Media Release Tuesday 6 February 2024:
The Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses (CPR) has made enquiries to Racing Victoria to find out the details of new local rule LR94C that was implemented Feb 1, 2024. The new rule makes it illegal for trainers and owners to send racehorses directly to slaughter at a knackery or slaughterhouse.
“This rule has all the markings of a PR stunt designed to give the impression that racehorses will be protected – yet the slaughter of racehorses will continue,” said Elio Celotto, Campaign Director for CPR.
When CPR contacted Racing Victoria to ask for further details about how the new rule would be effective, it became clear that there is no mandatory penalty set as is the case with many of the welfare rules and penalties are set on a ‘case by case’ basis.
“It’s simply not good enough. Without clearly defined rules and penalties, this local rule will do nothing to prevent horses being sent to slaughter.”
While the racing industry hides behind the fact that they no longer have jurisdiction over horses who have left the industry, the slaughter of thousands of racehorses around the country will continue unabated:
“The simple fact is that once a horse is sold or given away to someone outside the industry, Racing Victoria by their own admission have stated they no longer have control over what happens to the horse. As horses are often sold through a ‘middleman’ anyway, this law changes nothing. A horse could still be sold today and end up at a knackery tomorrow,” said Elio Celotto.
When CPR contacted Racing Victoria, CPR also asked how the new rule was to prevent the horses that are ‘rehomed’ via a sales yard from being sold to a kill buyer:
“While Racing Victoria in conjunction with Racing Australia already require the details of the first new owner of any horse that leaves the racing industry, they have every opportunity to ensure that the new owner agrees not to sell the horse for slaughter – and that kill buyers are prohibited from purchasing a racehorse via a sales yard. Except this loophole is not covered in the new rule,” Elio Celotto said.