Moody proposes industry ‘knackery’
Victoria’s former top trainer Peter Moody believes the racing industry should consider operating its own facility to humanely manage the end of life process for retired racehorses that cannot be rehomed.
Moody took to Twitter to suggest the idea in response to Racing Victoria’s announcement that, from Wednesday, 2% of all prizemoney would be channeled into equine welfare.
The increased funding follows an announcement in October from Racing Victoria that it would commit $25 million to accelerating its equine welfare strategy to improve the outcomes for racehorses at all stages of their lives.
During the spring, the ABC’s 7.30 Report ‘The Final Race‘ aired footage of retired racehorses killed at a knackery in New South Wales and an abattoir in Queensland.
Moody acknowledged that while many horses could be suitably retrained for another career post-racing, there would always be others that – due to behavioural or soundness issues – had fewer prospects.
From 1 Jan 2020, 2% of prizemoney on all Vic races will be allocated to equine welfare initiatives and programs – up from the current 1% contribution introduced in 2017.
“Let’s be realistic,” Moody tweeted.
“Not all horses can be rehomed or train to different disciplines.
“Why not have a industry knackery for want of a better description to manage and handle horses welfare as humanly as possible. “RSPCA puts down thousands of animals each year.”
Among the future projects detailed in its equine welfare strategy, Racing Victoria has committed to formalising a position on the role of knackeries and abattoirs, as well as determining an end of life policy to provide guidance for decision making.
Racing Victoria’s Executive General Manager – Integrity, Jamie Stier, said improving outcomes for retired racehorses would be a priority over the coming months.
“We’ve expanded our equine welfare taskforce to deliver the action plan and commenced audits of racing stables and horse sales to validate retirement data and ensure we support the right programs that benefit retired racehorses in need,” Stier said.
“Over the months ahead our equine welfare taskforce will be making announcements about programs and initiatives aimed at furthering the welfare of thoroughbred racehorses, particularly in retirement, and we look forward to sharing those with the community.”