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Thoroughbreds to Be Saved From Slaughter

Written by PETA | February 9, 2012

Remember those stomach-churning scenes from PETA’s undercover investigation at a horse slaughterhouse? Horses, discarded by the racing industry, were slaughtered and hacked into pieces.  On the heels of that horrific case, we went to the one organization that deals with every thoroughbred breeder in this country—The Jockey Club, which handles all foal registrations—and asked why the run for the roses had turned into a race for horses’ lives. We gave Jockey Club officials a detailed proposal for implementing and funding a real thoroughbred retirement program, the Thoroughbred 360 Lifecycle Fund. More than 32,000 PETA members and supporters wrote in support of it.

They Listened!

The Jockey Club paid attention. Today, less than a year after receiving our recommendations, The Jockey Club, the Keeneland Association, and the Breeders’ Cup, Ltd., have announced the launch of an organization—the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA)—composed of owners, trainers, breeders, racetracks, jockeys, horse-rescue experts, and others in the racing industry. The TAA will begin by laying the groundwork for the program. As we suggested, it will inspect every stable and sanctuary that wants to provide a home for a thoroughbred. The facilities that make the grade will be accredited. And then the TAA will raise funds to get the horses into those homes.

How You Can Help Horses

There’s much more work to be done, and it won’t end all the cruelty in racing, but making a lifetime commitment to the horses these groups depend on for their income is a good start.


Written by Kathy Guillermo

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  • jill says:

    all you people who think this ‘sport’should be stoped well what about jumping and 3 day eventing they should stop yes i agree that it is way to much reproduing they could put limits and the age should go up as well but horses love to run if they didnt have these kinds of sports why are horses here on earth!!!! i love my horse and all my animals

  • jill says:

    i follow horseraceing but i rarely see a horse crash or any thing but they can at least wait till the horses are 4 and the legs are good and stiff but animals are put here to eat they could put a number on how much foals they can have

  • Nan says:

    Horse racing is one form of animal slavery, where animals are forced to perform unnatural acts for human pleasure. We have come a long ways in legally ending human slavery. It is about time we rally to end animal slavery. Only by coexisting with animals can we protect our planet, our home.

  • Vikas says:

    Save animals, save humanity, save earth, save creature of god. Only one way to make a batter world is Save animal save humanity. We feel pain, these animals also feels the same. We human love our children,these animals also do the same. The difference is we human are selfish, money minded, cheap, but these animals do not have these qualities.

  • Mariann says:

    I am just shocked and angry at how much can men be so inhuman to animals. There’s no reason for it. I have watched a lot of videos and just couldn’t finish this one. How these people do this as a day job and still go to their families and sleep at night I don’t know! This must be stopped Yesterday!

  • mary carr says:

    I wish you were the horse and the horse was trialling you- no conscience!

  • DawnG says:

    As the extreme proud owner of 2 rescued retired Thoroughbred racehorses, I can tell you firsthand the cruelty involved. My now 12 year old gelding was diagnosed at 5 years old with advanced arthritis for being pushed way too young to do way too much. I adopted him from a local group that worked mainly with racehorse rescues. These animals are used up and trashed. It’s a crime against nature and I hope I live long enough to see this horror in our society abolished….right along with beautiful greyhounds who face the exact same fate as the horses. Humans….UGH!

  • Viva.morgan says:

    Thank you a lot for sharing this with all of us you really know what you’re talking approximately! Bookmarked. Kindly also seek advice from my site =). We will have a hyperlink exchange agreement between us! best wishes

  • dinora roman says:

    wow thats were racehorses end up instead of being given away to good homes not nice i always wanted a racehorse but we didnt have the money to buy one but i never knew they ended in slaughter houses

  • Lisa DiMaio says:

    Wow, the ignorance of some of the remarks here disgust me! Just aged horses going to slaughter? No way! I have personally bought out of a kill pen a 6 month old colt. These horses are not used for dog food, like everyone thinks. They are being shipped to Mexico and Canada to supply Europe and Japan’s demand for horse meat to be served in restaurants. It’s sickening and the animals are treated horribly the whole way until there lives are ended. It needs to stop! Breeders need to be held accountable and our horses shouldn’t even be allowed to be shipped to other countries, unless they are heading for showing and racing. I just hope the stupid Europeans and Japanese realize just how much chemicals that they shouldn’t be consuming is in horses. Horse meat is not regulated to any kind of edible standards. Maybe the demand will cease when they all start to grow another head!

