PETA's Undercover Slaughter Footage of Former Racehorses—Many U.S.-Born or With American Parents—Also Shows Horses Being Beaten
For Immediate Release:
January 14, 2020
David Perle 202-483-7382
Jeju, South Korea – After a police investigation—prompted by the release of a covert video filmed by PETA showing shocking abuse and slaughter of horses in South Korea—the Jeju Livestock Cooperative Association and two of its employees have been fined about $4,300 (KRW 5 million) each for killing horses right in front of other horses. This is the first time a South Korean company or its workers have been prosecuted for illegally killing horses. Jeju Livestock Cooperative Association operates the largest horse slaughterhouse in Korea, owned by the national corporation Nonghyup.
The PETA undercover investigation video, which was released in May 2019, shows retired racehorses and other horses at the slaughterhouse. Many had American parents or were U.S.-born, such as Revelsimmard, who was foaled in New York in 2015. PETA documented that horses were repeatedly beaten in the face as they were forced into the slaughterhouse to be killed for their flesh. Some were slaughtered in front of other panicked horses, which violates South Korea’s Animal Protection Act.
Despite video evidence of abuse, the workers and horse transporters who were filmed viciously beating horses were not prosecuted. Korean animal protection organization Voice for Animals, which worked with PETA to file complaints, argues that the rationale given for this—that no financial loss resulted from an attack by the horses—is unacceptable.
“We applaud South Korean authorities for fining slaughterhouse workers who violated slaughter laws, but it’s appalling that a civilized country did not prosecute such egregious cruelty as beating horses in the face,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo.
In the wake of the slaughterhouse investigation, PETA is urging the Korea Racing Authority to adopt a racehorse retirement model based on the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance in the U.S. Every year, more than 400 American racehorses are exported to South Korea for racing and breeding—and many broodmares are pregnant at the time of export. Most of these horses will be slaughtered in that country after their “careers” end.