Western Australia Introduces Policies to Protect Retired Racehorses

Horse racing is huge in Australia and is also popular with punters seeking to make a buck out of the sport. However, all racehorses compete for a number of years before retiring due to age or injuries. Obviously, it is easy for wagers to forget a popular horse that made them thousands of pounds because a new star has risen. But, WA is keen on protecting the welfare of such horses once they are out of the limelight.

New Policies

The WA government introduced a raft of measures in November 2019 that will enable it to track and monitor the health and living conditions of retired horses. The government plans to conduct random inspections in abattoirs that handle such horses. The increased vigilance is in response to a recent story on ABC revealing that retired racehorses are often exposed to cruelty or sent straight to slaughterhouses. Breeders are supposed to retrain retired horses and only send those that are knackered to abattoirs.

The sporting minister promised that he would authorize a census to establish the status of all retired horses. He expressed commitment to ensuring that all retired thoroughbreds would be rehomed rather than being sent to knackeries. He also urged the government to curb the export of racehorses to countries with poor horse racing standards. The new plan will compel breeders to follow strict licensing protocols meant to prevent unethical practices.

Knackeries Will Still Take Horses

The new measures will not stop owners from sending knackered horses to abattoirs. Instead, only those slaughterhouses that have registered with the Racing and Wagering WA will access retired racehorses. In the meantime, all the registered facilities have consented to random inspections. The government also plans to acquire a barn that it will use to retain and care for retired racehorses. Unibet is supportive of initiatives meant to retire racehorses with dignity.