Racing braces itself as Panorama claims ‘thousands’ of horses are being sent to slaughter in Britain

·1-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Thousands of racehorses are being killed in abattoirs in Britain and Ireland, according to a BBC documentary to be broadcast tonight.

Panorama: The dark side of horse racing’ (BBC1, 8.30pm), contains covert footage of horses being killed, including some trained and owned by some of the sport’s biggest trainers.

The cameras were set up by a campaign group which has called for an end to racing and filmed at the end of 2019 and the start of 2020.

Veterinary experts have offered their views, outlining concerns about the manner of slaughter, as well as the transport of horses, especially those with potential injuries.

Animal Aid spokesman Dene Stansall said: “When we looked at the footage, we were astounded at the sheer volume of young thoroughbreds.”

Freedom of information requests revealed that 4,000 former racehorses were slaughtered since the beginning of 2019.

Most, but not all, were trained in Ireland. The abattoir, Drury and Sons, told Panorama that they “take great care to maintain high welfare conditions”.

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