Thousands could be Butchered if Ontario’s Racing Industry Collapses
Monte McNaughton, a PC MPP, tore into the Liberals this week at Queen’s Park and placed the blame at Dalton McGuinty’s feet for thousands of horses which could be headed to the slaughterhouse in the event of a horse racing industry collapse in Ontario.
He said the collapse is a direct result of the Liberals decision to scrap the slots-at-tracks revenue sharing program, though, last week the transition panel and track operators agreed the slots program needed to end.
“Sixty-thousands jobs are at risk. Seventeen race tracks will close. Now we find out 13,000 horses will be killed. All because of Dalton McGuinty’s decision to pull the plug on Ontario’s horse racing industry,” said McNaughton.
The verbal lashing came hot on the heels of news of a potentially huge horse slaughter first reported on by Niagara this Week in August when the provincial horse racing transition panel released its interim report.
The numbers he was quoting came from the report released, which suggested 25,000 full-time jobs could be wiped out and between 7000 and 13,000 horses may need to be euthanized.
The report revealed all of Ontario’s 17 tracks are reliant on the slots-at-tracks program to provide revenue for prize money. The average purse prize is comprised of 63 per cent slots money, with some tracks as high as 100 per cent.
With slots revenue, or some alternate source of prize money, the report concluded that none of the 17 tracks could continue to operate live racing in 2013.
In the event of an industry collapse, about 10,000 of Ontario’s 26,000 race horses will be headed for the slaughterhouse.
“Like many decisions coming from the McGuinty government, consultation on this plan was limited. Local municipalities were not consulted and will now be losing an important source of revenue. The horse industry was not consulted and now risks being completely wiped-out. It is clear local horsemen and their horses will bear the brunt of this poorly thought-out decision, which seems to be the way Dalton McGuinty, Dwight Duncan and their government prefer to do business,” said McNaughton.
Such a large number of redundant horses caused some concern for the panel, who said they’ve been warned that “owners may put off the humane dispatch of horses, particularly yearlings and weanlings, but leave the animals in distress from inadequate care and feeding or outright abandonment.”
Ontario Horse racing industry by the numbers
Amount pledged by government for support over next three years
Average percentage of prize money derived from slots
Amount provided to tracks by slots program since 1998
Yearly gross expenditure from horse racing in Ontario
Yearly tax revenue provided to government from horse racing industry
Estimated number of paid full-time jobs (direct and induced) in the horse racing industry
Active horses involved in the horse racing industry
Estimated number of horses that will be euthanized if industry collapses
Average prize money won per horse each year
Cost to maintain a single race horse each year
“Interesting to note that if the Ontario race horses are cared for like U.S. race horses then they should all have vet records and you can bet that each and every one of them has been administered “Bute” which would render them unacceptable by the EU’s new meat regulations, doesn’t appear that anyone has thought about that. Slaughter is not euthanasia, slaughter is strictly about meat production.” ~ R.T.
- 13,000 Horses Could Go To Slaughter In Canada (fox2now.com)