Horse Slaughter in Australia

According to the Federal Government Department of Agriculture around 40,000 horses are slaughtered for human consumption each year. Up until now, horse meat for human consumption was destined for overseas markets such as Japan and Europe. One slaughter house alone confirmed verbally that they process an average of 700 horses per week (48 weeks per year) which is 33,600 horses. The second slaughter house for human consumption in Australia would not comment but is approximately the same size. This does not include horses killed for pet food. There are NO definitive statistics available, only these estimates so the numbers could be far greater.

There are 2 abattoirs in Australia licensed to kill and export horse meat for human consumption along with 33 licensed knackery’s and we have estimated that well over 100,000 horses are slaughtered each year.

Horse Slaughter - It is Bloody Brutal

Horse Slaughter - It is Bloody Brutal

Horses are killed for human consumption in the same way cattle are, however, the horses skull is structured differently with the brain situated further back in the head. So when a Captive bolt hits a horse is it not killed immediately. The horse is then strung up and bled while its heart is still pumping. This process has been proven to cause extreme pain to the animal and in the USA it violated the Humane Slaughter Act and horse slaughter was banned over there.  The RSPCA have a policy in regards to humane killing which states “An animal must be either killed instantly or instantaneously rendered insensible to pain until death supervenes” however, the captive bolt does not kill instantly or instantaneously and causes the horse extreme pain before death. We have been informed by the Western Australia Government that they will not take into consideration the USA study because it was not conducted on Australian soil even though the process is exactly the same.

 The RSPCA have another policy which states “Handling of animals prior to killing must also be humane and as stress-free as possible” however, these animals are subject to long sometime interstate transporting to one of the two licensed abattoirs in Australia who kill horses for human consumption without rest, food or water, not to mention the state of the horses in sale yards, the transportation issues and treatment in knackery’s of horses killed for pet food (but this is a different issue). In Western Australia there is no licensed abattoir for slaughtering horses for human consumption and no details have been confirmed on where these animals are being killed, however we have been informed that they are being killed in a knackery licensed to slaughter for pet food but we have been unable to confirm this.

Horse slaughter, a video: WARNING GRAPHIC. If you support Horse Meat, you support the brutal deaths of tens of thousands of Australian Horses every year. We are unable to post footage of Australian knackeries at this stage. However the image below demonstrates the same reality of this slaughter in Australia.

Horse shot, not even a metre from the next horse, awaiting the same brutal death

Horse shot, not even a metre from the next horse, awaiting the same brutal deathPhotos courtesy of: http://www.horseracingkills.orgShot Gun Pointed, if the horse moves at the wrong moment, his head will be half blown away. 10 or so horses await behind him, not even a metre or more away.


13 Responses to Horse Slaughter in Australia

  1. R. Parmenter says:

    You slaughter workers should be ashamed to call your self humuns, such a cruel and painful way to end a horses life. Gut renching, and to add more salt into the horses wounds the place you all slaughter these horses is totaly infectious and dirty.

  2. Makes me sick, this is really sad. 😦

  3. Georgia Hackett says:

    This Is a terrible act. I am trying really hard to get the signatures needed to stop this in Australia, so far I have 19 (and I have only been asking for 6 hours!) which may not seem like a lot but can make a difference. Please please print off a few petition forms and make a difference to those unfortunate horses.

  4. Kim says:

    How could someone work in such a place. It is horrible. I will never support slaughter or horses. Only the humain put down of sick, old, or horses with bad injuries. It is sad how people can stand there and not have a heart. This makes me want to do something.

  5. alexandra Boursinos says:

    We live in a sick and cruel society. People who do care need to make a stand and bring this horrible trade to an end. I believe that little by little we can make a difference. I wont stop until cruelty to animals stops. It will be my mission until my last breath.

  6. Gwyn Jordan says:

    With 80 per cent of the US public against horse slaughter, Barak Obama is still allowing it to go ahead. Reasons against it are, horses destined for slaughter cannot be given pain or stress relieving drugs, so they have to suffer pain. Horse theft is a t a much higher rate. Unscrupulous breeders will breed for meat market. The argument that unwanted horses are used is rubbish as unwanted sick and poor conditioned horses are unsuitable, they want young and healthy horses. The situation is no different in Australia, this is only about money, don’t forget the money.

