“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.