A 100-page document, authored by retired District Court Judge Terry Martin and veterinarian Dr. Peter Reid, blasts the Australian racing industry for its failure to effectively protect retired racehorses. The authors emphatically state that racehorses were treated as disposable commodities: Once they were not winning, many were discarded.
Originally brought to the public's attention last October in a program called The Final Race on Australian Broadcasting Corporation, public outcry has been “deafening.” The authors write in their report that the racing industry's response is more than simply the preservation of racing; that those involved in racing are truly remorseful and are determined to come up with solutions to fix the issues.
The authors say that the issue is inattention rather than blatant disregard. They recommend those in the industry immediately begin following the lead of those people and organizations who are rehoming retired racehorses.
The authors made 55 recommendations in the report, including that the Australian racing industry play a larger role in overseeing the welfare of retired racehorses. They also ask that animal welfare requirements be enforced and how animal welfare complaints are handled be improved.
They ask for a national registry for all horses and a traceability program be implemented. Additionally, the suggest that provisions be made for horses that are bred for racing, but never make it to the track.
The Queensland government supported all recommendations made by the authors, either fully, in part or in principle. The state government will strengthen the oversight and regulation of slaughter and the transport of the horses to these establishments. The government has pledges nearly $A6 to implement the measures suggested by Martin and Reid.
Read more at HorseTalk.
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