Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ireland to get new slaughter plant for Horseracing Industry Cast-Offs

A further facility applies for horse
Slaughter licence

Caitriona Murphy

Tuesday January 20 2009

A second slaughtering facility for horses is set to open as the bloodstock industry faces increasing economic pressure.

A south Leinster factory is said to have applied for a licence for the slaughter, processing and export of horsemeat.

The factory, which slaughters cattle, sheep and pigs, would become only the second facility in the Republic allowed to take in equines.

When contacted, the company refused to confirm an application. But it is thought the factory would be capable of killing 300 horses/week.

The move comes as horse owners and breeders battle toughest periods in more than a decade. The value of bloodstock sales at auction fell last year by a massive 43.6pc to €99.5m.

According to Horse Racing Ireland, attendances at the 27 racetracks fell by 9pc from a record level of 1.527m in 2007 to 1.390m last year. On-course betting turnover fell by 18.2pc, with bookmakers down 21.5pc and the Tote down 10.1pc.

More than 100 National Hunt brood mare owners gathered in the Dolmen Hotel in Carlow on Friday to address the plight of the breeding industry.

Disgruntled owners blamed the falling prices and sales on 15 years of over-production and reckless breeding. Many were sharply critical of the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders Association.


They accused the association of being too stallion-oriented and dominated by stallion owners and sale company representatives.

A new group, to be known as the Small Breeders Association, was formed at the meeting. It will be chaired by meeting organiser and breeder Michael Maguire from Co Dublin.

It is understood the group will organise a series of regional meetings in the coming weeks to gather support.

- Caitriona Murphy


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