Activists defy ‘ag-gag’ laws to release footage of ex-racehorses killed at Sydney knackeries
Animal protection organisation Aussie Farms has released ‘devastating’ hidden camera footage of horses, including ex-racing thoroughbreds and standardbreds, being shot at two Sydney knackeries.
Among the many horses bought and killed by Luddenham Pet Meats and Burns Pet Foods in western Sydney – some from the Camden saleyards – the hidden cameras captured the final moments of the following identified exracehorses:
• Formply Prize money: $2,275. Bought by Luddenham Pet Meats at Camden for $200.
• Halos Image Prize money: $51,470. Bought by Burns Pet Foods at Camden for $380.
• Perfectly Spun Prize money: $0. Bought by Luddenham Pet Meats.
• Rebel Prince Prize money: $159,195. Bought by Luddenham Pet Meats.
• Startreusse Prize money: $115,675. Bought by Luddenham Pet Meats.
• Touchdown Miss Prize money: $375. Bought by Burns Pet Foods.
• Unbuckled Prize money: $2,625. Bought by Luddenham Pet Meats.
The publishing of the footage, captured between late 2018 and early 2020, is in breach of the NSW Surveillance Devices Act 2007. This Act, although not designed for such a purpose, has in recent years been used to target whistle-blowers attempting to blow the lid on systemic animal cruelty. Aussie Farms’ Executive Director, Chris Delforce, faced court in 2017 over charges relating to the publication of footage captured inside intensive pig farms and a slaughterhouse gas chamber; those charges were dropped on a technicality.
Delforce: “We know that publishing this footage means we’re probably going to end up in court, maybe even face jailtime, but that’s a battle we’re more than willing to fight. The Australian public has a right to see the reality of this industry, hidden behind a carefully and expensively maintained façade of glamour. We were all shocked by what was seen at the Meramist abattoir, but that was never the only destination for ‘retired’ or otherwise unwanted horses. This is the hidden side to the hidden side of the industry.”
“We’re seeing terrified horses stumbling into the knockbox, trembling with fear, many still showing signs of life after the first shot to their head, so they’re shot again as they lie bleeding out. Some had earned over $100,000 in prize money for their owners. They deserve better than this; better than to be the forgotten waste product of this disgusting industry. The racing industry needs to take responsibility for the thousands of horses they breed every year, and racegoers need to accept that every time they attend or bet on a horse race, this is what they’re paying for.”