DUBLIN, Ireland - Figures show that nearly 3,000 thoroughbred horses have been slaughtered for meat in Ireland since 2020.
It is the first time official data has been published on the number of animals bred for racing that ended up on dining tables.
People Before Profit TD Paul Murphy, who received the figures from Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue, called them "quite horrifying."
"It appears that the horses are being killed simply because they are not fast enough to win, and it is cheaper to kill them," he said.
It questions the tens of millions of euros in public funds given to the racing industry each year."
The Horse and Greyhound Racing Act has provided the sector with €1.46 billion in funding since 2001, and Horse Racing Ireland will receive an additional €70 million this year.
Last year, a BBC Panorama documentary claimed that injured Irish racehorses were being transported to UK slaughterhouses in violation of animal welfare guidelines.
It also claimed that contaminated horse meat was entering the human food chain due to microchips being fraudulently swapped in slaughtered animals.
Horse meat consumption has been increasing globally since the 1990s.