Gympie Turf Club boss slams shocking horse slaughter
GYMPIE Turf Club president Shane Gill has condemned the mass slaughter and alleged abuse of thoroughbred racehorses as shown on the ABC's 7.30 last night, stating "there's no place for animal cruelty” in or outside the racing industry.
The ABC reported hundreds of registered racehorses were being sent to slaughterhouses around Australia "in contravention of racing rules, rehoming policies and animal welfare guarantees”.
The report disputed official Racing Australia data claiming one per cent of horses retiring each year - about 34 horses - went on to abattoirs and slaughterhourses, instead arguing that number was more like the total for just one week at a single abattoir.
"Animal cruelty, it doesn't matter whether it's mice or any other animal, is animal cruelty, it doesn't matter how you look at it. No-one wants to see that whatsoever,” Mr Gill said.
"Whether it's pleasure horses or whatever they are, cattle, pigs, chooks, there's no place in this world for animal cruelty.”
Mr Gill clarified the blame couldn't be "wholly and solely” put on the racing industry, because the on-selling of horses after their racing careers meant original owners often didn't know where there horses could end up.
"A lot of trainers and owners probably look after their animals better than some people look after their children, the horses are their life so they're part of the family,” he said.
"I don't know any trainers in Gympie that haven't either got some of their old racehorses on their own paddocks or found a good home for them.
"You always try and sound out where your horse is going after it's finished racing, you never want them to end up there (at a slaughterhouse).”
"It's not wholly and solely the racehorse owner that would be sending those horses there.
"People won't put the good aspects of the industry on TV or in the newspapers.”
Thoroughbred Breeders Australia chief executive Tom Reilly said he was "appalled” by last night's revelations.
"All horses, whether thoroughbreds or not, deserve to be treated humanely and with dignity,” Mr Reilly said.
Queensland Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said biosecurity officers were yesterday investigating the animal cruelty allegations at the abattoir shown on the 7.30 program, according to the ABC.