Australia: Winx trainer Chris Waller says he was sickened by footage of ex-racehorses being slaughtered - - PressFrom - Australia
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Australia Winx trainer Chris Waller says he was sickened by footage of ex-racehorses being slaughtered

06:40  19 october  2019
06:40  19 october  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

Mass slaughter and abuse of racehorses undermines industry's commitment to animal welfare

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ABC 730 Report 'The Final Race' finds ex - racehorses being slaughtered . The program highlighted horses at abattoirs still listed as active racehorses within the Racing Australia database which Racing NSW CEO Peter V’landys said means “the horse is still in the racing industry, and it’s still competing”.

Footage showed horses being beaten, kicked and shocked with electric prods while they lay dying in Melbourne Cup- winning trainer Darren Weir charged with animal cruelty. The CPR said up to 220 horses are being killed weekly at a Queensland abattoir and on average, 56% are racehorses .

Trainer Chris Waller.© AAP Trainer Chris Waller.

Champion racehorse trainer Chris Waller says vision of ex-racehorses being slaughtered in a Queensland abattoir was so sickening he couldn't watch.

The vision was part of an expose by ABC TV's 7.30 program, which also revealed thousands of former racehorses were being destroyed annually.

The slaughter of racehorses is not illegal in Australia but it is against Racing NSW policy and rules, which state that all retired racehorses should be rehomed.

The program used monitoring by the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses and recordings from undercover investigators at a number of locations, including the Meramist abattoir at Caboolture in Queensland.

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The Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses said they had been monitoring one abattoir north of Brisbane for two years and claimed it slaughtered 500 horses a month. Racing Victoria chief executive Giles Thompson said he was " sickened by the horrific images", which emerged just days

While the slaughter of racehorses is not illegal in Australia, a two-year undercover probe by the Racing Victoria chief executive Giles Thompson said he was " sickened by the horrific images". Five-time Melbourne Cup- winning trainer Lee Freedman was also outraged, tweeting that he was

The vision obtained by the ABC showed abattoir workers tormenting animals before they were killed.

Covert cameras recorded horses being beaten and abused, bolted in the brain repeatedly and ineffectively killed.

Waller said he was deeply affected by the program.

"I was shocked. A lot of that vision I couldn't watch myself. It was sickening," Waller told ABC.

"To think that there were a few horses that were racehorses was bad enough, but for any horse for that to happen to them, let alone an animal, it just blew me away, as it has with my fellow colleagues, and trainers and lovers of animals."

Waller is one of Australia's highest profile racehorse trainers, most famous for guiding Winx to a record four Cox Plate victories and 33 consecutive race wins.

Jockey Laura Cheshire says she 'failed' after recognising her own horse slaughtered on camera

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Footage of horses allegedly being mistreated at an abattoir in Queensland caused widespread anger when it was aired on broadcaster ABC on Thursday. The slaughter of racehorses is legal in Australia, but industry rules in some states require horses to be "rehomed". Racing is a popular and lucrative

ABC 730 Report 'The Final Race' finds ex - racehorses being slaughtered . The program highlighted horses at abattoirs still listed as active racehorses within the Racing Australia database which Racing NSW CEO Peter V’landys said means “the horse is still in the racing industry, and it’s still competing”.

Waller has his headquarters at Rosehill in Sydney, but he also has bases at Warwick Farm, and also at Flemington in Melbourne and on the Gold Coast.

"I'm proud to say that we find homes for all of our horses, or find what we think are suitable placements.

"There was a horse brought up in that story [on 7.30] that had been from my stable, but it was two years afterwards.

"It had raced in another trainer's care for two years, and I understand that he found it a suitable home, but it found its place at an abattoir, which I'm shocked about — and I'm not going to hide it, because it needs to be dealt with."

Waller said authorities in NSW had taken steps to ensure more transparency over where horses were taken.

"It's really stepped up in the last few years, where we must document, document at length where a horse is going to when it leaves out stable — whether it be sold or whether it be retired," he said.

Yes Yes Yes wins $14 million The Everest for Chris Waller Racing at Royal Randwick

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Racehorse trainers say they take care to ensure horses have good homes when they leave stables but the system needs to be tightened up. Responding to the ABC 7.20 Report on the alleged slaughter of ex - racehorses , champion trainer Chris Waller said everyone needed to be vigilant.

Punters said report was hypocritical and many animals are slaughtered that way. While the footage uncovered disturbing details about the mistreatment of retired horses , some Racing NSW CEO Peter V'landys tod the ABC he was not aware of any NSW racehorses being sent to slaughterhouses.

"So once that horse leaves our stable, we must have a paper trail to show where it goes.

"It seems to be there could be a breakdown [in the system] when those horses leave the racing industry and enter other parts of Australia, where we're losing sight of what's happened to them.

"Fortunately that's a minimal number, but that minimal number is not good enough — it's got to be every horse [that's tracked].

"We need to step up procedures. The industry has to be responsible.

"It needs to be backed by federal and state governments to make sure that these people are brought to trial, and… that the fines and the [jail] terms are fit for sentence."

Protesters make a statement in Sydney and Melbourne

Protesters were out in Sydney and Melbourne ahead of two big races — the $14 million sprint race The Everest in Sydney and the Caulfield Cup in Melbourne.

Dozens were protesting outside Royal Randwick, the venue for the world's richest turf race, The Everest — with many saying they were motivated to come out following the ABC investigation.

Protesters were chanting "horse racing kills" at racegoers as they made their way into the venue.

The Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses campaign director, Elio Celotto, was leading the protests, and he said the 7.30 investigation had galvanised supporters.

"Now the tide is well and truly turning and people are opposing the racing industry for the inherent cruelty that they are allowed to perpetuate," he said.

"In all honesty I don't think the racing industry has the will to really reform itself.

"I think it will be when they're on their knees, when they realise that they've lost public support, that they'll probably do something, but we hope that significant change will start to take place and we'll certainly be there making sure that change does take place."

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After fracturing his pelvis and nearly bleeding out after last year's Cox Plate, Kings Will Dream is set to write another chapter in an unbelievable comeback story at Moonee Valley, during a fortnight of intense scrutiny over the treatment of horses within the racing industry.During a fortnight of severe introspection and external pressure for the racing industry after 7.30's revelation of the mass slaughter of retired racehorses, this sprinter's story is sure to inspire equal parts outrage and excitement among critics and fans respectively.

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