RSPCA admits it sends racehorses to slaughterhouses in NSW
EXCLUSIVE: How the RSPCA sends broken-down thoroughbreds from NSW to slaughterhouses to be turned into pet food – after slamming the racing industry for destroying horses
- ABC’s 7.30 program exposed widespread slaughter of racehorses last month
- Hundreds of retired thoroughbreds have been sent to abattoirs and knackeries
- RSPCA Australia said the animal welfare body was horrified but not surprised
- RSPCA NSW has now said it sometimes sends horses and cattle off to abattoirs
The RSPCA has admitted for the first time it sends broken-down racehorses to slaughterhouses in New South Wales where their carcasses are processed into pet food.
The animal welfare body has been one of the strongest critics of thoroughbreds being sent to abattoirs and knackeries once they are retired from the racing industry.
RSPCA New South Wales told Daily Mail Australia it sometimes sent stock including thoroughbreds for commercial slaughter if no other option was available.
‘On occasion the only mechanism for disposing of very diseased, unwell or aged stock animals is via abattoir or knackery facilities,’ a spokeswoman said.
‘RSPCA NSW has in the past sent stock to abattoir, and continues to do so in a variety of circumstances.’
One of the knackeries RSPCA NSW has used in the past is Burns Pet Foods in Sydney which featured in a recent ABC expose alleging thoroughbreds were being slaughtered on an industrial scale.
RSPCA NSW says it is sometimes forced to send animals including thoroughbreds to abattoirs and knackeries. Each state has its own RSPCA. Pictured are starving horses seized by RSPCA inspectors on a property in Western Australia in 2016
The ABC’s 7.30 program screened footage of thoroughbreds being mistreated in an abattoir in south-east Queensland (pictured) and alleged hundreds of Australian racehorses were being sent to slaughter every year.
One of the knackeries RSPCA NSW has used in the past is Burns Pet Foods in Sydney which featured in a recent expose by the ABC suggesting thoroughbreds were being slaughtered on an industrial scale.
Daily Mail Australia has been provided with an invoice from November 2012 which shows RSPCA NSW paying $300 for the transport of two horses including the delivery of one ‘TB mare’ to ‘Burns PF’.
‘TB’ means thoroughbred. ‘Burns PF’ is Burns Pet Foods at Riverstone.
Burns Pet Foods, which processes horse meat for consumption by animals, has recently been prosecuted by the RSPCA for cruelty to cattle and sheep.
The company pleaded guilty in September to four counts of aggravated animal cruelty and one of failing to provide veterinary treatment.
It is not suggested the horses sent by RSPCA NSW to the knackery were in any way mistreated.
RSPCA NSW did not dispute the receipt showed a delivery to Burns Pet Foods but said the horses might have been euthanised before being taken there.
A spokesman said it was possible the animals had been in a condition which made it cruel to keep them alive and they were delivered dead to Burns Pet Foods.
‘RSPCA NSW notes further that the obligation to rehome thoroughbreds by industry participants has only existed since 2017,’ the spokesman said.
This invoice from a horse transport company dated November 2012 shows RSPCA NSW paying for the delivery of a ‘TB [thoroughbred] mare’ to ‘Burns PF [Pet Foods]’, a Sydney knackery
An RSPCA Queensland spokesman said that state body had never sent stock including thoroughbreds to abattoirs or knackeries under any circumstances.
RSPCA Australia has said the oversupply and ‘wastage’ of horses in the racing industry led to animals being slaughtered. Pictured are starving horses seized by the RSPCA from a property in Western Australia in 2016
The day after the program screened RSPCA Australia’s acting CEO Bidda Jones said the oversupply and ‘wastage’ of horses in the racing industry had led to animals being slaughtered.