British Horseracing Authority holds talks after slaughterhouse investigation

1 week ago 4
media captionInside the abattoir slaughtering racehorses

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has called for a UK abattoir to alteration its practices aft a BBC Panorama probe recovered grounds of contention horses experiencing cruel deaths there.

The BHA met payment experts earlier to sermon the contented "as a substance of urgency".

Covert signaling showed rules are regularly being ignored astatine the abattoir, 1 of the UK's biggest.

The abattoir told the BBC it did not judge immoderate signifier of carnal abuse.

Freedom of Information requests revealed that 4,000 erstwhile racehorses person been slaughtered successful Britain and Ireland since the opening of 2019.

The immense bulk were trained successful Ireland, and immoderate were erstwhile owned and trained by immoderate of the biggest names successful racing.

BHA's payment manager James Given said: "We're each wide that the transporting of horses from Ireland to beryllium euthanised successful Britain indispensable stop. So excessively should those practices successful the abattoir featured successful the programme, which appeared to origin distress to horses."

The covert footage, recorded by the anti-horse-racing run radical Animal Aid, showed horses being killed successful beforehand of each different and being changeable from a region astatine 1 of the fewer abattoirs successful the UK licensed to slaughter horses, Drury and Sons.

Veterinary experts said this broke guidelines, causing other symptom and trauma for the horses involved.

BBC Panorama besides revealed that immoderate horses were transported hundreds of miles earlier arriving astatine the abattoir.

The BHA said breaching these guidelines was unacceptable and a caller payment strategy, published successful 2020, specifically sought to code the attraction of horses aft their racing days were over.

Mr Given said: "I've heard erstwhile trainer colleagues speaking retired astir their work of attraction to horses that erstwhile raced with them. Each communicative told makes a quality and shows the wider nationalist that British racing is compassionate and responsible."

The programme besides included claims that attempts were being made to get contaminated equine nutrient into the quality nutrient concatenation by falsifying paperwork and tampering with equine microchips.

Horse nutrient is not fashionable successful the UK, but determination is simply a sizeable export marketplace for it successful Europe. Horse passports and matching microchips are important arsenic they amusement which animals person been treated with medicines that could beryllium harmful to humans, specified arsenic the painkiller Bute.

In effect to the investigation, the government's Food Standards Agency (FSA), which regulates abattoirs, said: "Upholding carnal payment and the information and authenticity of the nutrient we devour is simply a apical precedence for the government."

It said it worked closely, with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, "to guarantee that carnal payment is maintained astatine each stages of nutrient accumulation and that each our nutrient is correctly labelled and harmless to eat".

The BHA said it would enactment alongside the authorities agencies with immoderate investigation.

Horse Racing Ireland said it unreservedly condemned the practices shown successful the footage from the abattoir.

"This footage showed some carnal and quality wellness issues and is not reflective of the attraction that racehorses person successful the horseracing manufacture passim their lives," it said.

The abattoir, Drury and Sons, told Panorama that they "take large attraction to support precocious payment conditions and bash not judge immoderate signifier of carnal abuse". They said each horses are "humanely destroyed'' and that connected occasions wherever issues bash occur, they instrumentality ''swift enactment to reappraisal and rectify them".

Watch the afloat investigation, Panorama: The Dark Side of Horse Racing, on BBC iPlayer.

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