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National Horse Traceability Register working group established after Senate inquiry


A Senate inquiry into the feasibility of the National Horse Traceability Register for all horses last year handed down 18 recommendations aimed at better managing and promoting animal welfare, rider safety, and biosecurity in the equine sector.

The establishment of the working group, agreed upon by ministers at the Agriculture Minister’s Forum in Launceston in February, met the first recommendation from the inquiry.

Other recommendations urged the working group to engage with owners of abattoirs and knackeries to integrate a national horse traceability register into processing practices for horses.

It comes as revelations were made by the ABC last year that hundreds of registered racehorses are being discarded at slaughterhouses in Australia.

The working group could also usher in a phased approach to microchipping horses, and consider adopting a trial program following the establishment of the national register.

Ministers also agreed at the forum that Queensland would lead the development of Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Livestock at Processing Establishments.

Queensland would also lead a review of the suitability for horses to come under Land Transport of Livestock in the existing Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines.

The review would be subsequent to the completion of coordinated action on horse welfare during transport, as agreed by agriculture senior officials on December 19, 2019.

Horse Racing

Senator Mehreen Faruqi said she was “delighted” with the progress.

At the end of the day, no racehorse should end up in a slaughterhouse. Australians were outraged by the horrific slaughter of racehorses exposed by 730 last year. Tracking horses throughout their lives will help make sure the industry has no excuse but to give every horse a dignified retirement.

Comments Requested

The ABC has requested comment from the Queensland’s Agriculture Industry Development Minister, the Victorian Minister for Agriculture, the Victorian Minister for Racing, and Thoroughbred Breeders Australia on the implications of the establishment of the working group.

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5 thoughts on “National Horse Traceability Register working group established after Senate inquiry”

  1. A national horse traceability register is an absolute necessity for all horses. Let’s see what happens now with the 18 recommendations…?
    They are only recommendations – a far cry from laws being put in place under legislation.

    As i’ve commented before, Australian racehorses have been microchipped for 20+ years, so why hasn’t the racing industry put in place a practice whereby the slaughterhouses (knackeries and abattoirs) scan all thoroughbreds and standardbreds (harness racing) and notify Racing Australia when they turn up to be slaughtered so that the horses can be saved?
    From what i’ve read, the racing industry does not publicly object to a NHTR, however, it appears not to be thrilled about the proposal. I foresee it being many years away, if ever, before the slaughterhouses notify RA when racing industry horses turn up to be cruelly slaughtered. It’s common knowledge that sending its finished with horses (and many never get to the racetrack – I saw a good number of very young thoroughbreds in The Final Race expose by the ABC’s 7.30 programme) to slaughter is essential to carry on business. As one racehorse owner said to me at a race meeting “oh but dear, they’ve got to be processed you know” .

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve had an idea (don’t roll your eyes just yet 🙄). If traceability becomes reality then we could add escrow money to the individual horses account. When a horse enters a race part of the inspection will be for that escrow account, used for post racing and,or post life occurrence. Who’s going to pay? Horse owners of course. Perhaps a percentage of the prize money. Insurance if you will.


    1. Dear Phil. Roll our eyes at you? Nevvah!

      This is an idea worth contemplating for sure. Traditionally horse racing is loathe to spend money on anything horse friendly, but you never know. It is highly likely if one racing nation does something along these lines, others would fall suit. This is a good time to present ideas like these to horse racing in the US and probably Australia too. Horse racing has suffered some huge black eyes of late. . . self-inflicted of course. Thanks.


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