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The BBC Panorama programme on horse racing on Monday night had a large reach and fueled a lot of discourse on social media last night.
‘Panorama: The Dark Side of Horse Racing’ was aired at 8:30 pm on BBC One and is available to watch on the iPlayer.
The topic that the show covered in its latest instalment – the unethical killing of racehorses – led to some people making their minds up on the programme before it had even begun.
Some lovers of horse racing chose to shine a light on the brighter side of horse racing rather than talk about the downsides that Panorama covered.
— Steve (@Kavismate) July 19, 2021
One Twitter user championed his ex-racehorse Kavi, a horse trained by Simon Earle and one that took part in competitive horse racing events for 10 years of its life.
‘@Kavismate’ said that Kavi lives a “happy semi-retirement on Dartmoor”.
However, others who knew of the show chose to watch it and were not happy with what they saw.
One social media user attacked the horse racing industry and included the greyhound industry in their comment on the programme.
User ‘@Stu93375301’ believes that both racing industries are “barbaric.”
— NewstalkFM (@NewstalkFM) July 20, 2021
Newstalk spoke to the founder of the Animal Rights Animal Network John Carnaby who did not watch the programme but said that the issues raised by it are “inherent in that industry.”
Several viewers defended horse racing online with these viewers choosing to declare the issue solely a problem of those that work in the abattoir that was filmed by Animal Aid.
Sky Sports’ Alex Hammond spoke of the treatment her own horse received under a post by trainer Fergal O’Brien.
She said he “lived every day like the start he was” and “was treated like a king.”
Racehorses are treated like royalty and are loved like they are one of the family, once retired and removed from a stable they are solely the responsibility of the owners and therefore whatever Panorama says this is not a ‘racing’ issue
— kevinrogers (@kevinrogers687) July 18, 2021
Another user underneath O’Brien’s post, ‘@kevinrogers687’, also said that racehorses are “treated like royalty and are loved like they are one of the family.”
Furthermore, they do not believe the topic is a racing issue when they leave the stables, instead they become the sole responsibility of the owners at that point.
Their declaration of the topic not affecting racing earned the user six likes.
The programme saw opinions divided online and the topic may continue to follow that trend.