MOVES are underway to improve welfare standards for racehorses in Western Australia, including creating a “passport” for each animal to track them after retirement, and subjecting knackeries and abattoirs to random inspections.
The state government announced on Thursday a new ‘rule of racing’ whereby the industry must aim to rehome all healthy and behaviourally sound thoroughbreds and standardbreds.
Racing and Gaming Minister Paul Papalia said the federal government would be pressured to implement and oversee a National Traceability Register, which was essential to restore confidence in the industry in the wake of the recent scandal surrounding the Meramist Abattoir in Queensland.
“Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA) in collaboration with the State Government has developed a robust welfare plan that incorporates all stages of a racehorse’s life through a program of investment, education, monitoring and regulation.
“Western Australia is leading the nation on racehorse welfare. We are doing more than any other State to look after our racehorses.
“I applaud the industry for getting behind the plan of action and ensuring our racehorses receive the best treatment from birth to death.
“I now call on the Commonwealth Government to play its part and implement and oversee a National Traceability Register as a priority.”