PETA Accuses Korea Racing Authority of Hiding Horse Slaughter Records

The KRA Has Systematically Purged All Information About Racehorses Killed in Korean Abattoirs From Its Publicly Accessible Databases

Seoul—From October 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021, 947 horses were killed in South Korea. But the Korea Racing Authority (KRA) doesn’t want anyone to know the identities of these horses. The KRA is still scrambling to do damage control after the PETA U.S. undercover investigation, titled “K-Cruelty,” exposed the cruel beatings and gruesome slaughter of former racehorses. This investigation resulted in criminal convictions of Nonghyup-owned Jeju Livestock Cooperative and several of its employees for slaughtering horses in full view of other horses, a violation of Korea’s Animal Protection Act  The heartbreaking footage also generated massive media coverage and outrage by the public in Korea and internationally.

Although the KRA promised to implement a horse retirement system, the token measures have been insufficient to slow the rate of horses being killed for meat for human consumption or pet food. The KRA, instead of fixing the problem, has tried to conceal it. All slaughter records have been removed from the KRA database including the slaughter details of stallion Private Vow. PETA U.S. exposed that Private Vow, who ran in the 2006 Kentucky Derby, was killed at the Jeju Livestock Cooperative in July 2020, and the details about the date of his slaughter originally appeared in public records. Now that data field has been deleted and is blank [Also see below for a screenshot of how it used to appear and how it appears now].

And previously-released quarterly slaughter verification spreadsheets (example from second quarter 2020)—through which horse owners would be able confirm the accuracy of the identification numbers of the horses they sent to slaughter—are no longer available on KRA web pages. Before October 2020, these spreadsheets could be used to identify the individual identities of the horses who were slaughtered, and this resulted in public outcry when the corresponding horse names and photos were exposed by PETA U.S. Tragic and heartbreaking images like these were posted on PETA U.S.’ website, including of the Thoroughbred named Cape Magic, who raced and got injured at a KRA racetrack in Busan just three days before he was filmed by PETA the slaughterhouse in Jeju.

“The KRA has wiped its databases clean, but the KRA’s hands are still dirty and covered in blood,” says Kathy Guillermo, Senior Vice President of PETA U.S. “This is a shameful attempt to bury the evidence instead of stopping the killing.”

This was the reason The Stronach Group—one of the largest global racetrack owners and breeding companies—issued a new policy prohibiting the export of its horses to Korea for racing or breeding.

Professor Changkil Park of Voice4Animals added, “The KRA has a public obligation to be fully transparent. It’s moving in the opposite direction and has lost its credibility. The KRA can’t be believed about its commitment to horse welfare or aftercare while it’s complicit in this carnage, and erasing the public records.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—has asked the KRA 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. PETA is now demanding that the KRA fulfil its legal obligation as a government institution and publicly release all slaughter data.

Broadcast-quality extended footage from PETA’s Korean horse slaughterhouse exposé is available upon request.

Sources are here and here, and below:

Private Vow KRA record before purge:

Private Vow KRA record after purge:

Contact information below for the KRA Registrar who previously compiled and posted these quarterly slaughter lists, Lee Mi-Hye:

성명 직책 소속부서 담당업무 전화번호
이미혜 주임 말등록원 S-행정지원
[승마용말등록 신청,변동사항 관리]


Erased “Notice of correction of slaughter horses in the second quarter of 2020

Here it is in cached format:

South Korea Horse Slaughter Totals
  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Jan. 80 69 105 98 80 76
Feb. 78 87 67 84 83 77
Mar. 108 92 101 101 77 100
Apr. 126 181 110 146 79 111
May. 101 79 115 104 87 94
Jun. 89 100 90 120 90  115
Jul. 88 89 93 111 79  
Aug. 96 104 92 131 93  
Sep. 86 92 85 88 101  
Oct. 162 104 116 126 114  
Nov. 116 127 116 105 144  
Dec. 95 113 159 132 116  
Total 1225 1237 1249 1346 1143 573