Woman describes harrowing sounds coming from Meramist abattoir following racehorse cruelty claims

A woman who lives near the abattoir accused of abusing racehorses says she hears harrowing noises from terrified animals in the night.

Meramist Abattoir in Caboolture, in Queensland’s south-east, is under investigation  after the ABC aired an explosive exposé in the slaughter of thoroughbreds for meat.  

Naomi Rizniak, who lives next to the abattoir, moved into a quiet cul de sac four years ago with her husband, believing it would be the perfect place to raise their three children. 

 

A woman who lives near the abattoir accused of abusing racehorses says she hears harrowing noises from terrified animals in the night 

Meramist Abattoir in Caboolture, in Queensland's south-east, is now under investigation for alleged animal mistreatment

Meramist Abattoir in Caboolture, in Queensland’s south-east, is now under investigation for alleged animal mistreatment

Ms Rizniak told the ABC that it had not always been noisy, but they  had started hearing the sounds of horses in distress as they are unloaded in the middle of the night. 

‘It’s frantic … they’re scared … they could probably be walked off a truck into a paddock anywhere else, but here they’re not being walked off,’ she said.

In addition to the distressed sounds of the horses, she can also hears abattoir staff yelling and swearing while mistreating them.

‘They’re about to be killed. Isn’t that bad enough? Can’t they be given a bit of dignity?’ she said.

Ms Rizniak said she can hear the frantic moving and steel being hit together throughout the night, loud enough to wake her up.

Before moving into the home, she inquired into the surroundings and was under the impression the abattoir did not operate at night.

After two years of living near the noise it became too much and she decided to formally complain to Moreton Bay Council.

But the council failed to do anything about it.

‘I did ask [Meramist] why, ‘why are you only bringing horses in during the night?’ Because they do not bring them in during the day,’ Ms Rizniak said.

An explosive two year investigation by ABC's 7.30 shows racehorse being brutally mistreated

An explosive two year investigation by ABC’s 7.30 shows racehorse being brutally mistreated 

After further questioning, Ms Rizniak was told it was none of her business. 

Since then, she has watched the harrowing footage on the ABC and wishes she had done more.

The ABC also discovered that horses were being trapped inside kill boxes unable to move while workers applied electric shocks to the their bodies. 

Meramist Abattoir is alleged to have slaughtered hundreds of racehorses and is now being investigated after the footage was made public, the Queensland government confirmed.

Queensland Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe told the Daily Telegraph the Minister for Agriculture has directed biosecurity officers to go in and investigate animal cruelty allegations at the Meramist Abattoir. 

‘They’ll be working I understand with Queensland Police Service to retrieve any extra footage that was not screened by the ABC.

‘Those inspectors going into the abattoir today, they’ll seize all the information they can, they’ll take action against people who committed cruelty against animals.’

Truckloads of horses arrive during the night to the abattoir, and Ms Rizniak said they are clearly distressed (Pictured: horses at Meramist Abattoir)

Truckloads of horses arrive during the night to the abattoir, and Ms Rizniak said they are clearly distressed (Pictured: horses at Meramist Abattoir)

Shocking vision shows workers at the abattoir mistreating the horses, whipping them, kicking them and even yelling at them

Shocking vision shows workers at the abattoir mistreating the horses, whipping them, kicking them and even yelling at them

Racing Australia’s official data claims about 34 racehorses every year end up at slaughterhouses, a figure amounting to less than one per cent of retiring horses.

But Elio Celotto from the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses told the ABC that about 4,000 racehorses had been killed in one abattoir alone.

Meramist Abattoir was the focus of the broadcaster’s investigation and was infiltrated with hidden cameras.

The cameras showed that in just 22 days, more than 300 racehorses, who won $5million in prize money combined, were killed.

Mr Celotto said even from the property boundary, hundreds of horses can be seen unloaded and abused by workers.

Shocking vision shows workers at the abattoir mistreating the horses, whipping them, kicking them and even yelling abuse at them.

Naomi Rizniak, who moved into a quiet cul de sac in Caboolture about four years ago with her husband, believing it would be the perfect place to raise their three children

Naomi Rizniak, who moved into a quiet cul de sac in Caboolture about four years ago with her husband, believing it would be the perfect place to raise their three children

‘Come on you dumb f***ing horse! F***! You’re dead! You are dead!’ a worker can be heard screaming.

Other workers were shown yelling in glee as they bolted the horses in the head with a stun gun – some up to five times before they died.

Animal welfare and behaviour scientist Professor Paul McGreevy told the ABC there was ‘no way’ the racing industry could defend the behaviour.

‘This is a clear breach of everything the industry has told us. Clearly there’s no excuse for that sort of treatment, that’s not acceptable… and it’s disgusting,’ he said.

‘The truth that’s been revealed by these videos is that thoroughbreds are entering knackeries and abattoirs, and that their treatment within those facilities can be appalling.

‘I think we’re at a fork in the road moment. There’s no denying the footage. This is the sort of material that will shake the industry to its core.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk