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2009 Stats: Fewer Foals Equals Less Suffering

Written by PETA | October 27, 2009
smh / CC

Sure, some men joke about how to score with women, but the horse-racing industry’s use of stallions to impregnate tens of thousands of mares—in the quest for one big winner—is no laughing matter.

The good news is that thoroughbred breeding stats for 2009 show a decline in the number of horses who were bred. The number of stallions bred dropped almost 9 percent, and the number of mares bred fell 13.5 percent, according to The Jockey Club. Don’t misunderstand—there’s still a whole lotta suffering in the making. This year alone, more than 45,000 mares were “covered” (bred), which means that tens of thousands of foals will be born into the racing industry and face the risk of suffering broken bones, being drugged, and being abandoned, neglected, or shipped overseas for slaughter when they are no longer considered “useful.” Most of the slaughtering of U.S. horses takes place in Mexico and Canada: More than 100,000 U.S. horses per year are trucked to Mexico and Canada to be slaughtered (and more than 10,000 of those horses are thoroughbreds formerly used for racing).

The Kentucky Derby and other high-stakes races represent the suffering of thousands of horses—day in and day out, year in and year out. While the drop in breeding means that fewer horses will be born to suffer a lifetime of abuse, there’s still much more work to be done. Take a minute to check out our investigation into a Japanese horse slaughterhouse and write to the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and demand breeding limits.

Written by Karin Bennett

Commenting is closed.
  • Anne says:

    For one people really need to educate before making certain comments. Quality Road the 12 horse in the BCC has from time to time had gate problems even with all the schooling he has gone through. If you see him now he is doing VERY well! Also after the death of Ferdinand the U.S. now has buyback clauses on our horses that are sent overseas. Typically Japan.

  • Carol Christensen says:

    I am horrified. Just watched the Breeders Cup at Santa Anita on TV. Will never watch again. My husband had it on and because of the noise and turmoil of attempting to shove the horse into the starting gate I came inside to see if the horse was OK. Horse 12 didn’t want to run and was bucking. Who knows how much injury he indured physically and emotionally. I don’t want to hear from anyone who says that these race horses have a good life and they are spoiled. Please I need a word of “hope” from someone who believes as I do that animals are not the property of people. They are our pals friends families. Each time I write something like this people write and disagree with me. Then why do these people even blog or read the blogs? Why do they look? Peace to All. Hope for better days. Carol

  • Matt says:

    Considering PETA didn’t allow my last post on I don’t know why I am bothering to write another. The first one was not profain or rude but did submit a point of view that was contradictory to those that they hold. It is interesting to note that for this one they decided to not mention why breeding is going down. To put it simply the economy is suffering and people do not have as much money to spend on stallion rights for breeding purposes. Also by the writer of this blog’s logic the thoroughbred racehorse should be wipped out completely. After all more breeding means more horses and more horses means more suffering. Therefore if no breeding is allowed to occur then there will be no suffering. The thoroughbred should just be allowed to go extinct and all its suffering will cease. Don’t get me wrong I love horses but this is just a ridiculous piece of writing.

  • Lauren Holt says:

    I never go to the races greyhound horse or any other… People say “But the horses HAVE to be looked after well.” The fact is they don’t! The poor things are whipped to make them run fast and god forbid is they break a leg… It’s bye bye horsey.

  • Susie says:

    Yes while many of the horses you speak about in this article is true there are a good many of them that are well cared for looked after loved and live out their lives in the lap of equine luxury.

  • Chris says:

    Why am I not surprised that the horses are shipped to Canada for slaughter. I think I may extend my boycott of Canada’s maple syrup to everything Canadian.

  • Brien Comerford says:

    As long as the majority of humans relish eating the carcasses of our fellow creatures there will only be neglible advances in animal welfare.

  • Valerie says:

    Keep up the pressure on these thugsPETA. They fear your influence and power. Our country’s horses are used and abused by the racing thugs then sent on trips to Mexico and Canada so that foreigners can eat our pets. What would Americans think if our homeless dogs were sent to slaughter for the palates of foreigners?