Recent revelations of horse meat being mislabelled as ‘beef’ in Europe have cast a spotlight here on an industry few Australians ever hear about.
A young racehorse injures his knee while training; a brood mare stops turning out ‘winners’; a sweet young filly can’t keep up on the track – their fates are all but sealed.
For thousands of horses exiting the Australian racing industry every year, there are two likely scenarios: pet food or human food.
With the majority of Australians repulsed by the thought of eating horse meat, those horses slaughtered in Australia for human consumption supply an export market to countries throughout Europe and Asia. Behind the glamour of the races is the reality that many more horses are bred than can actually race and win. In the pursuit of prize money, racehorses are treated as disposable.
The racing industry calls this ‘wastage’. See for yourself below.