According to the Equine Welfare Alliance, last year, 152,814 American horses were shipped to foreign abattoirs for the shackle-hoist-and-slash. A “Wild for Life Foundation” study (2002-2010) found that on average 19% of the slaughter-bound are Thoroughbreds. Even if we were to use a lower percentage (the racing industry, of course, claims 19% is too high) – say, 13% – the number of erstwhile racehorses who exited via the butcher line last year practically matches the Jockey Club’s estimated “foal crop” (21,275).
In 2012, 13% yields roughly 23,000 slaughtered Thoroughbreds (of 176,000 total American horses slaughtered), while the crop came in around 21,000. In 2011, 17,000 slaughtered against 23,000 born. And on and on: (from the “Wild for Life” study) “The study clearly demonstrates that an amount equal to 70% of the annual Thoroughbred foal crop on average, died at slaughter during the years 2004 through 2010.” In other words, in all likelihood, most retired Thoroughbreds are being slaughtered. Imagine that.