The stud farm
Rather than allow nature to take its course and let mares conceive naturally by giving birth in the summer months when the weather is mild, foals are born as close to August 1st as possible. This allows maximum time for race training.
This unnatural cycle is achieved through adjusting temperatures artificially lengthening days through the use of lighting and injecting drugs such as ‘prostaglandins’ into the female horse. When they reach fertility, mares are harassed and impregnated by stallions four weeks after they give birth.
Under natural conditions mares may produce a foal once every two years. Thoroughbred foals are weaned at 3-5 months in preparation for the birth of the next foal.
The brood mare is often pregnant for ninety percent of her life. Brood mares and Stallions are also discarded once their stud days are over. It is preferable to have them killed to prevent breeding by future owners. Studs will often demand breeding horses be killed when they are sold to a knackery.
Australian breeders produce the second highest number of thoroughbred foals in the world. Most of these foals are condemned to an early death due to injury, lack of ability or birth defects.
above: Echuca Auction 27th Sept 2006. credit: activist investigation