  • Catherine says:

    Absolutely discusting that this is called a sport!!

  • Shang Guo says:

    At the very moment when its blood was flowing out of the body and its life extincting,what did you, the murderer, feel???!!!

  • K says:


  • KrisA says:

    Despite the many problems with it (my 14 year old nephew pretty much uses all his gadgets and games as a substitute for human companionship) I thank goodness every day for the Internet. Why? Because campaigns like this would be impossible without it. A picture (of butchered horses, tortured mill dogs, terrified monkeys in labs with hands outstretched thru the bars) is worth a thousand words. It made me an animal activist. Bless the people at PETA who can bear to deal with this every day so they can bring it to our attention. They are truly brave and special people.

  • Mrs.Bieber Forever says:

    This is horrible. I reacently watched a special on 60 minutes about Charismatic and at the very end, they showed Charismatic in Japan, all bif tall and healtyh and now I wonder if he’s even alive. Those Japanese and thier ” horseslughter ” as if we dont have enough cows and pigs to live of ove. Why horses? They are magnificent animals of God ( as are the rest ) but horse meat is NOT NEEDED…. I am SO angry and SO upset. hopefuully i can take a big part and save some horses from slaughter…

  • PrecioustoHim says:

    All the wrongs that are done here in this life on earth will be brought to justice in heavenly places by the righteous Judge. Evil men will continue to do evil things, there is not much that can be done about it now, but one day soon Jesus Christ is coming back to this earth to make man pay for their evil acts and on that day if in fact they have continued in their evil ways the Lord will judge them by fire: [The final act of the Jesus Christ before life in Eternity begins. It is a choice everyone makes while here in this life, Eternity in Heaven or Eternity in the lake of fire,Hell. Which will you choose?] Matthew 13:41-43(ERV) The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will find the people who cause sin and all those who do evil. The angels will take those people out of his kingdom. They will throw them into the place of fire. There the people will be crying and grinding their teeth with pain. Then the godly people[those who have put their trust in Jesus Christ and have been obedient to His loving call] will shine like the sun. They will be in the kingdom of their Father in heaven [God]. You people who hear me, listen! Job 34:11 He repays a man for what he has done; he brings upon him what his conduct deserves. 2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. Colossians 3:25 But evildoers will receive their reward for their evil actions. There is no discrimination.. Psalm 62:12 and that you, O Lord, are loving. Surely you will reward each person according to what he has done. Matthew 13:49 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous John 14:1-3 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me

  • rmpiaz says:

    This crap is hurting the horse industry… Its propaganda; what does Peta suggest is done w/unproductive aged horses who have lived out their life expectancy? Will we need to degicate land fills to despose of dead horse flesh I guess I’ve gathered enough info here to see War Emblem is the only one who seems to have gottent it right…

  • Guest says:

