The “Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act” is a 2019 federal bill that would ban both the slaughtering of horses on U.S. soil (currently there are no active slaughterhouses, but that’s only because USDA inspections of those facilities has been defunded) and the export of American horses for the purpose of slaughter.

U.S. Horseracing, as we well know, is in a fight for its very existence. You would think, then, that all the major players would have enthusiastically lined up to back legislation that addresses the blackest of marks on their industry – the wholesale slaughter of their erstwhile “athletes.” But you would be wrong. For some – most conspicuously, The Jockey Club – support is still missing; for others, like the Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association (PHBA), it’s only now coming – after two years.

In a press release last week, the PHBA wrote:

Continuing to demonstrate its commitment to the health and welfare of thoroughbreds, the Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association today announced its endorsement of the Safeguard American Food Exports Act.

The release continued:

PHBA Board member Hank Nothhaft said … the fact that many unwanted thoroughbred broodmares are found in slaughter pens proved to be a call to action. “There was unanimous support from the PHBA Board to mitigate the slaughter of broodmares,” said Nothhaft. “Older broodmares, especially, are not attractive candidates for equestrian activities, and thus they are not as easy to rehome as younger horses. This has really pushed us from sitting on the bench towards getting into the fray.”

Imagine that. Only now, two years after the bill’s introduction, only now, after decades of carnage (which all have been aware of) are the PA breeders “demonstrat[ing] [their] commitment to the health and welfare of thoroughbreds, [no longer] sitting on the bench, getting into the fray.” It is cynical; it is disgusting; it is horseracing.

I originally posted this a year ago. It must not be forgotten…

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 before you watch: Yes, it is graphic, but please don’t let that dissuade you. This needs to be watched (and shared). And make no mistake, the exact same thing is happening to American racehorses.

“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.”

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.

https://www.abc.net.au/7.30/the-dark-side-of-the-horse-racing-industry/11614022?fbclid=IwAR0V9lY8fcm79zcq-skSQ7oa_v_B8yu4hS18w59EjTYaM2wsDO-HQ1fnVZo

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.”