In a recent USA Today article on horse slaughter, this: “…an estimated 7,500 thoroughbreds a year are slaughtered for human consumption, according to Alex Waldrop, president of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.”

Yes, that’s right, one of the most prominent, powerful people in racing concedes that multiple thousands of “equine athletes” are brutally and violently bled-out and butchered each year. (Waldrop’s number, 7,500, shocking as it is, is almost surely understated: One industry-linked vet puts it at 10,000-12,000; an apologist writer says it’s even more.) This, alone, should be enough for all Americans of good conscience to support the abolition of this vile industry.

A reminder – photos from the slaughter pipeline (courtesy of Animals’ Angels):

In the wake of the ABC’s devastating expose of the slaughter of Australian racehorses, a kill-buyer was profiled in The Sydney Morning Herald. Here are some excerpts:

Peter Loffel is the face of horse racing’s unpalatable truth. He is known as a kill buyer, although he prefers the term horse trader. He buys horses no one wants and trucks them to a place no horse wants to end up – the Meramist abattoir…

The horses he buys are nearly all retired racehorses or trotters. He says he buys most of his gallopers direct from trainers, licensed participants in an industry which has spent the past four days claiming it has no idea so many thoroughbreds are sent to abattoirs. “Most of them are some sort of racehorse.” If what Loffel says is true, the industry’s claim that horses are being slaughtered beyond their sight is bunk; any trainer who sells a horse to Loffel knows exactly where it is going.

Loffel, 62, has quietly gone about his grim business for more than 30 years. He doesn’t just deal in horses…but he has dealt with horses nearly all his working life and scoffs at those now decrying the practice. “Since Friday people have been ringing me all hours of the night and their language – well, I’m being polite. And why? Because I slaughter horses, for Christ’s sake. If I went tomorrow, someone would step in my place,” he says.

The kill buying business is not complicated. Loffel buys some horses from auctions, but most of them he picks up cheaply from trainers and breeders. Once he has enough to fill his B-double trailer – up to three dozen horses – he starts the two-day drive north to the Queensland town of Caboolture.

Some of the horses he buys gallop too slow, some have tendon issues, some have breathing difficulties but they all share the same problem, as Loffel explains. “Every horse can’t be a winner, unfortunately. It’s like people; we don’t get slaughtered but you know what I mean. What do they do with these horses?” Despite…the abuse and death threats he is receiving from animal activists, Loffel is unapologetic. He has no plans to stop anytime soon.

He dismisses the idea that every horse can be rehomed. “One in a thousand is a good horse,” he says. “They are not all going to be suitable. No one breeds for us but…when the season is tough, they can’t give them away. People don’t want them.”

“People don’t want them” – hence, slaughter. Look, here’s the uncomfortable truth: If you are supporting this industry in any way – betting, attending, patronizing racinos, or just promoting it in the public discourse – you are supporting equine hell. There is simply no getting around that.

(full Herald article)

An explosive slaughter expose, the most powerful I have ever seen, from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and our friends at The Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses in Australia. Two points: Yes, it is graphic (but please don’t let that dissuade you; this needs to be watched and disseminated widely). And let’s be crystal clear here, the exact same thing is happening to our racehorses.

Beyond the grisly killing is the abuse beforehand – both physical and verbal:

“Come on you dumb fucking horses.”

“You’re going to fucking die here, you fucking maggots.”

“You’re dead. You’re dead, dickhead.”

“Fucking dumb cunt.”

“Fucking stupid cunt.”

House bill 961 – The “Safeguard American Food Exports Act of 2019” – would prohibit “the knowing sale or transport of equines or equine parts in interstate or foreign commerce for purposes of human consumption.” In other words, it would officially ban horse slaughter in the U.S. (currently, inspections for equine slaughterhouses have simply been de-funded, something that could change any year now) and – and here’s the crucial part – the transport of horses to slaughter. Though I don’t like the bill’s title or the ostensible motivation – “to prevent human health threats posed by the consumption of equines raised in the United States” – it would truly be a monumental win, the end of the shackle-hoist-slash-bleedout of America’s horses.

But – the industry, as represented by the various alphabet trade-groups, refuses to endorse. Imagine that, especially in light of the desperate times in which they currently find themselves. From a recent Daily Racing Form article:

“The [National Thoroughbred Racing Association’s] Waldrop was asked if his coalition of racing interests would lead the charge to support passage of the SAFE Act and end horse slaughter as an issue hanging over the head of the sport. His response: ‘While we strongly oppose the slaughter of Thoroughbreds for human consumption, NTRA members and affiliates represent a wide spectrum of views regarding a legislated ban on slaughter, so we have for the last several years chosen to remain neutral on the [Act].’ Asked the same question, James Gagliano of The Jockey Club echoed, ‘The Jockey Club board hasn’t taken a formal position on this particular act. However, we have a policy that says The Jockey Club is unequivocally opposed to the slaughter or processing of Thoroughbreds for consumption by humans or animals.'”

The article goes on to quote Washington lobbyist Chris Heyde: “As much as racing is getting beat up right now, you would think they would jump at the chance to get behind passage of the act. There is absolutely zero potential of loss on this issue. And the support is there. Senator [Mitch] McConnell supports the ban, and he’s the majority leader. I think a lot of it has just kind of been apathy. The legislation is there. It languishes. And the slaughter trade continues…”

The perhaps two most influential racing organizations in the country refuse to take a meaningful (supporting legislation) stand against slaughter. “I think a lot of it has just kind of been apathy.” Apathy – as multiple thousands are brutally and violently massacred every year. The lie of “equine welfare” laid bare for all to see, yet again.