Media Release – Tasracing and Office of Racing Integrity response to Animal Welfare

Wednesday 23 October 2019

Tasracing and the Office of Racing Integrity (ORI) take the welfare of racing industry animals very seriously.

Since allegations were broadcast last week of the killing of retired thoroughbred horses interstate, the Office of Racing Integrity has undertaken to:

  • Review the retirement process of all thoroughbred and standardbred horses and the responsibility of owners.
  • Review national database statistics.
  • Work with other interstate regulatory bodies around a national horse traceability register and national and local rule changes regarding the humane euthanasia of horses.

Importantly, despite references to Tasmanian horses being killed in an abattoir, neither ORI nor Tasracing have been able to substantiate the claim and would be happy to investigate should the ABC release the necessary information.

Further, neither ORI nor Tasracing have received information or evidence from other parties that any such practices have happened in Tasmania.

Tasracing is working with other principal racing authorities in other jurisdictions on a national approach to equine welfare.

Each year many millions of dollars are invested across the industry to ensure the welfare of animals is protected.

Tasracing and the industry operate the Off the Track program which is funded through contributions of 1% from prize money and additional funding from Tasracing.

More than 500 ex-racing horses participated in the Off The Track (OTT) in 2018/19. About 60% are thoroughbreds, with the balance standardbreds.

As previously stated, anyone who may have concerns in relation to animal welfare within the industry should contact ORI, the RSPCA or the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment to enable it to be appropriately investigated.