Horse Racing, the hidden wastage of Horses in Australia

Tens of thousands of horses in Australia are slaughtered every year. The Horse Racing Industry’s dirty little secret.

Out of sight and out of mind for most people, thousands of horses are slaughtered in Australian abattoirs and knackeries each year — with many exported for human consumption. Recent revelations of horse meat being mislabelled as beef in Europe have cast a spotlight here on an industry few Australians ever hear about.

A young racehorse injures his knee while training; a brood mare stops turning out ‘winners’; a sweet young filly can’t keep up on the track — their fates are all but sealed. For thousands of horses exiting the Australian racing industry every year, there are two likely scenarios: pet food or human food.

With the majority of Australians repulsed by the thought of eating horse meat — those horses slaughtered in Australia for human consumption supply an export market to countries throughout Europe and Asia.

Behind the glamour of the races is the reality that many more horses are bred than can actually race and win. In the pursuit of prize money, racehorses are treated as disposable. The racing industry calls this ‘wastage’. See for yourself below, then click here to take action.


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W.A State Election, Colin Barnett – A vote for Horse Meat!

WA Liberal Party - A vote for Horse Meat!

Western Australians go to the Polls on March 9th 2013.

What will your vote do for Horse Welfare in W.A?

Premier Colin Barnett and his State Liberal Government in Western Australia, are responsible for introducing Horse Meat to the Australian Plate. Horse Meat was banned for Human Consumption in Australia, however Minister Terry Redman granted his long time “associate” Butcher Vince Gareffa a license to sell Horse Meat for Human Consumption in Australia in 2010.

The Barnett Liberal Government have a poor record for Animal Welfare issues in W.A, disbanding the Independent Animal Welfare Unit and its successful Inspectorate, handing all responsibility to the Department of Agriculture – creating Self Regulation of Animal Welfare in Agriculture (Fox in charge of the hen house).

The Barnett Liberal Government ceased mandatory reporting for Animal Testing in W.A!

The Barnett Liberal Government approved cruel Ariel culls (shooting at random from a helicopter) for our Wild Brumby Horses in the Kimberley in W.A.

The Barnett Liberal Government introduced a plan to kill protected and endangered Great White Sharks in W.A – recently one was seen swimming offshore, and that was enough for the Government to issue an order to kill the Shark. This plan goes against Marine Biologists and Scientists views and Shark Experts and Conservation Groups work to save and protect this Shark. Humans kill over 73 million Sharks a year and NO moves have been made to assess WHY these Sharks are coming closer to shore and encountering us humans in their territory.

The Barnett Liberal Government have approved Gas Hubs in North W.A in pristine environments, on sacred traditional lands, in marine areas so precious such as Whale Nurseries. The Environmental impact will be detremental to this area, to the animals and marine life of this area in W.A.



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Serving BUTE for dinner. Horse meat, cruel with a deadly dash of chemicals.

Liberal Minister Terry Redman approved Horse Meat for Human Consumption in Western Australia. Horses are NOT bred for human consumption, over 50,000 ex race industry horses are sent to slaughter alone EVERY YEAR in Australia, the rest are mostly unwanted pets and victims of neglect.

“The Prince of Horse Flesh” Butcher Vince Gareffa and Minister Redman refuse to name the source of the unfortunate horses they kill for human consumption, however it is 99% certain that horse meat contains the toxic chemical BUTE – below are just some of the side effects and reasons Humans should NEVER ingest this chemical.

Liberal Minister for Agriculture Terry Redman

Cruelty and Horse Welfare aside, can the Minister assure us that this Meat is SAFE for Human Consumption and 100% Bute Free? PLEASE ASK HIM TODAY, Contact his Office and DEMAND this information:

more contact information:

Horse Meat - BUTE

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Must Read – A letter from S Lloyd to Minister Terry Redman who approved the Slaughter of Horses for Human Consumption

Horse Slaughter for Human Consumption in Australia

Letter from S Lloyd to Minister Terry Redman Regarding his decision to approve the slaughter of Horses for Human Consumption in W.A:

Dear Mr Redman.

