One of our sister organizations, Animal Aid in the UK, has, in concert with the BBC, released the results of an undercover investigation into the barbaric horse-slaughter industry. Some of the more salient points from this BBC article (trailer here):
Thousands of racehorses are being sent to slaughterhouses in Britain and Ireland. Some of the slaughtered…were once owned and trained by some of the biggest names in racing.
The regulations say horses should not be killed in sight of each other. [But] the footage recorded horses being shot together 26 times over the four days of filming. Prof Daniel Mills, a veterinary behavioural specialist from the University of Lincoln, who has seen the footage, said: “A gunshot going off is going to be startling, seeing another horse suddenly drop, these are all going to be very distressing for a horse in this situation.”
The regulations also say every effort should be made to ensure a rapid death. But the footage showed that sometimes the death was far from instant. On 91 occasions the cameras recorded a slaughterman shooting horses, not close up, but from a distance. Reviewing the footage of one such killing, Prof Mills said: “It doesn’t look like the horse is even stunned. You can see it’s turning its head.”
Make no mistake, all the abuses, all the terror, all the horror, all the suffering that has been documented by Animal Aid exists in the Canadian and Mexican abattoirs to which we send our, American, horses – multiple thousands of racehorses among them.