The Finish Line: Part 2: More Information

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Following the release of our investigation earlier this year into Sydney knackeries Luddenham Pet Meats and Burns Pet Food, new evidence implicates two additional NSW knackeries in the racing industry's wastage problem: Kankool Pet Foods in Willow Tree, and Highland Pet Foods in Guyra. Most of this evidence relates to Kankool, where an 8-week investigation uncovered branded thoroughbreds being killed on a weekly basis, including young unraced horses (not even 2 years old), ex-racehorses (one had last raced as recently as December last year, another October last year) and ex-breeding mares (including ex-racers who were ‘retired’ into breeding). The investigation also uncovered horses being picked up directly from several local studs/breeders and foster-mare facilities. Twelve of the thoroughbreds have been identified, at least ten of whom were slaughtered in direct breach of Racing NSW’s rules which prohibit the slaughter of NSW-bred/domiciled horses.

Since being exposed, Luddenham Pet Meats has been buying their horsemeat from Kankool.

As well as thoroughbreds, Kankool slaughters standardbred horses who have been used for harness racing (their slaughter also prohibited, by Harness Racing NSW), stock horses who have been used for rodeos and other competitive events, miniature horses and ponies, and any horse in between. Sheep and lambs, cattle and calves, pigs and goats are among the other species that Kankool slaughters.

There is a clear culture of disregard for animals at Kankool; sheep were found, on occasion, to not even be stunned before slaughter, having their throats cut whilst fully conscious. Cattle were frequently left writhing on the ground for minutes after being shot, sometimes with clear displays of partial consciousness/sensibility. One large pig was shot 8 times before they died, screaming out in pain after each shot, whilst blood poured down their terrified face. In the footage one worker is seen posing for a photo with a steer who has been shot but is still partially conscious, later lifting and lowering their severed cow’s head, joking about “who needs the gym”.

The evidence from the second knackery, Highland at Guyra, identifies at least 4 separate occasions in the last two years where NSW horses were sent directly from a stud/breeding facility owned by billionaire Gerry Harvey (who owns the prestigious Magic Millions racing event, and Harvey Norman) to the knackery, again in breach of the Racing NSW rules. The evidence also shows 89 horses sent by local breeder Tamac Stud Farm in the same two year period, also in breach of the rules, with many understood to have been supplied by RSPCA NSW with full knowledge that they would be ending up at the knackery.

Read more about the findings of the investigation