Racing NSW introduces end of life welfare program for racehorses

POSTED ON  |  15-09-2020

Russell Balding Racing NSW Chairman
Racing NSW has moved to further protect racehorses in the state from abattoirs by announcing the introduction of an end of life welfare program, which will pay for the humane euthanasia of horses on welfare grounds. The program will be funded by a fee at the time of registration of any horse and takes away any expense from the owner at the end of a horse’s life.

A Racing NSW-licensed veterinarian will have to certify a horse needs to be euthanased because of genuine welfare or safety reasons. As part of this program, Racing NSW will also cover the costs of burial or cremation of the horse.

"This end of life welfare program reiterates Racing NSW’s position that under no circumstances should a NSW Thoroughbred horse ever be sent to an abattoir or knackery," Racing NSW chairman Russell Balding said. "The vast majority of thoroughbred owners both within and outside the racing industry ensure that their horses have the best possible welfare during and at the end of their lives. "However, there is a cost involved in euthanising a horse which may have been a deterrent for owners to act in the best interests of the horse’s welfare. "Accordingly, the End of Life Welfare Program removes the cost associated with euthanising a NSW Thoroughbred horse, further protecting the welfare of the horse right up until the end of its life."

The Racing NSW announcement on euthanasia came as the racing industry continues to focus on horses' lives beyond the track, with former Victorian premier Dr Denis Napthine leading a review into improving welfare for horses leaving racing and breeding.

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