SAROA is distressed and appalled by the footage of thoroughbreds being slaughtered in a Queensland abattoir as shown on the ABC’s 7:30 Report.

The practices within the abattoir were inhumane and disgusting. This is a matter for the Queensland authorities to deal with and it is the responsibility of animal authorities in each state to ensure that this sort of practice is condemned and that animals are protected from such cruelty.

The issues for racing lie in the enforcement of tighter controls over the fate of horses when they are retired from racing. The health and well-being of racehorses is an issue that SAROA takes very seriously and considers to be of paramount importance. As reported at the AGM our President attended a horse welfare seminar during the year and we will continue to work with interested parties to ensure that the welfare of horses is a high priority for the industry.

While it is true that once a horse leaves the control of industry participants the rules of racing no longer apply, as an industry we are clearly failing our horses. Industry-wide action is required. Policies and procedures are fine but they need to be enforced.

We refer you to an article written by Tom Reilly CEO of Thoroughbred Breeders Australia which discusses the issues in some length http://www.tbaus.com/2019/10/18/tba-calls-for-a-national-task-force/

In particular we believe that the Senate inquiry into establishing a national traceability scheme for all horses is an important way to allow a horse’s whereabouts to be tracked. HorseSA in their submission to Senate have strongly supported the scheme and suggested that the ID records should include an “opt-out” of slaughter provision for the horse.

We also refer you to TRSA’s Equine Welfare Policies https://www.theracessa.com.au/industry/retirement-of-racehorses