Racing Insider: “Overwhelming Number of [Thoroughbreds] Are Slaughtered”

As mentioned previously, the best indictments of this industry often come from within. Take slaughter, for instance. While the racing people typically (and understandably) avoid this issue like the plague, occasionally some honesty surfaces.

In a recent HorseRaceInsider article, long-time industry writer and handicapper Mark Berner takes Racing to task for its “inability or unwillingness to deal openly with the issue of horse slaughter.” While I’m quite certain that Berner’s real worry (as evidenced by the article’s title) is that slaughter is killing the “sport” he so dearly loves, he does offer some seemingly genuine words of outrage:

“If a breeder elects to bring a horse into the world, it is their responsibility to make sure that horse is cared for until its natural death. It is not simply the cost of doing business; it is about doing what’s humane and morally correct.”

But it’s the stark admissions that caught my eye. Two statements in particular:

“A sport that once was the pastime of the billionaire class has devolved over time into a sport in which an overwhelming number of its athletes are slaughtered…”

Then: “Since the Thoroughbred industry has not significantly corrected this situation, the same percentages – 20% of all horses sent to slaughter from the US are Thoroughbreds – are safely assumed to be correct present day.”

And to think that all this time I’ve been citing the “only” 19% found in this seminal study. So let’s break this down. According to the Equine Welfare Alliance, 114,000 American horses were sent to slaughter in 2016. 20% of 114,000 is almost 23,000. For that same year, the Jockey Club estimates the “foal crop” – newly registered Thoroughbreds – at 21,000. That would be an over 1:1 ratio of those exiting-via-slaughter to those coming in. Obviously, not all retired (or never-made-the-cut) Thoroughbreds end up bled-out and butchered. But even when accounting for some slight industry contraction each year, the numbers make it abundantly clear that at the very least most – Berner’s “overwhelming number” – eventually (because some will have an intervening round of exploitation – the so-called second career) do.

Case closed, again.

1 Comment

Leave a Comment

  1. Slaughter: the statistics speak for themselves.
    However, we do know that the statistics are minimum at best because they don’t take into account racehorses who are buried on private facilities, tattoo’s that are intentionally mutilated, and/or fraudulent papers.
    Most of these practices are conducted to hide and protect the connections of the horse, to obliterate doping records, and it’s very much in practice here in Ontario – we know that.
    In these instances, racehorses/thoroughbreds are categorized into the general horse population slaughterhouse statistics.
    This is estimated to be about 10% of statistics, which would bring it up to about 30% of horses slaughtered are racehorses specifically bred, and subsequently dumped by this industry.
    Anytime a microchip program is mentioned members of this industry vehemently oppose it because that would mean accountability, and we do know that “secrets” and intentionally hiding facts is a large part of horse racing business practices.
    However, theOntario/ Canadian government is also complacent in accountability because they send dope tainted racehorse meat (common dope in racehorses include Bute, Lasix, Banomine and they are all not fit for human consumption) to Europe, and they gain billions in slaughterhouse profits.
    They also have not supported a microchip program for racehorses, but this should be implemented for all livestock that is food-bound for obvious reasons.
    Nevertheless, it’s abundantly clear that the people/government who make millions off of racehorses are determined to fill their coffers, and wallets at the expense of the racehorses.
    So please don’t patronize this business because you are also supporting the horrific suffering, and evil behind it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.