News & Media > Editorials > Racing NSW, Gerry Harvey and thoroughbred slaughter

Racing NSW, Gerry Harvey and thoroughbred slaughter

Farm Transparency Project
Thu 29 October 2020, 8:13pm
Facebook Twitter Email

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, many of whom were slaughtered in direct breach of Racing NSW’s rules which prohibit the slaughter of NSW-bred/domiciled horses.

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 10 times over 3 and a half minutes before they died, screaming out in pain while 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 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.

Identified thoroughbreds slaughtered at Kankool:

  1. Bahrain (born 2004)
  2. Sunday Poet (born 2015)
  3. Tycoon Mar (born 2013)
  4. Lechery (born 2004)
  5. Denman Dame (born 2012)
  6. Unnamed (born 2014)
  7. Unnamed (born 2018)
  8. Domally Force (born 2012)
  9. Unnamed (born 2005)
  10. Anguilla (born 2017)
  11. Madame Frost (born 2004)
  12. Pending Decision (born 2008)

Studs/breeders implicated:

  1. Broombee Stud, Dangarsleigh (Armidale)
    • Owned by billionaire Gerry Harvey
    • Emails and intake log reveal thoroughbreds sent to Highland in direct breach of NSW racing rule LR114
      • 21 November 2018: 3x “GH Branded” horses (plus 2 from other sellers)
      • 1 September 2019: 2x horses (plus 4 from other seller, TM Todd)
      • November 2019: 1x horse
      • 3 August 2020: 3x horses
  2. Tamac Stud Farm, Walcha
    • Owned by Mark Taylor
    • Intake log reveals horses sent to Highland in direct breach of NSW racing rule LR114:
      • 20/2/2018: 7x horses
      • 5/7/2018: 2x horses
      • 29/11/2018: 1x horse
      • 24/3/2019: 15x horses
      • 8/5/2019: 8x horses
      • 27/5/2019: 8x horses
      • 3/6/2019: 4x horses
      • 8/6/2019: 8x horses
      • 15/11/2019: 3x horses
      • 30/3/20: 29x horses
      • 16/4/20: 2x horses
      • 30/6/20: 2x horses
      • Total 2018-20: 89 horses
  3. Murrulla Stud, Wingen
    • Owned by Tim Nolan
    • 2 identified thoroughbreds (Unnamed 2018, Pending Decision) picked up by Kankool knackery truck in direct breach of NSW racing rule LR114
  4. Sefton Park Thoroughbreds, Scone
    • Owned by Colleen Buchanan
    • 2 horses sold to Kankool in week ending 27/3/2020 in direct breach of NSW racing rule LR114
  5. Ambergate Stud, Scone
    • Owned by Kevin Drew
    • 3 thoroughbreds (Denman Dame, Lechery, and an unidentified breeding mare) sent to Kankool knackery using Scone Horse Transport company in direct breach of NSW racing rule LR114
  6. Binnia Performance Horses, Coolah
    • Owned by Troy Palmer
    • 1 identified thoroughbred (Bahrain) picked up by Kankool knackery truck in direct breach of NSW racing rule LR114
  7. Ezy Care Foster Mares
    • Tim Hunt
    • 1 identified thoroughbred (Unnamed 2005) sent to Kankool in direct breach of NSW racing rule LR114

 

Confirmed thoroughbreds slaughtered at Kankool:

1. Bahrain (born 2004)

Microchip number: 985100010825935

Bahrain was a chestnut mare who was born in NSW, she won $32,250 in prize money for her ‘owners’, last racing in 2010. Bahrain was ‘retired’ into breeding, birthing her last foal in November 2019. Bahrain was sent directly to the knackery by horse breeder Troy Palmer from Binnia Performance Horses, located just under two hours from the knackery.

Bahrain’s slaughter at Kankool is in direct breach of Racing NSW’s rules, as she was sent directly by the industry (a breeder) to the knackery.

 

2. Sunday Poet (born 2015)

Microchip number: 985100012102903

Sunday Poet was a brown gelding born in NSW, winning $37,420 for his ‘owners’. Sunday Poet had last raced only five months before he was sent to be killed at Kankool Pet Foods, his official status reading ‘retired’ on racing.com.

Though it is unclear exactly who sent Sunday Poet to Kankool, his slaughter is still in breach of NSW’s racing rules, as he was NSW born, and raced just months before he was killed.

