13,000 horses could be destroyed

Mary Ormsby
Feature Writer
The Toronto Star

Dead race horses. Thousands of them. Not good for business if your business is horse racing.

Rhonda Taylor of Orangeville, trims a yearling’s forelock

 In Ontario, a rising death knell for the financially gutted industry – facing track closures and withering purses in a best-case scenario – also peels for the beautiful four-legged creatures who carry jockeys and pull sulkies around 17 racing ovals. 

 A government panel assembled in June to study the sport’s dim future has forecast a mass slaughter of up to 13,000 thoroughbreds, standardbreds and quarter horses by early next year should the industry collapse completely. Already, it’s expected two-thirds of Ontario tracks will close, there will be fewer racing days, less money in the prize pot and, therefore, less reason for owners and breeders to maintain expensive animals who may not have a place to run. 

Please read the full story at The Star


  1. GAsafehorses · ·

    These OTTB can be put to very good use. I adopted 2 ten years ago rescued from New Holland, PA killer buyers. They have added so much to our family! Cannot believe the same would not be true for others. Make wonderful riding horses since they have been exposed to everything no spooking, trailer great, love to please. Ex-racehorses make great riding horses, my word on that.

    1. cath hurwood · ·

      unlikely that every “used” racehorse can be rehomed …and what about those that never qualify for racing? Where in Canada can homes be found for 13,000 horses, if indeed the breeders would give them up?? It’s no different than puppy mills churning out dogs; the breeders of horses do the same thing, pumping out horses in search of the next Red Rum , Northern Dancer, etc….always money at the core of it! I commend you for taking on an ex-racer and know that all these animals deserve a home…but taking on a horse is also an expensive and should be LIFETIME commitment, which sadly a lot of people cannot afford.

  2. Jean McCarthy · ·

    This whole thing is inhumane and complete madness! Why slaughter these beautiful horses – there must be a sanctuary for these beautiful animals. Can they not be put to good use in riding stables, the police force – any other options other than cruel slaughter of these wonderful beasts of burden and pleasure for the rich?

  3. shoshone · ·

    Bouvray’s slaughter house at Fort McLeod and one he owns in Quebec are not accepting thoroughbreds. The other plant in Quebec and one in Alberta are still killing thoroughbreds.

    1. I wish we could get a written statement by them verifying such action. If it is true they shouldn’t be shy.

  4. cath hurwood · ·

    yes, but what do you think happens to racehorses that don’t make the grade … or that run all their lives only to be sent to slaughter … no good propping up a racing industry who continually send animals to their untimely deaths, because they are no longer useful!

  5. Mary-Joe Figueira · ·

    Marie, the Canadian slaughter plants are not taking TB because of the drug issues. At least that is what I read in another post by CHDC. It is the SB and the QH that will go. Regardless it will be a mass slaughter no matter what they call it.

    1. Awh Mary-Joe, the thoroughbreds are still being picked-up/purchased at auction by kill-buyers – so that only tells us one thing – that they are still slaughtering thoroughbreds. Maybe they threw the dog a bone to keep him quiet for a while. Too good to be true!? So sad.

      1. cath hurwood · ·

        even if the horses were not “thoroughbreds” …does that make it acceptable that they go to slaughter …I don’t think you are saying that…but the racing industry is no friend to animals of any ilk – they are users, abusers and exploiters…

  6. Don’t be fooled – these industry people will cover up the word “slaughter” by using humane dispatch or disposal or euthanasia. Mass Slaughter is just that – to the slaughter plant to be hung up and bleed to death! Don’t you think our government and the CFIA should be involved due to the fact that food safety will be at risk with such a “mass slaughter”? Racehorse + food safety = ILLEGAL – “NOT TOLERATED” as quoted by our leaders at the CFIA! Interesting, what will they do?

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