racing and closely monitor pet sales. Humanity will never control inhumane treatment of animals for profit. Any person found mistreating any animal, particularly those in it for profit, needs to be euthanised.

  4. Mankind have got to stop treating any animal as a disposable item. If any company is found to be mistreating any animal it should be closed down immediately. Don’t blame a worker because this behaviour is being tolerated in many meat industries. There are too many animals being killed, that includes horses and pets, bought for profit or pleasure then disregarded. The best thing to happen for life on earth is for mankind to be erased from the planet. No more horse bets for me.

  5. Why is Peter telling qld racing to pull there head in? The abattoir in western sydney was featured. It’s also in your backyard. he is probably annoyed because people are talking about this and not tomorrows race.
    But it’s not only the disgusting treatment of these animals, it’s also the way these lowlifes are talking to them. Abusing them, swearing at them. I shudder the pain these beautiful animals copped when they received the treatment.
    It breaks your heart the way some people treat animals.

  6. What I’m gobsmacked by is why this is surprising to so many people, it’s something that’s been known for many years, it’s not even particularly hidden. Did people really think that the thousands upon thousands of failed race horses that pass through stables every year, all go on to live a happy life munching grass in a paddock somewhere?

  7. Absolutely disgusting and I am equally appalled by the response from the industry today. Simply burying their heads in the sand and passing the blame onto others.

    Disappointing to see that Ch7 are going ahead with tomorrow’s races.

  8. This behavior is disgusting! How can you treat these beautiful animals, who have done nothing against you? All they do is provide love! It’s very sickening and must be outlawed!

    Justice must be delivered for these poor, defenseless, little animals, who deserve love and safe care!

  9. Wow, only 2 comments here. I’m still shaking after seeing the dreadful cruel and inhumane treatment of healthy, young horses. Bad enough that they are killed despite the regulations, but the mongrels doing it are laughing and swearing as they kick dying horses in the head. One can only pray for karma.
    And those responsible for enforcing the regulations? “We didn’t know. We are shocked.”
    Inept or lying. You guess.

  10. I always assumed it was a joke about turning a race horse in to pet food… dam. it’s about time we stopped using animals for sport and entertainment

    • The sad fact is that with sportsbet type gambling the way it is horse racing will continue in some form somewhere in the world, so if by some law racing ceased in Australia, then NZ, Hong Kong, China or the Middle East, Europe will be used by Australian horse owner syndicates to continue their business, gambling is just not going to stop because of the humane concern for a few horses.
      Politicians both state and federal would see it as a fiscal disaster to lose their revenue from racing as they would from any proper regulation imposed on Pokies and Casinos to try to lessen the social issues of problem gambling.

      • That is true, but it would be nice to see Australia, for a change, rise to a higher level instead of saying “well, everyone else is doing it…”. We can’t control the ethical behaviour of other countries but we don’t have to act unethically ourselves.

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