Racing Australia pushes for levy to save unwanted horses
Racing Australia is pushing for the introduction of a national prizemoney and sales levy to fund welfare programs for retired racehorses.
A meeting between officials from state and territory racing authorities co-ordinated by Racing Australia was held in Sydney on Friday where it agreed to adopt a united industry approach to tackle racing's equine welfare issues.
"People who work across the Thoroughbred industry share the public's outrage at the recently identified cruel and inhumane treatment of horses at a Queensland abattoir," Racing Australia chairman Greg Nichols said.
"In 2016 Australian racing led the world with equine welfare reforms which ensured their authorities had oversight on the location of Thoroughbreds from birth to retirement. Today's meeting reaffirmed the industry's commitment to building on those reforms.''
The session identified a number of immediate initiatives including:
- Seeking national adoption of the prizemoney levy and introduction of a sales levy to help finance an expansion of national Thoroughbred aftercare programs;
- Further strengthening industry rules and penalties on the ownership, location and retirement destinations of Thoroughbreds and committing resources to ensure compliance;
- Working with governments to ensure the introduction of the National Traceability Register for all horses;
- Upgrading racing's technology platforms to simplify participants' ability to comply with the industry's equine welfare rules and make access to data more transparent and robust; and
- Promoting the Thoroughbred industry's welfare policies and practices.
Steve Wilson, the chair of Racing Australia's Equine Welfare Committee, said "our goal is for Australian Thoroughbreds to be the best cared for members of the animal kingdom".
"Racing Australia and the State racing authorities are keen to work with Federal, State and Territory governments to achieve the changes needed to provide better outcomes for Thoroughbreds after they leave our industry," Wilson said.