Clark MP Andrew Wilkie says more needs to be done to stop ex race horses being fed to dogs
Clark MP Andrew Wilkie says more needs to be done to stop ex race horses being fed to dogs

50 per cent of ex-race horses killed for dog meat: Claim

NEW rules should be set up to stop owners from "chainsawing" ex race horses for dog meat, a Tasmanian MP has urged.

Independent Federal Clark member Andrew Wilkie said racing industry stakeholders had approached his office reporting unwanted former race horses being slaughtered to feed greyhounds.

In a letter penned to Racing Minister Jane Howlett, Mr Wilkie asked if "reliable witness" claims were true that 50 per cent of ex racing horses were killed for dog meat.

"Tasracing must investigate this matter, and if unwanted racehorses are being turned into dog meat for racing greyhounds, Tasracing must come clean and stamp out this cruel practice," Mr Wilkie said.

 

Andrew Wilkie in Hobart. Picture: RICHARD JUPE
Andrew Wilkie in Hobart. Picture: RICHARD JUPE

 

"In Tasmania it is not uncommon for someone's slow horse to take it out the back, shoot is and carve it up with a chainsaw before feeding it to dogs. There are no rules preventing this."

Earlier this year Tasracing introduced new welfare rules which require greyhound owners to make all reasonable efforts to avoid euthanasia of their dog by finding it a suitable long-term home.

"Tasracing needs to improve its tracking of horses and introduce a welfare rule similar to the one for greyhounds," Mr Wilkie said.

"If it's good enough for dogs, it's good enough for horses."

Racing NSW introduced laws in 2017 that no owner can put their horse anywhere other than a good home when it leaves the racing industry.

It comes as high-profile greyhound trainer Susan Gittus was banned for two months after her dog tested positive for a prohibited substance. Consumption of horse meat was flagged as a possible cause of the positive reading.

 

Minister for sport and recreation, Jane Howlett. Picture: Zak Simmonds
Minister for sport and recreation, Jane Howlett. Picture: Zak Simmonds

 

Ms Howlett said owners were allowed to euthanise their horses as long as it was undertaken humanely.

"Animal welfare is a key priority for the State Government when it comes to racing, which is reflected in the record levels of investment in horse and greyhound welfare initiatives by the Government and Tasracing," she said.

"The Government and Tasracing fully support Racing Australia, Harness Racing Australia and other parties' calls for the development of a National Horse Traceability Register.

"A National Horse Traceability Working Group has recently been established to inform the design of the register. Tasmania will be represented on this group."

 

 

james.kitto@news.com.au

 

 

Originally published as 50 per cent of ex-race horses killed for dog meat


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