Horse News

Australia: Animal cruelty probe launched after Slaughterhouse workers filmed mistreating racehorses destined to be Butchered

By Nick Dole, as published on

A Queensland abattoir (slaughterhouse) responsible for the mass slaughter of racehorses will be investigated for alleged animal mistreatment, the Queensland Government has announced.

The ABC’s 7.30 program was given hidden-camera video taken at the Meramist Abattoir in Caboolture, which showed former racehorses being kicked, dragged, shocked and slaughtered.

Queensland Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said he wasn’t aware of the allegations until last night.

“The Minister for Agriculture has directed biosecurity officers to go in today and investigate animal cruelty allegations at the Meramist Abattoir,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“They’ll be working I understand with Queensland Police Service to retrieve any extra footage that was not screened by the ABC.

“Those inspectors going into the abattoir today, they’ll seize all the information they can, they’ll take action against people who committed cruelty against animals.”

Queensland Opposition spokesman John-Paul Langbroek said the state’s $30 million Racing Integrity Commission had failed and said everyone in the racing community had to take responsibility…(CONTINUED)

9 replies »

  1. Absolutely sickening and makes me so incredibly heartsick . Every aspect horse racing is ruthless and it is shameful these animals are used up for monetary gain then tossed aside with absolutely no thought. This type of blatant cruelty seems to be a common thread among slaughterhouse workers. I hope these blatant, horrific acts of cruelty are met with severe justice.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t say for sure but I believe this is the SAME treatment that our American wild and domestic horses get at the Canadian and Mexican slaughterhouses.


    • I believe your right and that all slaughter houses should have cameras installed to insure humane treatment. That all workers should have a mental health exam at least twice a year, endless they show signs of stress then see Dr’s more.

      Liked by 1 person

      • This is not allowed and much legislation has been passed that protects private businesses from such surveillance, as well as the many definitions of “humane.” Some workers, for instance, could defend using the bolt 5-11 times to ensure the horse was dead before butchering, which surely is more humane than some of the video I’ve seen where horses are still alive and hanging, their throats cut to allow their still-beating heart to pump out their last blood.

        In my the right answer is to focus on eliminating the supply side, with related criminal enforcement of our laws, in combination with creating better “end of life” options for caring horse owners.


    • If I wasnt sad enough – heart of phoenix certainly does tell it like it is – or should be. Passing any older animal along to the unknown cant be passed off as naive – not today. Honestly, anyone who spares their own “feelings” in that way should have to actually see what happens to these animals – whether horses, cats, dogs – any species. There are very few “good homes” just waiting for someone elses unwanted animals. All you have to do is go to one of these auctions to see the absolute heartless truth!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. One bit of good news from the US, and an example that every state can make a difference. I also will suggest once again we all need to help develop better end of life options for horses in our country, including paying a small tax or similar on all horse goods that would fund a low or no cost horse cemetery option in every state. The options today even for humane, loving owners are few and mostly horrible; the best options are burial but finding places to do this is increasingly problematic. Cremation is enormously expensive and difficult to arrange. The most available options are the kill pen or the landfill, both highly objectionable to people who love their animals. The slaughter pipeline would be diminished significantly if better options were available for caring owners. Those who don’t care, well, don’t care and won’t care.

    An act to amend Section 1834.8 of the Civil Code, and to amend Section 24106 of the Food and Agricultural Code, relating to equines.

    [ Approved by Governor October 12, 2019. Filed with Secretary of State October 12, 2019. ]


    AB 128, Gloria. Equines: protection.
    (1) Proposition 6, an initiative measure approved by the electors at the November 3, 1998, general election, enacted the Prohibition of Horse Slaughter and Sale of Horsemeat for Human Consumption Act of 1998. The act makes it unlawful, and punishable as a felony, for any person to possess, to import into or export from the state, or to sell, buy, give away, hold, or accept any horse with the intent of killing, or having another kill, that horse, if that person knows or should have known that any part of that horse will be used for human consumption. The act also makes it unlawful to offer horsemeat for sale for human consumption.

    The Equine Protection Act of 1991 creates a program of equine protection and identification in the Department of Food and Agriculture. The act prohibits any person from purchasing, consigning, selling, or accepting the donation of an animal, defined as a horse, pony, mule, or burro, that is destined for slaughter unless a written bill of sale or any written instrument containing specified information is provided, as prescribed. The act makes it a misdemeanor if any person does not keep the necessary written records with respect to these transactions and other transactions subject to the act, refuses to show the records to a peace officer or to allow copies to be made of the record, or destroys the record within a specified period of time.

    From AWHC: “In 2018 alone, nearly 80,000 American horses, both wild and domestic, were taken to Canada or Mexico and slaughtered for human consumption. That’s why AWHC sponsored Assembly Bill 128 (AB 128) in California — legislation to strengthen protections for horses from slaughter to help put a stop to this. AB 128 was authored by California State Assemblymember Todd Gloria (CA AD-78) in order to “make sure California’s horse population is not illegally sent to slaughter [by closing] a loophole that could lead horses to harm. We’re proud to tell you that all of our collective phone calls, petitions, and organizing worked: AB 128 was officially signed into law last weekend by California Governor Gavin Newsom!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Forgot to add one other end of life option, not available everywhere but in some places: the renderer. These will send a truck to pick up a dead horse for a small fee so owners can wash their hands of whatever happens next. However, I have seen this first hand when a beloved horse became ill and eventually died, and the distraught owner called the renderer. I was there when the truck came and the owner and her little girl watched their horse be dragged up into the dump truck. To call it horrific was an understatement.

      Also something to consider: that horse had been on all kinds of meds and treatments for some time, and especially during that last week. Whoever or whatever ate that meat would have been better off going hungry.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Icy – I have the same picture in my mind – when a friend’s horse died & the truck came & took her mare away. Not a good memory for a kid to have along with money handed to her for her horse. It was awful.

        Liked by 1 person

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