Queensland Government's Response to Racehorse Independent Inquiry

Date: Tue, 11 Feb 2020 02:52:06


In response to the ABC’s 7:30 story ‘The final race’ aired last year, the Queensland Government commissioned an independent inquiry to examine the treatment of retired racehorses and animal welfare concerns in dealing with horses at a Queensland abattoir and knackery to help prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. The inquiry was led by retired District Court Judge Terry Martin SC with the support of equine veterinary surgeon Dr Peter Reid. Both Mr Martin and Dr Reid have extensive experience in their respective fields and brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to the inquiry. The inquiry has released its final report. After due consideration, the Queensland Government has released its response to the independent inquiry and fully supports, supports in-part or supports in-principle all 55 recommendations made by the inquiry. The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF), the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC), and Racing Queensland (RQ) will work collaboratively to implement the Government response. The Government response will:

  • promote good welfare outcomes for retired racing horses

  • strengthen regulation and oversight arrangements of abattoirs and knackeries and the transport of horses to those facilities.

DAF has been provided with funding to:

  • ensure the progression of amendments to Queensland’s animal welfare legislation and Codes of Practice to ensure horses are treated humanely at slaughter facilities and in their transport to these facilities

  • provide enhanced training for animal welfare inspectors

  • provide enhanced animal welfare compliance monitoring, investigation and reporting


Of the 55 recommendations, 27 will be led by the DAF, 8 by the QRIC and 19 by RQ. One recommendation requires no further action. While some of the actions will be undertaken within months, the implementation of the DAF recommendations will be substantially completed within 3 years. The inquiry report and the Queensland Government’s response can be found on the Department’s website. Allison Crook General Manager Animal Biosecurity and Welfare and Chief Veterinary Officer Biosecurity Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries 

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