Australia

Queensland orders urgent inquiry into the treatment of retired racehorses

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The Queensland government has ordered an urgent inquiry into the treatment of racehorses after the release of shocking footage taken at a local abattoir.

An urgent inquiry into the treatment of retired racehorses has been ordered by the Queensland government.

The inquiry will be headed by retired District Court judge Terry Martin SC, with the support of Australian Veterinary Association representative Dr Peter Reid and oversight from the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission.

"It is a necessary inquiry to provide Queenslanders with confidence that the racing industry is doing everything possible to ensure the welfare of horses," Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told parliament on Tuesday.

"Animal welfare is everybody's responsibility and my government will not stand for cruelty to animals."

New revelations of cruelty in Australia's horse racing industry have prompted widespread outrage.
New revelations of cruelty in Australia's horse racing industry have prompted widespread outrage.
AAP

It will look into regulatory and oversight arrangements for the management of retired race horses and for the operation of facilities accepting horses for slaughter.

How well existing processes for detecting, assessing, mitigating and prosecuting breaches of the welfare of retired racing horses, including those from other states, will be examined, as well as models in other states and potential changes to the tracking and welfare of retired horses.

It comes amid an ongoing investigation into the treatment of horses at the Meramist Abattoir in Caboolture.

Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said plans of a forum to look at racing horses and their post-career lives were underway before an ABC 7.30 report revealed a racehorse cruelty scandal last week.

That forum has now been brought forward to Tuesday afternoon.

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