A Freedom of Information request has found that 4,000 former racehorses have been slaughtered in Britain and Ireland since the start of 2019. This equates to an average of over 4 racehorses per day.
The figures were found as part of a wider investigation into the safeguarding of racehorses by the BBC’s Panorama investigative journalism show. As part of this episode, the animal welfare group Animal Aid also recorded inside an abattoir and found what it believed to be breaking of animal welfare regulations.
Speaking after hearing the news, Andrea Jenkyns MP stated:
“This news is highly distressing. No healthy animal deserves to be put down, and whilst these horses racing days are behind them, I struggle to believe that these injuries also mean that they must be euthanised. The fact that they have often be made to travel hundreds of miles with injuries is abhorrent, as are the conditions that these animals were apparently kept in in the run up to their deaths. No animal deserves to die in these conditions.
I applaud the journalists behind this investigation for bringing this to national attention.”
The Panorama episode is due to air at 8.30pm BST tonight, the 19th July 2021.