Before you ignore this as another “Please don’t eat the pretty ponies because we love them” letter, I beg of you to grab a coffee, sit down, and actually read what I am about to say – I promise it will only be full of hard facts that you should take into serious consideration while deciding whether or not the legalization of horse meat for human consumption in WA (and Australia as a whole) was a good or bad move.

Firstly, let me bring to the forefront, the dangers of having horse meat on the shelves.

The health risks. Even oversea’s markets are slowing down rapidly as the health risks involved in the market of horse meat is being found out loud and clear, take a read of this article.

Let me bring to your attention these two snippets.

“Add to that the dangers of American horsemeat from the toxic drugs given to horses here as established in a recent study published in the peer reviewed journal, Food and Chemical Toxicology,

Association of phenylbutazone usage with horses bought for slaughter: A public health risk, and, said Holland, “it would make no sense and, in fact, would be irresponsible for legislators to promote horse slaughter with this bill”. The bill was then sent for “summer study”, essentially withdrawing it for the session.

“The demand for American horsemeat may soon plummet and end altogether, especially in the European market. Indeed, the second largest grocer in Belgium and Holland pulled American horsemeat from the shelves. ”

What is Phenylbutazone?

Commonly known as “Bute” within the horse industry, it is THE most single used drug for Equine health and wellbeing – it is a painkiller and anti-inflammatory drug used in 98% of Race Horses and 95% of recreational horses – staggering yes?

It doesn’t come in just one form, here is a list for you to browse over.

Another article:

Causes serious and lethal idiosyncratic adverse effects in humans. Sixty-seven million pounds of horsemeat derived from American horses were sent abroad for human consumption last year. Horses are not raised as food animals in the United States and, mechanisms to ensure the removal of horses treated with banned substances from the food chain are inadequate at best.”

Another article for you to read.

But it’s not just the drugs, but diseases as well, as is brought forward in this snippet of information in the above reading.

” Equine Infectious Anaemia in horsemeat”

It’s not a drug, but a disease. EIA, Equine Infectious Anaemia, and the “virus reproduces in the liver, spleen, kidneys, heart, cardiovascular system, and other organs in the horse’s body. When an infected horse dies or is destroyed, lesions can also be found in the lymph nodes, and even in the nervous system.” What does Mississippi State University recommend an owner to do with these horses? “Should a horse be identified as positive, the owner has three options. First, the horse can be humanely destroyed; second, it can be sold for slaughter; or third, the horse can be quarantined.”

In other words, the horsemeat that is being eaten could be taken from an infected horse.”

And a little closer to home.

“If you eat horse meat, you should be concerned about the deadly Hendra Virus. Transmitted to people through tissue or secretions of infected horses, either by injection or orally, it has a high incidence of mortality. Australian veterinarian hospitalized on 8/26/07 for infection contacted while performing autopsy on infected Thoroughbred.”

Australian’s have already died from Hendra Virus Mr. Redman, and the fact is, many more could die from it through ingesting diseased meat.

But Wait, there is more!

Aside from the use of worming agents and pastes in our horse’s to keep their worm count down (which I might add, is not accepting in any regulation drugs/medications allowed to be given to animals heading for human consumption), you have the problem of how many worms a horse can be host to.

Example: If a human has a worm count of 1, then a horse has 100,000 – nearly double that of a cow.

Here it is, in writing.

Secondly, let me discuss with you the means horse’s are slaughtered for human consumption.

The Captive-Bolt Gun. This weapon is not a humane option for equine’s because the gun was originally designed for the Bovine brain and skull which is different to the skull and brain of an Equine. Not to mention, of how different the two species of animal react in situations – a horse is a flight animal, and is far more highly strung than that of a cow, making current abbitors unsuitable for the slaughter of horse’s.

Let me draw to your attention a few snippets from that above link.

“In a study conducted at Hanover University, EEG and ECG recordings were taken on all animals to measure the condition of the brain and heart during the course of slaughter and stunning. EEG readings showed that although the animals were apparently unconscious soon after stunning with the penetrating captive bolt, they were experiencing severe pain immediately after stunning.”


