Top North American Horse Racing Corporation Urges Americans Not to Sell to South Korea
Jeju — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) U.S. has uncovered that prized American stallion Private Vow—who ran in the 2006 Kentucky Derby—was slaughtered on July 22, 2020, at the Jeju Livestock Cooperative Association, the largest horse slaughterhouse in Korea, owned by the national corporation Nonghyup.
The Derby runner was killed at the same controversial facility exposed in the PETA U.S. undercover investigation video “K-Cruelty,” which revealed that retired racehorses and other horses were repeatedly beaten in the face as they were forced into the slaughterhouse to be killed for their flesh. The footage also showed how some were slaughtered in front of other panicked horses, which violated South Korea’s Animal Protection Act. In an unprecedented legal conviction, three workers and the Nonghyup company itself were found guilty and fined. Extended footage of the violations can be viewed here.
Private Vow was sold to Korea in 2014 for breeding and sired 196 foals total there and in the U.S. Shockingly, two of Private Vow’s sons, Normal Classic and Private Man, were slaughtered for meat at the same facility in August and September 2020. Both were born in 2016. In addition, Private Vow had two daughters also born in 2016, Private Castle and Up Qubit, who were slaughtered in April and May 2019.
Private Vow’s half-brother Dongbanui Gangja (both share the same father, Broken Vow) won Korea’s most prestigious race in consecutive years and was named Korea’s horse of the year.
North Americans have been quick to express outrage. The Los Angeles Times reported that Belinda Stronach, chair and president of The Stronach Group—one of the world’s leading racing companies and owner of many of the top racetracks in the U.S.—is “urging all North American auction companies, breeders, and owners to develop policies that prohibit the sale of Thoroughbred racehorses or broodmares to South Korea without the meaningful and binding assurances that these noble animals will be protected after their racing and breeding careers.”
“That a Kentucky Derby runner can be killed in South Korea shows that no North American horse exported to Korea is safe,” says PETA U.S. Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA has asked the Korea Racing Authority to introduce a retirement system modeled on North America’s Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, allocate 2% of prize money to aftercare, and ensure that imported North American horses will not be slaughtered.”
South Korea killed 144 horses in November 2020, 24% more than its average for that month.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—commended The Stronach Group.
Broadcast-quality extended footage from PETA’s Korean horse slaughterhouse exposé and images are available upon request.