National Horse Traceability Register
23 October 2019
This week we've all been appalled by evidence of the systemic slaughter of racehorses. In response to these revelations, industry bodies have backed a register that tracks every racehorse throughout its life. I'd like to draw the House's attention to this. It's not a new idea and it's one that I think has significant merit. Indeed, the Senate is currently undertaking an inquiry into this very matter.
This inquiry came about because of the tireless campaigning by two people in my electorate, Juliana and Mark Waugh, who have a deeply personal and incredibly tragic impetus for their mission. On 24 March 2009, their daughter, Sarah, died after falling from a horse during a TAFE course on a basic horseriding and care program. If a national horse register had been in place at the time, the TAFE would have known the horse in question was actually a retired racehorse. They also would have known what the coroner later found, which was that it was patently unsuitable for beginners, the very people who were doing the course, and Sarah Waugh might still be with us today.
I await the findings of the Senate inquiry with great interest, but it's clear that there are a number of very good reasons to seriously consider a comprehensive national horse register that tracks horses throughout their lives.