Australian Racehorses Are Being Killed for Meat in South Korea

Over the past six years, one-third of the racehorses sent from Australia to South Korea have died, according to an analysis by Guardian Australia.

The Guardian adds:

A further 11 percent are listed in the Korean Racing Authority (KRA) records as “undecided,” an entry that often coincides with an abrupt end to their medical history, or the listing of an injury that is incompatible with racing.

Between 2014 and 2018, Australia sold 158 racehorses to South Korea. However, in just one year — 2014 — 58 horses were exported for the purpose of breeding or racing, but 12 were confirmed slaughtered and another 11 were most likely killed for their meat.

These are horrific statistics. How did this happen?

Since these animals were exported to breed or race, and not for slaughter, they are not covered by Australian laws that govern the live export industry. Horses do not fall under the “livestock” category in Australia, unlike sheep and cattle.

Otherwise, such horrible treatment of racehorses would violate Australian animal welfare laws and the regulations for abattoirs that process live animals for export.

In any case, once Australian horses are accepted by South Korea — or any other country — they are no longer regulated by Australian laws and become subject to the importing country’s laws.

This is a huge loophole which needs to be addressed.

Disturbing Secret Footage

The problem has come to light thanks to secret footage filmed at one of the main horse abattoirs at Nonghyup on Jeju Island in South Korea. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) captured the footage in April, May and November of 2018, and it was subsequently published by Guardian Australia.

You can watch some of the video here, but a warning: I started to view it, but had to stop. It is very disturbing. It shows horses being trucked into a facility, hit hard with a poly pipe and then forced to enter a fenced-off channel before entering the kill box, where they are stunned by a captive bolt device.

The horses were Australian thoroughbreds; one of them was Road to Warrior, a four-year-old gelding which had been in South Korea for 15 months and won one race before being sent to his death. Another was Dynamic Tank, sired by Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown.

Brother of Australian Wonder-Horse Winx Killed for Meat

Especially upsetting to Australians was the discovery that Boreal Jeong was exported to South Korea in 2008 and probably slaughtered in 2010. Boreal Jeong’s father was Street Cry, who also sired the champion racehorse Winx in 2011.

The much-beloved Winx is a championship mare that was just named Australian of the year by Sydney’s Daily Telegraph. Between May 2015 and April 2019, she won 33 consecutive races. Now she can retire, unlike her brother, who was sent to a slaughterhouse.

Bidda Jones, chief scientist for the U.K.’s Royal Society for the Protection of Animals (RSPCA) found the Nonghyup footage “very distressing” and declared that it showed “obvious problems that need to be fixed” if Australia intends to continue the export of thoroughbred horses.

Jones explained:

No horse deserves to be treated that way. Regardless of whether it was bred to be eaten or bred to race, no horse should be treated that way.

If Racing Australia knows that a horse that was exported to Korea for racing purposes could end up in that situation, there are two things they could do. They could prevent it from happening by not allowing exports to Korea, or they could work with Korean authorities to ensure that these facilities are up to Australian standards.

Take Action!

Racing Australia has shown no interest in working with Korean authorities, so to ensure that racehorses do not end up being brutally killed, Australia must stop sending any racing horses to South Korea.

If you agree, please sign my Care2 petition, asking Australia to stop the sale of racehorses to South Korea.

Creating a Care2 petition is easy. If you have an issue you care deeply about, why not start your own petition? Here are some guidelines to help you get started and soon the Care2 community will be signing up to support you.

 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

60 comments

HEIKKI R
HEIKKI R22 hours ago

thank you

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Julia R
Julia Ryesterday

What is wrong with Australia? They have live export which they send thousands of animals to a most inhumane and brutal death in the Middle East and then they send race horses to certain death in South Korea, one of the most regressive and horrible places to be if your an animal! Shame on Australia for their absolute callousness when it comes to farm animals and horses!

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Julia R
Julia R6 days ago

What terrible industry racing is! It is all about exploiting these animals to a horrible extent and then be shipped off to be slaughtered so cruelly!

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Chad A
Chad Anderson6 days ago

Thank you.

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Alea C
Alea C6 days ago

PLEASE FIX YOUR SITE!!!

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Alea C
Alea C6 days ago

TYFS

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Julia R
Julia R8 days ago

How terrible! These horses shouldn't be allowed to go to South Korea period! What is wrong with the Australian horse racing industry to send these poor horses to such horrible deaths! Even if these slaughter houses were brought up to date, why would it make this terribly ugly thing that is going on any better! I urge Australia to stop sending race horses to South Korea now!

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Alea C
Alea C8 days ago

It's looking like Care2 isn't going to be posting any more stories, so every day I will post on these old ones for the butterfly points because I want to save the rain forest.

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Alea C
Alea C8 days ago

It's looking like Care2 isn't going to be posting any more stories, so every day I will post on these old ones for the butterfly points because I want to save the rain forest.

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Mary W.
Mary W.9 days ago

Sad to hear.

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