Beyond the obvious physical and mental devolution associated with racing, the problem of "wastage," the discarding of unwanted racehorses, is not the trivial matter the industry would have us believe.
A study conducted by researchers at the University of Sydney attempting to track ex-racehorses discovered that approximately 40 percent leave the industry each year on account of illness, injury, behavioral problems, or simply poor performance.
So where do they all go? To these mythical retreats the industry alludes to?
Obviously it is difficult to estimate the exact percentage of ex-racehorses among those slaughtered each year for either human consumption abroad or domestic pet consumption, but the RSPCA estimates that a significant number are sent to knackeries and abattoirs every year, which in turn sustains a burgeoning horsemeat industry.
One study found that 53 percent of horses examined at one Australian export abattoir carried brands indicating that they were of racing origin. Admittedly this is only one study and one abattoir, but certainly there's a large disparity between this finding and the 2 percent figure touted by the industry.