    As a person who is employed by the thoroughbred industry – I know that most people will take care of a horse in need and if they can not then they find someone who can. Horse slaughter is cruel- no doubt about it- but what is even more sickening are the people involved in the illegal trade, and the conditions that the horse is inhumanely kept before his/hers last days of life. The horses that make it to the slaughter houses get there because the wrong people get ahold of the horses- whether it is from an auction (all US thoroughbred auctions have a minimum price. This reserve exceeds the profit that someone would gain on sending a horse to the slaughter horse after being bought- so I highly doubt people would be buying horses at thoroughbred auctions to send to the slaughter house for money- because they would be loosing money), or claiming race (same story- the lowest claiming race is for $2,000- it would not be profitable for someone to send the horse to the slaughter house). Now stockyards and non-thoroughbred auctions are a different story. Here is problem: We the thoroughbred industry, need to do a better job keeping our horses whereabouts and have a data base consistently updated every time a horse goes through a transaction / new owner (whether or not the horse is sold or given away). The owners of the horses sent to the slaughter houses are scum, who need to be held accountable for their actions- stricter laws of animal abuse and negelict and harsher punishment for the last owner on file. Unfortunately, our American law does not apply to Japan or other countries- but at least the horses kept in America can held accountable for.

  • Tom_Tom says:

    I live in Lexington Ky, I will NEVER go to a horse-race after watching this. Also I guess I need to investigate what goes into my dog’s food?

  • Jenn Loves Animals says:

    This is horrible, people these days!

  • janet says:

    it’s terrible: (and sad that people are so cruel: (

  • Issis says:

    All animals should be “forever” animals … not used to line the pockets of their owners then slaughtered when they prove unable to feed their greed. A pox on their greedy endavors. Noone should be allowed to own an animal … especially animals that they intend to exploit (trotters, racing horses,greyhounds) without having to prove they will ensure their care after their “retirement”. I hope PETA will ensure this and similar efforts for animals not covered by it take effect ASAP and that they are enforced.



  • Ann says:

    I’ve been a harness race horse-Standardbred-groom for over 10 years. They are spoiled while racing then treated like dirt and sent to slaughter. These kind animals are like dogs and look forward to getting attention. They have large bones and large muscles that make them great riding horses for about any type of riding. They are easy to train to ride and make great family pets. It’s horrible what happens to them also. Thanks for PETA!

  • Liana Tavares says:

    This is disgusting. I own a horse of my own and i think for horses to be treated this way is disgraceful . they do not have one bit of care in those horses. this has got to stop. its heart breaking to watch, let alont being there.I hope there are more people like me out there that are willing to put a STOP to this. A FULL STOP!

  • Hatchery says:

    Everyone needs to hound their Senators and Representatives to pass the AMERICAN HORSE SLAUGHTER PREVENTION ACT, so that our national treasure horses are not shipped in unsafe double-decker trailers to Canada and Mexico for slaughter, for the sole purpose of providing horse meat for overseas countries. Horses are companion animals, not livestock, and their meat is not meant for human consumption. Many horses die on the harrowing journey and many have their throats slashed by knives in Mexico while they are fully conscious. WE CANNOT DISCARD OUR THOROUGHBRED RACE HORSES TO BE SLAUGHTERED ANY LONGER! There are many rescue groups who will adopt, sponsor and care for these horses. AMERICA, WAKE UP TO WHAT IS HAPPENING TO OUR HORSES! We must save them from slaughter.

  • steven says:

    what is wrong with this.. it is an industry and like any industry the equipment gets updated and the old disposed of

  • Bonnie says:

    I think it’s awful to discard your horse after they retire. My horse Bandit is my world. I got her for my 12th birthday in 2002,and we have been together for about 9.5 years. In 2008 she was diagnosed with ringbone (a form of arthritis, that results from boney growth around joints) in her front left leg. I was told that I could continue to ride her if I buted her extensively, and after seeing what pain killers had done to my friend with arthritis, I decided it was best to retire her, keeping her on a natural pain supplement for pain free life. Now almost 4 years later, I have her at a retirement program for horses, which I foot the bill for. For all the love and support she gave me during my teenage years, this is the least I can do for her. Even after she became retired, she had an injury that without hospitilazation could have led to death, if the wound had been infected, and although it would have been more cost effective to put her down, we took her to the hospital and paid for her $2000 vet bill to make sure she was healthy and safe. I hope after college I will be able to afford some land with a backyard big enough for a pasture, so that I can look after her myself. But through all of this, I never once thought of giving her up, even to a horse rescue. She is my horse, my baby, and my responsibility, and no matter how unrideable she becomes she will always have someone to look after her.

