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Australia Prosecutions 'should' and 'will' occur following ABC report: Racing Australia CEO

01:32  18 october  2019
01:32  18 october  2019 Source:   brisbanetimes.com.au

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Racing Australia boss Barry O’Farrell condemns ‘unacceptable’ practices following ABC report on racehorses.

Racing Victoria says it will prioritise an audit of horses that have not raced for 18 months in response to 'horrific images' aired on Thursday night. Racing Australia chief executive Barry O'Farrell and former NSW premier said prosecutions " should , and I suspect will , occur " following the 7.30

Barry O'Farrell wearing a suit and tie: Racing Australia's chief executive officer Barry O'Farrell.© ABC Racing Australia's chief executive officer Barry O'Farrell.

WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES

Racing Australia chief executive Barry O'Farrell has said prosecutions "should, and I suspect will, occur" following ABC's 7.30 investigation into the treatment of racehorses.

Speaking on ABC News 24's News Breakfast on Friday morning, Mr O'Farrell said that, while he was "appalled" and "shocked" by the two-year-investigation, he had absolute faith in state regulators including Racing NSW chief executive Peter V'landys.

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Racing Australia chief executive Barry O'Farrell said prosecutions " should , and I suspect will , occur " following ABC 's 7.30 investigation into the Racing Australia 's official data claims around 34 horses every year end up at slaughterhouses - a figure amounting to less than one per cent of retiring

Racing Australia chief executive Barry O'Farrell said today that prosecutions " should , and I suspect will , occur ". Mr O'Farrell said that that while he Racing Victoria and the country's peak racing body, Racing Australia , have both said there needs to be a better system of data collection relating to the

"[State racing chief executives] are doing everything they can just to ensure the sport of racing thrives and flourishes, but also that responsibility for equine welfare is as high as possible within their jurisdictions," he said. "Of course we condemn it."

Mr O'Farrell also questioned the actions of activists involved in the investigation, asking why they didn't blow "the whistle earlier".

"Let's not conflate two issues. That facility we saw last night, and those unacceptable practices, is a state abattoir in Queensland. Those practices that I saw, I know from my background in state politics, are serious offences under state animal welfare legislation," he said.

a close up of a horse: The program shocked viewers with many calling for the industry to be held accountable.© ABC 7.30 The program shocked viewers with many calling for the industry to be held accountable.

"I think the program last night said the activists had been taking vision for a number of years. Why wouldn't they have blown the whistle earlier to stop this inhumane treatment?"

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In 2018, Racing NSW CEO Peter V'landys told the ABC 's Four Corners "the objective is that no horse that races or is domiciled in NSW — doesn't have to But slaughterhouses will be revealed tonight as being the ultimate dumping ground for both the harness and thoroughbred racing industry's wastage

Racing Australia chief executive Barry O'Farrell said he was "appalled" and "shocked" and prosecutions " should , and I suspect will occur ". No person has ever been prosecuted for breaching Racing NSW's policies against the slaughter of retired racehorses, which carries disqualifications and

The ABC report, which aired on Thursday night's 7.30, uncovered alleged acts of animal cruelty on a mass scale, with allegations that hundreds of Australian racehorses were being sent to the slaughterhouse.

Mr V'landys said on 2GB on Friday morning that his office had been receiving "hate mail" after the program aired and was being told to "get cancer and die". Mr V'landys said the issues lay with the Queensland jurisdiction and that he was "proud" of his state's efforts to rehome racehorses.

"Out of 10,000 horses, we rehomed almost every one of them ... the ABC never returned our calls to give them that advice," he said.

The report cited official data from Racing Australia claiming less than 1 per cent of retired horses end up in an abattoir, which translates to 34 horses every year.

Elio Celotto, from the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses, said his group had been watching and recording the daily activities of the Meramist Abattorior, located north of Brisbane, for the past two years. Mr Celotto told 7.30 that about 4000 racehorses had been killed in the one abattoir alone. The 7.30 report also investigated a number of NSW facilities.

Mr V'landys said Racing NSW spent $2.5 million a year rehoming horses.

"This is not happening in NSW...to be portrayed so unfairly, it was really disturbing," he said.

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