Australian Greens Senator for NSW and Spokesperson for Animal Welfare, Dr Mehreen Faruqi, has successfully established a Senate inquiry into a national horse traceability register. As it stands, very little is known about the fate of the tens of thousands of horses bred each year.
The Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee will run the inquiry and submissions will open soon.
The terms of reference for the inquiry are:
“The feasibility of a National Horse Traceability Register for all horses, with particular reference to:
(a) the existence and adequacy of state or industry-based registers;
(b) the benefits of a national register, including for animal welfare, biosecurity safety (including for the prevention and management of Emergency Animal Diseases, such as equine influenza and African Horse Sickness), backyard breeding and the integrity of trade in horses;
(c) overseas models of national tracking systems for horses;
(d) funding, enforcement and penalty implications; and
(e) any related matters.”
Senator Faruqi said:
“The establishment of this inquiry is a really exciting step forward to developing a system that can finally protect horses from neglect and cruelty as well as to increase safety. I urge everyone to come to the table to investigate what a national horse register might look like.
“I really hope the racing industry puts their money where their mouth is and engages with this inquiry. If they are committed to lifetime protection for their horses, they should commit to full transparency.
“We have heard too many stories of race horses ending up being killed at knackeries when they are no longer wanted.
“A 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,” she concluded.