  • Natalie Helferty says:

    Why does any horse need a jockey to run? Would it not be better to let the horses run of their own free will? Let the out in a field and see which horses run freely. That way it isn’t ‘forced racing’, it actually is ‘horse racing’. And really, they ought to bring up horses in their own native continent of origin, Eurasia, to let the native wildlife return here in the Americas.

  • Laurie Allen says:

    PETA folks!! What A GREAT letter you sent – KUDOS to you and the JC for your well researched information and bottom line approach. My heart jumps for joy anticipating this plan going into action!! NOW we need to approach all the other breed association to do the same! QH, Arabian, Appaloosa,Paint,Warmblood, etc:)

  • chander kumar soni says:


  • Kam says:

    Using animals for personal financial gain is heinous and unnatural no matter what these so called ‘experts’ think. Then to use the animal and discard it by murdering it after it has made them so much money is sick beyond belief. However; Im sure there are responsible owners who genuinely care and love their animals and its these people whose assistance we all need to ensure animals are retired with love and care and dignity! Its the low life that are worrying and they really dont care a jot about animals and their welfare!

  • Noelle Revera says:

    Spot on, Ashley. If the money and the betting were taken out of the equation, and horses raced for the stakes only, a great deal of misery and mistreatment would be eradicated. It’s a contradiction in terms for someone to profess a love of horses and also be involved in the filthy racing game. I just adore horses and have ridden some beauties, mostly ex-racehorses, in my younger years. They’re so willing, so keen to please their rider. They deserve respect at least for what they do.

  • Natacha Rizzi says:

    I can’t sign the peition as the site aloow only people form United States to do it. Please modify the petition because is very important for me and my friends to sign thispetiotn as we think that is absolutely horrific what they are doing to those beautiful animals.

  • Cherylhunt says:

    I have been in the racing industry as a breeder and prepared horses in a respectful way. My husband was a racehorse Vet and what I saw on the studs and the racing techniches of training the horses made me sick to my stomach and I decided to get out of the disgusting industry. They do not care about the horses at all. It is all about money and they are just merely pawns to serve their purpose of greed and power.

  • Catherine says:

    Any chance of getting this organisation set up in Australia??? Despicable how these beautiful creatures are literally thrown on the scrap heap when they stop making money.

  • Ellie says:

    My 2 cents worth: This is only a small first step (not necessarily a commitment) and it remains to be seen how well this program will be funded and managed, with oversight sufficient to insure that these retired horses don’t merely fall from one mercilessly cruel end to another. We shouldn’t take anything for granted/assume too much. We are dealing with an industry whose sole purpose is the cruel mistreatment of animals for profit. Still, it is reason for hope and it is something at least, until such time that positive change arrives, to protect these horses from the lifetimes of misery they endure, LONG BEFORE their retirements. Horse racing a disgusting, brutal, warped industry and I’ve no respect for anyone participating in it on any level. And “love”? Let’s call a spade a spade here. What these folks love is the money. Remember Barbaro? That beautiful creature was used as nothing more than a PR campaign to try to convince the public that these horses are “loved and well cared for”. His suffering continued until the day he died, regardless of the outpouring of sympathy and caring from a duped public. How easily we swallow the pablum the industry puts out, when it is advantageous to them to do so. Anyone with some understanding of the delicate bone structure of todays race horses (due entirely to breeding practices) would know that Barbaro would never live pain free or be well again, after such a catastrophic injury. His ultimate passing was only delayed and made worse by the repeated surgeries/pain foisted upon him. Our animals have no voice and they have no choice, except our. So, let us have hope in the statement issued by the Jockey Club, but maintain caution, until we see concrete evidence that they mean what they espouse.

