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New Rehoming Scheme for Ex-Racehorses

Racehorses - Pixabay

The Queensland Government's new plan will see more ex-racehorses given the chance at a life after the track. 

By Ellie Jolley

A new rehoming scheme for retiring racehorses is just one of the recommendations that has been taken onboard by the Queensland Government following an inquiry into the horseracing industry.

The inquiry into animal cruelty in the management of retired thoroughbred and standardbred horses in Queensland was launched after footage showing the shocking mistreatment of ex-racehorses at an abattoir north of Brisbane was aired on the ABC’s 7.30 Report last year.

Now, the Palaszczuk Government is pledging almost $6 million to increase the resources for animal welfare practices and provide a pathway to new homes and life security for retired racehorses.

The Minister for Racing Stirling Hinchliffe said the Queensland Government has already placed a 1 per cent prize money levy on thoroughbred and harness racing which will fund an equine welfare program, and the new rehoming scheme for retired racehorses.

According to the ABC, racehorse owners will have to prove they tried to rehome horses multiple times before they can apply to send them to slaughter.

But if a horse does arrive at a Queensland abattoir, they will be monitored for any animal cruelty or mistreatment through CCTV cameras that will be installed due to another recommendation in the inquiry, according to Just Horse Racing.

The ABC also says the Palaszzuk Government and Racing Queensland are calling on the Commonwealth to establish a national traceability register to track movements of all ex-racehorses between different owners, providing a level of accountability for all owners that ex-racehorses come into contact with.

The Queensland Government has accepted 37 recommendations in full, 17 recommendations in principle and one recommendation in part.

Actions that will stem from the 55 recommendations mean; 1) a greater role for the racing industry in overseeing the welfare of retired racehorses, 2) increased staffing and resourcing for Biosecurity Queensland to ensure animal welfare requirements are met, 3) and Additional funding for improved training for animal welfare inspectors and improvements in animal welfare complaints management. 

 

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