A lonely horse looks over the door of their stable.

The dark side of horse racing exposed on ABC 7.30.

The dark side of the horse racing industry has been revealed in a damning exposé on ABC 7.30.

Animals Australia

Animals Australia team

Last updated October 13, 2023

Preparations for ‘Spring Racing’ are in full swing; hats are being purchased, champagne is being ordered, bets are being planned … and hidden from the public eye, horses are being slaughtered.

A few years have passed since the dark side of the horse racing industry was exposed on ABC 7.30, and five-year-old Anthony Van Dyck broke down mid-race and was killed at the Melbourne Cup – yet the industry continues to operate, and young, healthy horses continue to pay with their lives.

The 7.30 Report was the culmination of a gruelling two-year-long investigation collating damning evidence of the mass slaughter of racehorses who are deemed no longer ‘useful’.

"The dark side of horse racing" aired on ABC 7.30, 17/10/2019.
We're talking about destroying horses on an industrial scale, we're seeing animals suffering. I don't think anybody in the [racing] industry could ever defend this.
Professor Paul McGreevy

After being forced to run and risk their lives in the ‘sport of kings’, heartbreaking investigation footage reveals what the ‘final race’ looks like for thousands of Australian horses every year.

In filthy slaughterhouses and knackeries, they’re sworn at, kicked, beaten and slaughtered in front of their companions. Their flesh is exported overseas for human consumption, or sold locally for pet food — some of which ends up in the dinner bowls of fellow victims of the racing industry: greyhounds.

The biggest risk to the horse racing industry is people learning the truth about how cruelly it disposes of animals once they’re no longer making gambling profits.

Keen to keep up the facade of glitz and glamour in the lead-up to the Spring Carnival and the Melbourne Cup, the horse racing industry is undoubtedly hopeful that this damning investigation has been forgotten.

And that means…

The most powerful action you can take today is to continue to share this story, for the hidden horses of the racing industry.

More ways you can create a kinder world for horses

  • If you’re keen to do more for horses, then you can urge racing’s major sponsors of the year to cut ties with animal cruelty by sending a polite but powerful email, letter, or social media message.
  • Please also support our friends at the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses, who have worked tirelessly to expose cruelty, educate the public about the brutal reality of horse racing, and protect horses for well over ten years. You can help the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses to achieve justice for horses here.
  • Take the pledge to never bet on horse racing cruelty and share it with friends and family!