  • Robyn says:

    I agree we should outlaw all racing, horses and greyhounds included. It’s a stupid pastime and only good for greedy gamblers to “enjoy themselves.” I will never watch the Kentucky Derby on TV again. I always fear for those horses’ legs and feet when they run, so this will allow me to explain even more why I don’t want to watch the next race. Those stupid Japanese will eat anything. And was it about China where I read that they bring live monkeys to restaurant tables so their heads can be broken open to extract the live brains for what those idiots think is a delicious meal. Cruelty used to be considered a characteristic of “Asian cultures” but it’s time to stop being politically correct when it comes to the torture and death of animals and expose this kind of thing. That film of the horse slaughterhouse reminded me of the German death camps of World War II.

  • Tina says:

    I cannot watch the video, it is too heart-wrenching. There is so much gambling money associated with racing that it is doubtful it will ever end. Some will do anything for a buck. It it is not realistic to think we can put an end to it although I would love to see that happen. Of course greyhound racing was put to an end in Massachusetts but we can only hope. I agree with a previous writer, we should at least provide the animals with as much comfort as possible.

  • Kiley says:

    This makes me feel sick to my stomach… There are so many people who would gladly make an effort to give these horses a home… but they don’t get a chance… they are taken away to be slaughtered. It breaks my heart to think of the cruelty that they might face because of people who could careless if these horses are treated the way they deserve. People have no respect for animals because they are seen on a completely different level than we are. They are disposable and these people see them as a waste of money when these animals without a doubt could provide a different job. It’s sad that they are even using hormone treatment for War Emblem… I don’t see why they try to force these animals to be something, especially when they do not want to. Let him be a horse, a pet, and give him the love that all of these creatures deserve.

  • Fiona says:

    This is great news but please don’t forget all those horses that are discarded from harness racing as well.

  • giboin daniellle says:

    je n’achéte rien en cuir et je me porte très bien

  • Philip says:

    Excellent result. Could PETA please target the Australian racing industry with the same sort of campaign? There is a Jockey Club in each of our 7 states. Also, the RSPCA, Animal Welfare League, and I also believe WSPA, are trying to get South Australia and Victoria to ban jumps racing. It is in the other states. Each year many horses are put down on the trackside after serious falls. Can you lend support?

  • NO QUARTER says:

    ive been fighting for a permanent ban on horse slaughter for years, they vote on it in congress then it wont pass through the house. I dont believe they sell the meat to asia like they say, have you ever seen a can of horse meat? Its extreamly brutal as they shoot a giant piece of metal into the brain. this fact makes me question the moral standards of this country as people behave more barbaric than cavemen.

  • NO QUARTER says:

    ive been fighting for a permanent ban on horse slaughter for years, they vote on it in congress then it wont pass through the house. I dont believe they sell the meat to asia like they say, have you ever seen a can of horse meat? Its extreamly brutal as they shoot a giant piece of metal into the brain. this fact makes me question the moral standards of this country as people behave more barbaric than cavemen.

  • Andrea says:

    Amen Ashley! Unfortunetly our world feeds off of evil demonistic values! The best thing we can do is preach our knowledge and stop supporting resturants, stores, horse events,etc!

  • Katherine says:

    Hurray! I hope we can end horse racing now!

  • Marin says:

    @Ashley: I completely agree with you, but as long as there are people willing to put their money into the industry then it will always exist, so we can only do our best and at least provide some sort of comfort for retired horses rather than just kill them.

  • Ashley says:

    I don’t know why we need horse racing to continue at all. It’s just horses running in circles for gamblers to bet on. It only really benefits people who win money and the souless creeps who breed and train horses. I know these people seem to thing that they love horses, but if there is any love involved in what they do it is only superficial and tainted by greed. If they really loved horses then they wouldn’t continue to contribute to the suffering that these animals face.