Due to the inherent differences in skull structures of bovines and equines, each species reacts to the captive bolt differently. The brain of an equine is further back in the skull compared to a bovine. The equines regain consciousness and are not insensible to pain shortly after they are shackled and hoisted. Therefore, they are very much aware of being butchered alive.”

And finally

“The use of the penetrating captive bolt gun does not meet the AVMA Panel’s criteria regarding “loss of consciousness and death without causing pain, distress, anxiety, or apprehension.” Unlike bovines (which the penetrating captive bolt was designed for) equines possess different skull structures, are flight animals, and attempt to flee the ‘knock box’ or ‘kill chute.’ That being the case, it takes numerous attempts before the animal is properly stunned, if this is achieved at all.”

I know, it’s easy enough to ignore these facts when they are in writing, so I urge you to take the time to sit down and have a look at this site (I hope you haven’t eaten recently).

Video #1

~ This horse is shot deliberately in the shoulder by a captive bolt to make the horse lift it’s head, causing a great deal more stress and pain.

Video #2

~ The same horse as above is already down in the kill chute, is hit not once, but twice by the bolt

Video #3

~ Another horse panics, falls over and struggles to regain footing and then paws at the chute while waiting for the captive bolt gun to be fired. Extreme an unnecessary stress.

Video #4

~ Horse is hit with the captive bolt gun, goes down, but is still conscious and partly sits back up again.

Video #5

~ Continued on from Video 4, showing the ‘shot’ horse in extreme distress, shaking it’s head from the wound and pain, is then finally shot again.

Video #6

~ “Horse’s do not know what is going on” – clearly showing the strong flight response and stress during the process in the kill chute.

Video #7

~ Still evading the bolt gun, clearing showing extreme signs of stress (white of the eye showing etc) while looking up at the slaughter-house work man.

(If this hasn’t made you absolutely sick by now Mr. Redman, I will be very, very shocked. But wait, there is more…)

Video #8

~ Same horse finally shot, then shot again, and shot for a third time.

Video #9

~ Horse dropped from the box still struggling for a few seconds before finally stopping.

Video #10

~ Horse being bled out, while mucles tense and the head his arched back – alive or dead? These reactions are from a horse that is still very much aware of what is happening.

I think I’ve made my point about the Captive-Bolt Gun, yes?

Now, I know there have already being three horse’s slaughtered in WA and the meat is already being sold, and I did hear those horse’s were shot using a .22 Rifle instead of the Captive-Bolt Gun. A step forward? Not so much. When horse’s are held to be shot, they need to be extremely still to get a clear, clean shot to the forehead so they are rendered unconscious and killed instantly, instead of minutes later. I have some more video footage to show to you, so again, I do ask of you to sit for a few minutes and have a watch of these disturbing images.

Part I of III:

Part II of III.–2

Part III of III.

Clearly a .22 Rifle cannot do the job humanely as well, am I correct?

In short – both these methods are not humane in the slaughter of horse’s for human consumption, and when any animal is brought to a slaughter house, it’s welfare and the humanity of how they are ‘slaughtered’ is suppose to be top of the list, yes? Obviously it is not. Now I understand this footage is not from Australian slaughterhouses, but Mr Redman, let’s face facts here – it is done the same the world over, in the north, in the south, in the west and in the east. It’s all the same, just different locations.

So, with everything laid out on the table in front of you Mr Redman, I do believe I have made a very strong case that should ask, beg and plead of you to reinstate the ban of horse meat for human consumption within WA, IE: making it illegal again, and to also fight for this same legislation throughout our entire country.

Thank you for your time.


S Lloyd


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WA State Election 2013 – Will the WA Liberal Party’s approval of Horse Slaughter for consumption by humans affect your vote?

Let us know what impact the WA Liberal Party’s decision to approve the slaughter of horses for Human Consumption in WA and Australia, on your Vote in the State Election in 2013!

Have Colin Barnett and Terry Redman and the Liberal Party in WA lost your vote?


