Thoroughbleeds on course for gory


Animal welfare groups are this morning applauding moves by Racing Australia to put an end once and for all to the scenes of cruelty and barbarity the recent ABC 7.30 report exposed at knackeries around the nation.

And Racing Australia’s solution announced overnight is blindingly simple: state-of-the-art boutique abattoirs will be built at all metropolitan and major regional racetracks to “process with professional care and kindness racehorses that are clearly never going to make the grade at the sport of kings”.

Under the RA proposal:

The last three placegetters in each race will be washed down post race, covered with a nice woolen blankie and led to a special enclosure where the course veterinarian will sedate them but only to a level that will allow children attending meetings to safely enjoy “pony rides” and feed them apples.

After the last race of the day – say, on a seven-race program – the 21 horses will then be processed at one of these modern abattoirs, its walls painted with scenes of rolling pastures and blessed with muted lighting, the beautiful music of Antonín Dvořák’s New World Symphony rebounding off the walls fitted with giant plasma TV screens showing wild horses running free, and of course, crystals hanging everywhere.

The horses will be hand fed the finest sticks of lucerne hay as their favourite stable handlers guide them gently over thick green artificial carpet to a corner where, to keep each animal’s stress to the minimum, a sliding panel will only at the very last moment open to reveal the smallest of concrete killing floors as required by health regulations and cleaning considerations, complete with blood sump and carcass hoist.

Even then, each beautiful animal is likely to be distracted to the very end by the handful of oats being presented by its slaught… sorry processor, the hydraulic bolt gun held behind the back with the other hand, the slaughteri… sorry processing knife still sensitively tucked in its sheath on the back of the belt.

Each horse would be then processed in the most professional and caring of manners before being sent through plastic flaps to the boning room nearby.

Families exiting the racecourse will be able to watch the whole process from viewing platforms to ensure all these horses are processed with love, dignity and respect. Corporate boxes are a possibility.

Most racegoing families would pay just a small fee for this privilege, such revenue to go towards the industry-wide fund that will “ensure a happy life-long retirement for those few racehorses who finish their careers as winners, such as Makybe Diva, Black Caviar and Winx”.

“It’s going to be a beautiful and moving experience for these animals as they make their journey forward and I think the kids are going to love it,”  a Racing Australia spokesperson told The Bug.

“Our research showed us that no-one around Australia was buying the crap that somehow our money-hungry and selfish industry populated by right-wing arseholes would ever find – let alone want to – the money needed so that every thoroughbred racehorse that didn’t make the grade could live in pastured surroundings until a natural death from old age in their 30s or early 40s.

“These on-course abattoirs are the obvious solution we’ve finally come up with.

“We have the full support of the various breeders and owners’ groups. No-one wants to keep incurring the costs of transporting the ‘also rans’ to meetings month after month when they can get a reasonable price for them at the track and, of course, save petrol on the drive home.

“Naturally, none of this horse meat will be used for human consumption. We find that disgusting and repulsive.  They’ll be used exclusively as pet food as they should be.

“And we think it’s important for the older children enjoying the experience to maybe realise, the next time their family is enjoying a lamb roast, that not all of God’s creatures get to live to a ripe old age.

“And best of all, this concept puts an end once and for all to the job prospects for those sociopaths and between-jobs serial killers we saw on 7.30 and who seem to be attracted to work at commercial knackeries around the nation.

“Our only concern is what they might now need to get up to in order to get their cheap thrills and kicks.

“If I were living anywhere near these knackeries as they are forced to close, I’d certainly be locking up my pets at night and keeping my children close.”