I am writing today to keep you updated with Thoroughbred Breeders Australia’s activities since the airing of the ABC 7.30 report into the mistreatment of thoroughbreds.
Last Tuesday I met with Racing Australia chairman, Greg Nichols, and presented him with an eight-point plan that the TBA board had endorsed (see below).
These measures are not exhaustive and there will be many other good suggestions put forward. However they do, in our opinion, constitute a good start to tackling some of the issues we must respond to.
You will see that we believe establishing an independent task force is our first priority. This is consistent with what I wrote immediately after the program aired.
There are no easy fixes in this welfare discussion, but having an independent task force will be the foundation of developing good policy. It goes without saying, that breeders must be widely consulted in any discussions.
Tuesday was the third face to face meeting we had had with Racing Australia and I am due to catch up with Greg and their chief executive, Barry O’Farrell, again tomorrow.
I have also held meetings or provided briefings to the following in the past week: the head of the Federal Department of Agriculture, the acting chief executive of the RSPCA, the chief executive of Animal Health Australia, senior advisors to the Federal Agriculture Minister, the Shadow Agriculture minister, most state Agriculture Ministers, and a number of state racing ministers.
Last Tuesday we also held an event in Canberra, with the Parliamentary Friends of Primary Producers. This is an annual event, but this year it provided us with an opportunity to tackle head on the issue of welfare. The Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack spoke on the night, as did the Leader of the Opposition, Anthony Albanese, and the event was well attended.
Evenings like this are valuable as we regularly need support from the Federal Government: for example, it would be impossible to develop a national traceability register for horses without their buy in.
The board of TBA believe the issues that have been raised need a national and collaborative response and we are determined to play our part in good policy outcomes.
I have already received a number of good suggestions from breeders with ideas to assist the industry and all are gratefully received. If you have one, please send it to email@example.com
Thank you for your time and I look forward to your feedback.