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Press Release - Canberra Racing Club Response to ABC Report

Canberra Racing Club (the Club) condemns the abhorrent mistreatment of Horses as displayed in the ABC’s 7.30 report last night. The vision was extremely disturbing and distressing, as such the Canberra Racing Club calls on the Queensland Government and its Department of Primary Industries to take the strongest possible action against the alleged perpetrators.  

The mistreatment of horses is unequivocally unacceptable and is not tolerated by the ACT Thoroughbred Racing Industry. 

The Club believes there were no horses from the ACT identified by the 7.30 report.  The ACT horse mentioned had in fact been transferred to a Queensland Horse Trainer under whom it had subsequently raced.  

The Club is confident no ACT horses are included in the footage but will be following up with the ABC to gain all details to ensure this is the case. 

The Club and Racing NSW are the only jurisdictions that have a Rule of Racing that prohibits horses from being sent to a knackery or abattoir when they retire from the ACT Thoroughbred Racing Industry.  

The Club together with Racing NSW have a specific equine welfare fund. The Club contributes 1% of all prize money offered to the NSW scheme which has contributed to purchasing property throughout NSW including 2,500 acres at Capertee to have sufficient areas to enable its rehoming program. 

The Club supports the proposal for a National Traceability Register for all Horses that would provide federal and state animal welfare authorities access to ownership and location information for these Thoroughbreds. This matter is currently being considered by a Senate committee.  

Thoroughbred horses represent approximately 10% of the national equine population (estimated at 1 million horses nationally). The Club together with Racing NSW and its counterparts nationally keep track of the owners and locations of Thoroughbreds during their careers from birth to retirement, which is not true for most horses across Australia. A National Horse Register would fill this gap, allow Federal and State authorities access to ownership and location information, this would help improve equine welfare outcomes nationally. 

We are working with our partners Racing Australia and Racing NSW to form an action plan that we expect will enhance even further participant education, compliance auditing and the harshest of penalties for noncompliance.