“We tried to stay away from them. They’re just aggravation.”
And here is a line from an email written by an employee of an Canadian slaughterhouse operator, Viande Richelieu, and sent to a Canadian farm owner:
“For us, thoroughbred[s] are definitely banned from our premises.”
The email and the kill-buyer’s quote were precipitated by an investigation by Ohio racing authorities into the whereabouts of two Thoroughbreds, Canuki and Cactus Cafe.
The two racehorses simply disappeared from Beulah Park in May, despite having had foster homes secured for them, when their trainer hauled them off the backside. The Internet rallied, as the Internet does, and an investigation goaded the trainer into returning the horses alive, albeit in poor condition, albeit with the trainer refusing to tell the stewards just where the horses had been.
It’s a case that illustrates the difficulties with the no-slaughter policies at racetracks: yes, the horses can’t be sent to auction and sold to kill-buyers… but then again, they can go to Jimmy Jo Bob’s Horse Farm on Wednesday and Jimmy Jo Bob can sell them on to the killers himself on Friday. The trainer wasn’t involved, the owner wasn’t involved, Jimmy Jo Bob isn’t affiliated with the racing industry so they can’t exactly pull his license or levy a fine, so… that’s that.
And that’s where the Internet comes in, because anti-slaughter advocates, by sheer dint of being tireless in their efforts to find horses like Canuki and Cactus Cafe, have achieved a decent win by simply annoying the hell out of kill-buyers and slaughterhouses. That’s extraordinary. “They’re just aggravation,” he says. And: “I had a lot of hassle with it.”
These particular folks are so fed up with anti-slaughter advocates that they flung up their hands and said no more Thoroughbreds.
I’d like to see other horses just as fortunate, for sure. I’d like to see other advocates for other breeds stepping up to save the culled herds of Quarter Horses, Arabians, and other prime offenders in the ship-the-rejects-to-slaughter business. But let’s take a minute and be really, really proud of how annoying we, the Thoroughbred people, are.