Undercover Knackery Investigation

During the week of the Melbourne Cup, while thousands of racegoers were celebrating at Flemington racecourse, undercover investigators from the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses ventured into a knackery – where horses are killed for dog meat – to document the last day on earth that many ex-racehorses face. What they found shocked even the most experienced of investigators.

The incidents of animal abuse seen in the video have been formally lodged as an animal cruelty complaint to the Department of Primary Industries, PrimeSafe Victoria and the RSPCA. The DPI refused to investigate; Primesafe Victoria deemed that the knackery was appropriate, and the RSPCA decided not to prosecute. 

However, as the footage depicts, if this treatment of animals is occurring in front of people, we can only imagine what must be occurring behind closed doors. And across the countless knackeries and slaughterhouses throughout Australia where thousands of horses meet their final destination.

Don’t let the suffering of Nature’s Child, Jesse and many others be in vain – share this video far and wide so that the racing industry acts. It’s simply not good enough for animals to be ruthlessly discarded at these hell-holes as has been done for year after year.


The log of abuse:

  • A lame horse (who clearly cannot weight-bear) is sold at Pakenham horse sales to the knackery without any veterinary attention
  • A horse is struck on the head in excess of 60 times in an attempt to move it out of the kill-box where another horse is already enclosed
  • Nature’s Child is shot in front of this horse as an attempt to move her companion back. Nature’s Child’s neck collides with the metal gate suffering what appears to be a broken neck, and blood spurts from her head as she can be head breathing
  • Nature’s Child’s throat is slit while she appears to be alive
  • A sick horse in the paddock (suspected to be suffering colic) is shot once in front of more than 20 other horses, and then dragged 60 metres across gravel and concrete, only to be found to still be alive. “Jesse” is then shot again, and has his throat slit. He can be seen breathing, paddling his legs and lifting his head off the ground until he eventually takes his last breath 4 minutes after the first shot
  • Horses tails are cut off while they exhibit reflexes which appear to indicate the horse is still alive
  • Stallions and mares are kept in the same enclosures despite likelihood of in-fighting amongst them

2013 Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses.