Australian Greens Animal Welfare Spokesperson, Senator Mehreen Faruqi, has launched a campaign for an inquiry into a National Horse Traceability Scheme. A register would ensure all horses in Australia, including racing horses, would have lifetime tracking.
The national register would benefit biosecurity, including for the prevention and management of Emergency Animal Diseases such as equine influenza and African Horse Sickness; improve safety for riders; tackle backyard breeding; and combat rural crime.
Senator Faruqi said:
“A national register is sensible public policy. By properly tracking horses we can improve safety and biosecurity, and stop racing horses being discarded at knackeries when they're no longer profitable.
“Tens of thousands of horses are bred in Australia each year, including around 17,000 by the thoroughbred and standardbred horse racing industries alone. In addition to this, thousands of horses are also bred by ‘backyard breeders’. As it stands, we have very little information about where these horses end up.
“Animal welfare advocates, safety advocates and the racing industry itself agree about the need for a centralised national register. We are just stuck on the exact model.
“An inquiry will be an important opportunity to bring everyone together and provide national leadership on what a scheme might look like and how it could be implemented.
“Similar registers already exist in the UK, Europe, and Canada. It is well past time for Australia to establish one.
“I look forward to engaging with the Government, Opposition and the crossbench to establish the inquiry.
“If this inquiry is established, it will give all stakeholders, including the racing industry, horse breeders and animal welfare groups an opportunity to present evidence so we can decide on the best way forward.”