By unanimous vote, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has confirmed changes to the Rules of British racing that will protect horses trained and entered to race in Britain from being sent to slaughter.
All horses entered to run in a race in Britain must be signed out of the human food chain via its passport by January 1, 2022. From this date, any Entry for a Race or Confirmation of Entry, will not be accepted for any horse unless it's been declared not intended for human consumption via the Weatherbys App and the horse’s passport. BHA is also in talks with international jurisdictions and examining EU legislation regarding the implementation of the new Rule to include all international runners.
The transporting of horses to an abattoir to be sold for consumption should not, in my view, be classed as euthanasia and is not an approach that we should tolerate in our sport, which is why a rule preventing this practice is a positive step. I am confident that most British trainers and owners agree with me on this and already observe this principle. — James Given, BHA director of equine health and welfare
The new rule in Britain is a significant step to curbing the international horsemeat trade. While many U.S. racetracks have policies against sending racehorses to slaughter, enforcement remains a challenge. Racehorses account for approximately 10% of the horses that are shipped over U.S. borders to Mexico and Canada to be butchered for human consumption every year. The only way every American equine (both wild and domestic) will be protected from the slaughter pipeline is through the passage of federal legislation. The U.S. Congress is currently considering the Save America's Forgotten Equines (SAFE) Act, which would prohibit slaughtering horses on U.S. soil or abroad.