The Melbourne Cup is run, the spring racing carnival in full swing, but as a massive horse lover, I can’t watch a race without seeing the misery behind it. The biggest animal welfare issue facing the Australian racing industry is wastage – a euphemism for the slaughter of twenty thousand thoroughbreds each year.
Eighty percent of horses get no life after racing. Take Deposer, for example. This magnificent horse raced at Royal Ascot, went to Hong Kong, then came to Australia and won more than $1.1 million for his owners – before being dumped in the Echuca meat pens. He was alone, forgotten and left for dead, when filmed by the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses last year. Deposer was due to join thousands of terrified, often starving and terribly injured horses, in a desolate dogger’s yard. They are taken one by one into a killing box, and shot in front of each other for pet food, crab-pot bait and export meat. More than ten thousand thoroughbreds slaughtered each year are healthy young animals under seven years old. Call me a party-pooper, but that just stinks!
Celebrity vet Dr Chris Brown has got behind a proposal for the Australian racing industry to use a tiny 1% of all betting turnover to establish a retirement plan for horses. Along with this, the proposal calls for some other preventative measures (such as a reduction in breeding) to stem the issue of wastage, and in the long-term, end the slaughter of thoroughbreds. A 1% betting levy would result in $143 million annually being given back to racehorses, thus sharing the riches from the ‘Sport of Kings.’
http://www.horseracingkills.com/features/1-percent-to-stop-the-slaughter/ http://tenplay.com.au/channel-ten/the-project/extra/season-5/just-1-percent http://www.smh.com.au/environment/animals/they-shoot-horses-dont-they-20130923-2u8nh.html
In the meantime, North West Equine Rescue INC have vowed to take off the track racehorses when their career is over (sometimes before it even starts).
NWER INC is a Not-for-Profit registered charity with three bases in Moree, Armidale and Tamworth. Since registering in 2012 NWER has successfully rescued and rehomed 397 horses. NWER is funded by the generosity of the public, meaning they receive NO government funding. Volunteers have twenty-four horses in care at any given time. Their mission is to rescue as many sick, injured and slaughter-bound animals as possible, set their lives on a different path and give them the second chance they deserve! NWER have set out to raise $5,000 to rescue seven thoroughbreds facing slaughter, re-educate and rehome them. They are still a long way off target. You can donate as little as a dollar. Help put a doomed racehorse in the arms of these angels. It only seems fair, don’t you think?