You may have missed it, but yesterday the ABC reported the discovery of a mass ‘grave’ of horses, found in a conservation park in South Australia.
Use of the word ‘grave’ appears to be somewhat misleading, though, as it seems the animals were simply dumped where they were killed, most likely shot. The remains of 11 horses were counted, plus those of a foal. Similar to the recent spate of greyhound grave discoveries, the horses were dumped there over a period of time, rather than all at once. Two of the most recently killed horses have been identified as racehorses.
ABC South Australia aired the story, including footage of the remains at the dump site. The Environmental Protection Authority is investigating it as a case of illegal dumping; the taped-off area announces that it is ‘Illegally dumped rubbish under investigation’. It seems both inappropriate and inadequate to describe these horses in this way, yet sadly, to some people out there, this is exactly what they were.
While I applaud initiatives within racing such as The NSW Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Trust and Racing Victoria’s Off The Track program, it seems that racing may always lead to invisible casualties like these 12 nameless horses.
UPDATE: March 2016 – a South Australian racing trainer has been convicted of this offence.