National Horse Traceability Register has lost its way
Please TAKE ACTION now!
We need just a few minutes of your time to steer the National Horse Traceability Register (NHTR) back on course.
1. Sign our petition directed at key stakeholders within government, the working group and horse industries here
2. Send a personalised email/letter expressing your frustration at this situation and your support for an effective and robust register that will achieve what was initially intended - addresses here
3. Share this call to action via socials or email with everyone you know
For detailed information, read our report (available here) co-signed by a collective of animal welfare organisations and individuals who have come together to call on key stakeholders and you the public to take urgent and immediate action.
This report and cover letter has been sent to the QLD, VIC and Federal Minister for Agriculture, the relevant Senate Committee, Racing Australia, Harness Racing Australia, all members of the NHTR Working Group, all state government Ministers for Racing, the VIC and QLD Racing Integrity Commissioners.
The NHTR was initially called for and subsequently supported by horse industries, the public and the Australian Government to address horse welfare, rider safety and biosecurity. Three years on, the focus of the Register, now in its crucial development stage, has shifted solely to biosecurity - leaving horse welfare and rider safety behind.
The Victorian and Queensland State Governments were both tasked with co-leading the development of the Register, with Agriculture Victoria also taking on the role of Secretariat to the National Horse Traceability Working Group. The Working Group, formed to "provide advice on matters relating to the design and introduction of a traceability system for horses, donkeys and mules in Australia", includes representatives from Racing Australia, Harness Racing Australia, the RSPCA, the Australian Horse Industry Council, the Australian Campdrafters Association, Animal Health Australia and Equine Australia.
Last year the Victorian Labor Government commissioned a report to help guide the Working Group, which interestingly left horse welfare and rider safety out of its Terms of Reference.
"The Terms of Reference for this project require us to focus on the role of a horse traceability system in the context of biosecurity" (Marsden Jacob, 2022, p. 10).
This misguided report has no doubt contributed to the failings of the Working Group to produce any advice that would lead to an effective register. With its focus shifted off course towards recommendations for a Register that will focus solely on biosecurity, the current direction for the Register will do nothing to address horse welfare and rider safety, and, as the most recent communications from the Working Group demonstrate, will do little to reduce biosecurity risks.
In response, CPR has produced a report titled ‘The National Horse Traceability Register has lost its way’ - co-signed by a collective of animal welfare organisations and individuals who have come together to call on key personnel and you the public to take urgent and immediate action to ensure the NHTR is redirected back onto its intended course.
Our report covers the entire process to date, highlighting the original intent of the NHTR, and the steps that have occurred since the Inquiry that have led to its current trajectory.
Our intention is to:
• ensure the public are aware that the Working Group is currently failing to make recommendations based on their own Terms of Reference;
• ensure the Victorian, Queensland and Federal Governments live up to their commitment to the creation of an effective NHTR register and,
• encourage the racing industry to use their strong influence over decision making in high places to guarantee a robust NHTR, especially considering they themselves profess to be in support of such a register
The Australian public was devastated as scenes of extreme and systemic suffering of racehorses caused at knackeries and slaughterhouses played out across the country’s television screens in October 2019. This along with the frequent stories of neglected, malnourished and suffering horses across the country has created outrage and demand for change. An effective horse traceability register for ALL horses is an integral part to achieving better horse welfare outcomes.
We've seen far too much suffering and have made many positive steps in response to address the issue of horse welfare and rider safety to let this slip away and turn into yet another meaningless government exercise.
Please TAKE ACTION now! to help us ensure Australia finally implements a traceability register the public has demanded and the horses desperately need and deserve.
Please Sign and Share Now!