STATEMENT FOLLOWING PANORAMA “The Dark Side of Horse Racing.”
The scenes at the abattoir shown in Panorama tonight were sickening and the National Trainers Federation (NTF) has no hesitation in condemning those practices. We note that the programme produced no examples of horses trained in Britain suffering a similar fate at this or any other abattoir.
Britain has a well-established and highly esteemed programme for rehoming racehorses trained in this country. Managed by the industry’s charity Retraining of Racehorses, the programme has successfully expanded the market for racehorses to move on to new careers away from the racecourse. Such is the demand, our trainers tell us that they have no difficulty finding good new homes for retired racehorses.
Along with all other stakeholders and participants in British horseracing, the NTF fully supports the industry’s Horse Welfare Strategy published in 2020 under the auspices of the independently chaired Horse Welfare Board. The strategy notes that “Euthanasia can…sometimes be effective in preventing unnecessary suffering and avoiding a welfare problem.” British trainers take a responsible and compassionate approach with racehorses that have long term injuries. If a vet recommends euthanasia, their aim would be to carry it out at the trainer’s premises in a professional and humane way in accordance with the industry’s euthanasia guidelines.