fairview horses

Photo: Supplied

Fairview horse massacre: Workers attack animals following pay dispute

Dozens of horses were released and injured, and police have clashed with a group of disgruntled workers who stormed the Fairview premises on Thursday.

fairview horses

Photo: Supplied

A horse has been slaughtered with a panga, and dozens more released from stables by feuding Fairview Racecourse workers in Port Elizabeth on Thursday, allegedly as a result of grievances relating to the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) payments and internal employment disputes.

Reports suggest that many of the horses have been badly injured. Police are currently engaging a group of ex-employees who stormed the premises after having been fired for stabbing a horse in recent weeks. A female trainer has allegedly been threatened with violence after trying to protect the horses.

Fairview latest news – what we know so far

It is alleged that the group of ex-employees are a known threat to the yard, and the business has a court interdict against the group. They have been living in an informal settlement on the Phumelela racing grounds, despite having been fired for stabbing a horse. South African Police Service spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidoo confirmed that at least one animal had been killed with a panga, while others are reported to have been injured.

She said that the scene was absolute mayhem and that backup had been requested:

“No arrests have been made at the moment. The racecourse has opened case of malicious damage to property and the Public Order Police Service (POPS) is on scene trying to contain the situation. There were 28 horses released. Most have been recovered.”

“One horse was killed, and others have been injured,” Naidoo revealed. Speaking briefly to The South African while trying to get the chaotic scene under control, one of the stable managers said that the actions of the former employees was “pure evil”:

“I have dead horses, I have injured horses… they killed one in the bushes. This is an absolute nightmare. These people are barbaric, it’s absolute savagery.”

One horse dead, with several left ‘lame’

A spokesperson from a local Horse Care unit said that there are still 11 horses missing and that the bush they have fled into is difficult to navigate. 

“The riot is still going on but it seems that cops have got it under control. They have set a horse alight, they killed one, there are a couple with broken legs.”

Horses slaughtered at Fairview

International Racing Club spokesperson, Michael de Haast, who has personally lost horses in attack, said that “something has to be done to stop this incredible violence and abuse against these animals”.

“It is a very sad day in this country, when innocent animals are slaughtered and abused due to greed and hate. As Gandhi said – The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated – and I fear that our nation has lost its way unless we take a very big stand against this.”