Abattoir Charged After Slaughtering Winx's Half Brother

After the butchering of the half brother of champion race horse Winx, animal cruelty charges have been filed against a South Korean abattoir, PETA has said.

In June, many Australians were outraged to see the slaughter of Aussie racehorses in the Nonghyup abattoir. Disturbing footage emerged of horses waiting to be killed at slaughterhouse on Jeju Island, a large island off the southern tip of the country.

The footage, released following an investigation from animal protection organisation PETA, showed horses being struck across the face and treated roughly in other ways. Several of the animals looked sick, emaciated and distressed.

PETA's investigation reported at least 22 horses killed in the footage were formerly used for racing, including three from Australia, which were purchased from auctions on the Gold Coast and then taken to South Korea.

PETA uncovers footage of the South Korean abbatoir where Winx's half-brother was killed for horse meat. Photo: PETA

PETA claimed a horse fathered by the stallion Street Cry -- who sired hundreds and possibly of even thousands of horses, including the great mare Winx -- was among those killed for meat.

On Friday, PETA announced three abattoir workers and the facility itself had been charged with violations of South Korea's Animal Protection Act. The organisation also revealed further information claiming that at least two more Australian-bred horses had been killed for meat in recent months, while another 11 had at least one Australian parent.

A half-brother of Winx -- seen here at Royal Randwick in Sydney -- was among the horses killed in the abbatoir. Image: AAP

"Jeju police have charged the Jeju Livestock Cooperative Association and three of its workers for slaughtering horses in front of other horses – a direct violation of the South Korean Animal Protection Act," PETA said in a statement.

PETA spokesperson Emily Rice welcomed the news of the abbatoir being charged.

"Beating and slaughtering horses in plain view of each other is unquestionably a form of violent abuse which must be met with maximum penalties under the Animal Protection Act," she said in a statement.

PETA uncovers footage of the South Korean abbatoir where Winx's half-brother was killed for horse meat. Photo: PETA

"These charges should also be a wake-up call to all those involved in horse racing in South Korea and Australia: while we continue to breed horses for human entertainment and profit, many will end up hanging by one leg in abattoirs like Nonghyup."

PETA also called for a retirement program for unwanted animals, instead of them being sold for meat.