‘United approach’ needed to tackle racehorse cruelty issue
GYMPIE Turf Club president Shane Gill says a "united approach" is needed for the racing industry to properly respond to mass slaughter and animal cruelty toward retired racehorses.
Mr Gill said the Brown, Macauley and Warren Gympie Cup Day would go ahead without any action in response to last week's revelations, aired in a special report on ABC's 7.30.
He said the club was waiting for instructions from Queensland Racing.
"The industry needs to do something as a whole, we as a club can't do things on our own," Mr Gill said.
"We need to wait until the independent inquiry is complete and go from there, the response has got to be united. It can't be individual."
Racing Integrity Commissioner Ross Barnett said the inquiry into accusations of animal cruelty against retired racehorses, announced by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk this week, would start next Monday and report back to the government before the end of January next year.
"The (QRIC) has been directed by the Minister for Racing, Local Government and Multicultural Affairs and the Minister for Agricultural Development and Fisheries to undertake an independent inquiry along with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries … into the regulatory and oversight arrangements for the operation of abattoirs and other facilities accepting horses for slaughter and the management of retired race (thoroughbred and Standardbred) horses including of horses moved from interstate," Mr Barnett said.
"The Commission is an independent statutory body which oversees the integrity and welfare standards of racing animals and participants in Queensland. QRIC has a mandate to safeguard the welfare of animals while they are involved in racing."
Racing Australia today co-ordinated a meeting between officials from state and territory racing authorities in Sydney "to identify options to further strengthen Australian racing's equine welfare programs".
A national "traceability register" for all horses was among the options discussed at that meeting.