“The head of a new horse welfare taskforce, Denis Napthine, has welcomed support from federal agriculture minister David Littleproud, who has promised to make federal department resources available to the working group.
“Mr Littleproud strongly endorsed the new welfare taskforce on Friday, which has been formed to research better post-retirement outcomes for racehorses.
“This is a billion dollar industry and jurisdictions owe it to all those involved in the industry to deliver the best animal welfare outcomes for thoroughbreds.”— Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud
“The nationally-focused initiative, which has been driven by Thoroughbred Breeders Australia chief executive Tom Reilly, and is being funded by trainers, breeders, bookmakers and race clubs, will feature a four-person panel headed by Dr Napthine, the former Victorian premier and racing minister.
“Champion trainers Chris Waller, Gai Waterhouse and David Hayes are among the industry leaders who have pledged funds towards the initiative. The taskforce plus any research they commission will cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
This all sounds very lofty, but it would not be happening at all if it weren’t for the gut wrenching undercover exposé of Australian racehorses being horribly abused then brutally slaughtered telecast by ABC 7.30 last October for the world to see.
Not surprisingly, instead of acting swiftly on this issue, these gladhanders and backslappers are going to sit back, chiefly to see how little they can get away with doing while spending as little as possible and at the same time mollifying the public. This for a “billion dollar industry” that already has its own funding, who should able to figure it out for itself, perhaps set an example, maybe even become the gold standard for the rest of the racing world who all seem to have the very same problem — sending their unwanted horses to slaughter. Instead, they set their politicians to work at taxpayer expense.
Meanwhile. Nothing has stopped. Nothing has changed. Being slaughtered for human consumption continues to be the “post-retirement outcome” for a heartbreakingly large number of Australian racehorses.
• Ex-racehorses to be rehomed rather than slaughtered under new Queensland plan, Feb. 12, 2020, Tuesday’s Horse
• Mass slaughter and abuse of racehorses undermines industry’s commitment to animal welfare, Oct 17, 2019, ABC 7.30 (Undercover Video. Warning: Graphic Content)
• Australian racehorse slaughter allegations prompt investigation, Oct 18, 2019, Tuesday’s Horse
• Australia opens investigation into ‘industrial’ slaughter of racehorses, Oct 22, 2019, South China Morning Post
FEATURED IMAGE: Horses cast off by the Thoroughbred racing industry await slaughter for human consumption at the Meramist Abattoir in Queensland, Australia.
2 thoughts on “Australian horse welfare taskforce receives federal support”
The Australian federal government couldn’t be bothered to do an Inquiry so they heartily agree that representatives of the horseracing industry do it themselves.
Denis Napthine was a Victorian premier for a short period and was not popular. As minister for racing, he was a huge fan of steeplechase and hurdle racing.
Research here found that a jumps horse was 20 times more likely to break down and die than in flat racing.
Denis is also a veterinarian, hence the Dr Napthine.
David Littleproud has nothing to be proud of. The ABC tv expose on the shocking cruelty of sheep literally being cooked alive on a ship in the live export trade industry, did nothing about it despite the outrage in Australia. I believe his background/upbringing is in animal farming.
The only good news is that one of the panel will be Dr Bidda Jones of the RSPCA Australia.
In my view, this taskforce should be looking at the cause as to why so many racehorses end up at a slaughterhouse. We know why. There are many reasons and the obvious one to start with is the breeding.
Having witnessed an almost 2 hour meeting between representatives from Racing Australia/Racing NSW and the TBA (Thoroughbred Breeders Australia) in 2016 with Tom Reilly speaking for TBA, I really don’t have much hope for a satisfactory outcome. The racing authorities had received numerous complaints about animal cruelty on breeders’ farms and were looking at introducing a new RA rule whereby they could enter a breeder’s property to inspect on the welfare of the horses. TBA wouldn’t have a bar of it and declared that the horses were their livestock and did not belong to the racing industry. Clearly ignoring the fact that horses were being bred for the racing industry.
The meeting became very heated and I noticed that the RA/RNSW representatives were serious about the welfare of the horse and didn’t let up, however, after months of negotiations the breeders got their way. To my knowledge, the only new rule that was made was in relation to the mandatory registration of all foals born within a certain time after being born with some variations e.g. receiving veterinary care no need to register until 3 months old.
So if foal doesn’t survive the 3 months no need to register its birth. That’s my understanding of it.
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