  7. Brittani says:

    I just watched this vid, and read this ,this is horrible and sickning this needs to be stop this isnt fair just because horses and ponies arent wanted there kiled l we need to make the change in saving thses horses. So sad

  8. Colleen shields says:

    An absolute disgrace.I am disgusted.I knew that doggers factories were rough but I never knew the bolt didn’t work properly.something needs to be done! Why hasn’t Dr.Temple Grandin changed this? She has changed other slaughter systems.I swear by her methods and thoughts….. Maybe something to consider?

  9. cristiana says:

    people are really messed up to kill such innocent animals, this is more like murder. Couldnt sleep for a few nights after watching that video…I wonder how someone that kills horses like that can sleep at night, it’s just sick.

  10. Erica Mellor says:

    Have only just found out about yet another sad cruelty against other living beings with which we share this world. We need to care more about what happens to all animals and not just lump under the grand title of “livestock” being a title given by some for their “use” to us. How arrogant and selfish the human race is to think they are sooo far above everything else. My heart breaks each and every day for the new and amazingly cruel ways we can come up to end the lives of animals who do not deserve such treatment and very often, because of us, are here for such short time and then no more!!! We can do a million partitiions but, ultimately, Australians are apathetic. I have spoken to some people about these issues and the comment and the comment has been “but it happens over there and not in my backyard” so if it doesnt directly affect them , then so what? Any reason I am now a vegetarian and proud of it. At least I am no contributing to the greed of industries which profit from meat production. Any ideas just what can be done to get more people on board? Truly at a loss and feel so downhearted.

  11. Jan Mellor says:

    I have seen so many horses that have owner who just don’t give a crap (owner living 500 metres away and couldn’t be bothered to walk over each day to feed horse – horse became skin and bones). This is particularly heart wrenching, as we have always done our best to care and feed our horses well. Have seen too many people trying to “live the dream” of horse ownership, but don’t want to learn how they need to be looked after properly, they are seen as a short-term fun thing and, when it all becomes too hard, they are sent to the slaughterhouse. We have a place nearby whose sole function is to take unwanted ponies from “city” people whose children have outgrown their horses or whose children couldn’t learn to ride properly and blamed their horse (seen too many times!!!!) and they take these horses and their final destination is the knackers. This then leaves a warm fuzzy feeling with the people getting rid of their horse thinking that they are going to be re-homed, which is just not true. Once again, the only victim in this saga are the poor horses. The main problem is that there are too many horses being bred in Australia, there is not “quality” breeding taking place so that good horses are coming through – people just get the idea “oh, we’d like to have a foal”. I am always amazed just how selfish and arrogant humanity has become. The racing industry also very much has a hand in keeping the horse slaughter industry going in Australia. Too much over breeding, very little caring about what happens to a slower horse, as there will be another one just around the corner. Know of someone who has a property with, say, 50 odd horses (he doesn’t even know) and pulls a few our of paddock every now and again, takes to the trots and is they don’t perform, then he recoups his money at the knackers. How do we stop all of this happening??? I don’t know. Hurts my heart how many ways humanity can find to inflict torture on animals how share this earth with us just for our own self-amusement and gratification. I just about give up as it just wont end when money is involved.

  12. angela eccleston says:

    lets do all we can to stop this terrible treatment to horses……they must be loved and cherished….how can this be happening?

  13. unknown says:

    I have had alot to do with the knackery in rathdowney, queensland, the horses are put down in a very humaine way, they do not suffer, and are well cared for prior to being put down, the business is a family run business and alot of horses are rehomed, yes I am a horse lover too, however I see some of the horses that are brought to us to be put down and it makes me cry, it is not us, it is sometimes shear neglect on the owners part that the horse that is brought to us has to be put down, people that buy them from dogger pens, think they can perform a miracle, find out how expensive and timeconsuming it is, and wa la, they end up at the knackery in a far worse condition then they were in the dogger pens

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