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Horse Meat for Human Consumption – Where do these Horses come from?

Over 40,000 Horses EVERY year are killed in Australia for “Horse Meat”. Apart from in WA, the sale and consumption of horse flesh is prohibited in Australia, but the slaughter and export of the meat is legal. There are two export-accredited abattoirs licensed to deal in horse meat by Austrade. Both abattoirs are owned by the same company based in Belgium. One is at Caboolture (Meramist Pty Ltd) in Queensland, and the other is on Marsham’s doorstep at Peterborough (Metro Velda Pty Ltd) in South Australia’s wheat country, just off the Barrier Highway. It’s been operating for more than 35 years. The slaughter is perfectly legal but not openly discussed. Austrade lists one of the companies involved as an exporter of “game meats”. The government takes a cut with a $5 per head “National Residue Levy”.

Horses Slaughtered in Australia for the Horse Meat Market are MOSTLY from the Racing Industry

Horses are not farmed specifically for meat here: horse meat generally comes from the feral horse population or failed or retired sports horses. There are about 1.2 million horses in Australia with about one third classified as brumbies or feral horses. Each year between 30,000 and 40,000 horses are processed for human and pet consumption, with most coming from the thoroughbred and standardbred (harness) racing ranks. Around 20% of these horses – 8000 – come from feral stock, ie. brumbies.

Eva Berriman, a veterinarian, qualified technical teacher and technical writer from Queensland writes in her article Horse Slaughter and Horse Meat: The Facts “As with cattle and other types of livestock, the best meat comes from younger animals in good condition with quality muscling. So it is not the old, broken-down horses tired of living that are killed at these two horsemeat abattoirs – they go instead to one of the 30-odd knackeries throughout Australia, there to be processed for pet food, fertiliser, hides etc. No, it is much younger horses mostly still in their prime which are slaughtered for human consumption.



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A visit to a Knackery (Horse Slaughterhouse)…in her own words

The following is a “diary entry” of a passionate Horse Rescuer and Horse Welfare Activist, Amanda Vella. This is her own account of a visit to a Knackery.

Not exactly the best way to spend a sunday afternoon. 

We arrived at the gates of this old country knackery, and we could see the horses in the pens.. waiting. My freind whistles out to the horses and a few call back, one is a big pally mare with a roman nose.. She is beautiful. We walk up the old rocky drive way to a tin shed that looks normal in the country but its far from normal. At the front of the door way, lay the raw rib cage of the last slaughtered horse. We walk up to the tin shed and see more of the horse waste.. Some guts, hooves and a little chocolate brown horsey’s head… Its disgusting and heart breaking and my freind says to me “harden up princess”.. She was right, i had to harden up…. This is how things are done in the country…. 

The slaughter man see’s us and he comes over, his hands were covered in blood, his clothes and even his face.. It looked like something out of a horror movie and my friend says to me “if he comes out with a chainsaw, im outta here”.. She wasnt joking… 

We chat to him and he agrees to let us have a look, and I fall in love with the pally mare.. There is no way im leaving her.. We also fall in love with a little stock horse colt… On one side of the pen is a TB with a broken leg, he was there for a reason.. In the pen next to him is another TB thats completely blind, he to was there for a reason. There was also a number of brumby foals and a few ponies.. ..

We try to catch the pally mare, she is so scared.. My friend slowly gains her trust, i stand by and watch… We walk her out, past all of her pen mates remains and load her onto the float without a problem, she is happy to leave… We go back for the colt and spend a while trying to gain his trust, but he is unhandled.. The slaughter man comes out to let us know he is sending more into the shed, we hear two gun shots.. I look up towards the shed and he throws a little brown head out onto the pile of waste, i can see its tounge hanging out of its head… Very sad…. 

We decide that we cant catch the little colt and make the very hard decision to leave him there, he was next in line to die… 

The mare travels home well and is placed in her new paddock, she is happy and settled.. A lovely mare named “sweet heart”… I still smelt like death and i can still smell it now…

Horse Slaughter, a visit to a knackery

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