PETA's Investigation Inside Japanese Horse Slaughterhouse

PETA's statement on War Emblem's retirement to the United States, from Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo:

PETA is delighted that War Emblem will be retiring to the United States and that his life will no longer be in danger. We met War Emblem during our investigation of the horse slaughter industry in Japan, where 90 percent of former racehorses, including dozens of Thoroughbreds from the U.S., are killed every year. Our investigation, which aired on ESPN's Outside the Lines in 2009, captured the head veterinarian at Shadai Stallion Station stating that War Emblem was being injected with testosterone in an effort to get him to breed. PETA congratulates Old Friends for negotiating War Emblem's safe return.

See War Emblem beginning at 4:40 in this video:

Every year, hundreds of thoroughbreds from the U.S. are sold to stables in Japan, where 90 percent of all horses end up in slaughterhouses. In most Japanese slaughterhouses, horses meet a frightening death. They are killed, cut apart, and end up as food for dogs and humans.

During a PETA undercover investigation inside Japan's largest horse slaughterhouse in Kumamoto, we captured video footage of a thoroughbred's last minutes. The horse is sprayed with water before slaughter—frightened and uncertain about what is happening. He panics, and at one point, just before being killed, he slips out of his halter and escapes inside the slaughterhouse, only to be caught—and killed—minutes later.

As many as 20,000 horses were slaughtered in Japan in 2008, partly because of overbreeding of thoroughbreds in the U.S., where racehorses are exploited as disposable commodities. Tens of thousands of foals are produced each year for the greedy racing industry, but there is no plan for what to do with them when their racing days are over.

Even horseracing stars can end up in a slaughterhouse. Kentucky Derby winner Ferdinand was sold to a Japanese breeder and a few years later, when they were done with him, he was sold to slaughter. During our investigation in Japan, PETA also discovered that Derby and Preakness winners Charismatic and War Emblem are at breeding farms in Japan right now. With their useful breeding days winding down, where will they end up? Learn more about the overbreeding of racehorses on our blog The PETA Files and watch the ESPN’s coverage of the investigation.

Please help protect Thoroughbreds and other horses raised for sport, for entertainment, and as companions. Use the form below to urge your legislators to co-sponsor the Safeguard American Food Exports Act of 2015 (H.R. 1942) and the John Rainey Memorial Safeguard American Food Exports Act (S. 1214), which would prevent horse slaughter in the U.S. and end the transport of American horses to slaughterhouses in Canada, Japan, and Mexico. If passed, this legislation would effectively end the slaughter of American horses for food—both here and abroad.

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