Hidden footage shows 'industrial' scale slaughter of Aussie racehorses

WARNING –– DISTRESSING CONTENT:

A two-year ABC investigation has revealed allegations hundreds of Australian racehorses are being sent to the slaughterhouse.

The ABC says Racing Australia's official data claims around 34 horses every year end up at slaughterhouses, a figure amounting to less than one per cent of retiring racehorses.

However, the national broadcaster says a two-year investigation, culminating in a report that aired on Thursday's edition of 7.30, shows the number is much higher.

The 7.30 investigation into the Australian racehorse industry took two years which involved hidden cameras at abattoirs. Source: 7.30 / ABC

Elio Celotto from the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses told the ABC that about 4000 racehorses had been killed in one abattoir alone.

Animal welfare and behaviour scientist Professor Paul McGreevy told the ABC there was no way the racing industry could defend the behaviour.

"This is a clear breach of everything the industry has told us," he said.

Many of the horses slaughtered in the ABC footage were from NSW but killed interstate –– a breach of racing regulations. Source: 7.30 / ABC

“We’re talking about destroying horses on an industrial scale. We’re seeing animals suffering.”

“Clearly there’s no excuse for that sort of treatment.

“That’s not acceptable, of course it isn’t and it’s disgusting.”

The investigation also aired accusations of multiple instances of animal cruelty at the slaughterhouses racehorses are being sent to.

The ABC says despite racing's peak body implementing rules requiring the registration and tracking of horses from their birth to their retirement, racehorses are still being killed in slaughterhouses on a weekly basis.

Hundreds of horses were filmed being killed in the distressing investigation. Source: 7.30 / ABC

Racing NSW CEO Peter V'landys told the ABC he was not aware of any NSW racehorses being sent to slaughterhouses.

However, he said if it is occurring the state body would "put the full force of the law" against offenders.

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