 

3. Tycoon Mar (born 2013)

Microchip number: 985100012042563

Tycoon Mar was a bay gelding who was born in NSW. He won $119,785 for his ‘owners’ throughout his racing career, which ended in December 2019, just 3 months prior to his slaughter at Kankool.

Who sent Tycoon Mar to the knackery is unclear, though it is highly likely he came straight from the industry given he raced only 3 months earlier. His slaughter is in breach of NSW Rules of Racing.

 

4. Unidentified breeding mare (born 2012)

She was sent directly to the knackery by Ambergate Stud, which breeds horses for the racing industry. She was transported to Kankool by Scone Horse Transport.

Her slaughter is likely to be in breach of NSW Rules of Racing as she was sent directly by the industry.

 

5. Lechery (born 2004)

Microchip number: 985100010818893

Lechery was a NSW born bay mare, who after winning no prize money for her ‘owners’, was ‘retired’ into breeding. Lechery birthed her last foal in November 2019, 1.5 years before she was sent by Ambergate Stud to be killed. She was transported to Kankool by Scone Horse Transport.

The slaughter of Lechery is against the NSW Rules of Racing, sent directly by the industry (Ambergate Stud) to be killed.

 

6. Denman Dame (born 2012)

Microchip number: 985100012012156

Denman Dame was another bay mare, sent by Ambergate Stud to be killed at Kankool. Denman Dame, like Lechery, was ‘retired’ into breeding after winning no prize money, giving birth to her last foal in November 2019, just 4 months prior to being killed. She was also transported to Kankool by Scone Horse Transport, along with Lechery and an unidentified mare.

Again, this is in breach of NSW Rules of Racing, as she was sent directly by industry.

 

7. Unnamed (born 2014)

Microchip number: 985100012047508

Unnamed (2014) was a NSW born, brown stallion who never made it to the track. Little is known of the life this horse led, but sadly it ended in a terrible way.

It is unclear whether or not his death is in breach of the NSW Rules of Racing; what we do know is he is yet another victim of the racing industry's ‘wastage’ culture.

 

8. Unnamed (AUS) 2018

Microchip number: 985100012159359

Unnamed (2018) was a chestnut colt, born at Murrulla Stud NSW in 2018. This young colt never made it to the track and at just 2 years old he was sent to Kankool directly by Murrulla, which breeds horses for the industry.

The slaughter of Unnamed (2018) is against Racing NSW’s own rules, as he was sent directly to the knackery by the industry (Murrulla Stud).

 

9. Domally Force (born 2012)

Microchip number: 985100012027675

Domally Force was a chestnut gelding born in NSW; he ran his last race in 2016, winning no prize money for his ‘owners’. Born, raced and domiciled in NSW.

 

10. Unnamed (born 2005)

Microchip number: 985100010886888

Unnamed (2005) was a bay mare who was sent to Kankool by Ezy Care Foster Mares. Ezy Care Foster Mares provides mares who have recently given birth to care for orphaned foals. This clear throw-away culture raises serious concerns for what is done with biological foals of the foster mares.

This is in breach of the Rules of Racing NSW as a horse was sent directly by industry (foster mare company – Ezy Care Foster Mares) to the knackery.

 

11. Anguilla (born 2017)

Microchip number: 985100012126012

Anguilla was a NSW born chestnut gelding who never made it to the track. He was born in 2017, making him only 3 years old at the time he was slaughtered at Kankool Pet Foods.

Anguilla’s slaughter is in breach of the NSW Rules of Racing as he was born after the introduction of LR114, which prohibits the slaughter of any NSW bred, raced or domiciled horses.

 

12. Madame Frost (born 2004)

Microchip number: 985100010837293

Madame Frost was an unraced bay mare born in Queensland, who was used for breeding up until November 2017. Madame Frost was sent to be killed at Kankool at 16 years old after being used for breeding most of her life.

Her slaughter is against the NSW Rules of Racing as she was a NSW domiciled horse, last used for breeding after the introduction of LR114. It is possible she was also sent directly from a stud, however this is unclear.

 

13. Pending Decision (born 2008)

Microchip number: 985100010936075

Pending Decision is another horse that was sent to Kankool by Murrulla Stud. She was born in NSW in 2008, running her last race in 2012 after winning $7,215 in prize money. Pending Decision was then ‘retired’ into breeding and birthed her last foal in September of 2019, just 6 months before she was killed.

Like the other horses sent to their death by Murrulla Stud, this is in breach of Racing NSW rules.

Facilities related to this article