RWWA Increases its Commitment to Racehorse Welfare


Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA) today announced new and expanded welfare initiatives building on its current Racehorse Welfare Plan, to further safeguard the wellbeing of its thoroughbreds and standardbreds.

RWWA supports the Minister for Racing and Gaming’s call for improvements to racehorse welfare and believes the plan will address the key issues of traceability, rehoming, and abattoirs and knackeries.

Traceability – creating broader and more comprehensive traceability of racehorses during all stages of their lives:

  • WA Racehorse Passport: RWWA will introduce a new WA Racehorse Passport, to allow for the tracking of all racehorses once they retire from the racing industry. Retired racehorse owners will receive educational material and financial incentives including welfare care packages, access to Off the Track clinics and events and other initiatives.
  • Licensing of WA breeders: RWWA will define a licensing framework for local breeders acknowledging the highest standards of care in the preparation of our racing animals.
  • Compliance and enforcement: a comprehensive WA racehorse census will be completed to verify the accuracy of state based data, through field inspections, including enforcement of reporting requirements.
  • National Horse Traceability Register: through Racing Australia and Harness Racing Australia, RWWA will continue to push for the Federal Government to introduce a National Horse Traceability Register.

Rehoming – assisting in the transition of retired racehorses to equestrian and pleasure pursuits, and provide support for their ongoing wellbeing:

  • Retirement rule: develop a new WA rule of racing, whereby industry must aim to rehome all healthy and behaviourally sound thoroughbreds and standardbreds.
  • Racehorse Welfare Facility: RWWA will invest in a multi-purpose racehorse welfare facility for the use of retraining by accredited re-trainers, and emergency care for retired racehorses.
  • Off the Track Re-Trainer Package: introduce the Off the Track re-trainer package, including a re-trainer accreditation program, temperament assessments as well as support benefits to WA Racehorse Passport holders.
  • Off the Track: RWWA will further invest in its existing Off the Track program that supports the promotion of retired thoroughbreds and standardbreds into equestrian and pleasure pursuits.

Abattoirs & Knackeries – develop suitable reporting processes for WA-registered abattoirs and knackeries:

  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU): establish and MoU and mandatory reporting process with WA-registered abattoirs and knackeries, who will be subject to random inspections to ensure they are meeting MoU conditions.

“RWWA is committed to ensuring that the best levels of care are given to thoroughbreds and standardbreds throughout all stages of their lives,” said RWWA CEO Richard Burt.

“When a racehorse retires from the racing industry, at any age, RWWA will aim to have every healthy and behaviourally sound horse rehomed.”

“The funding of these initiatives will be supported by industry and RWWA to the extent necessary to ensure the objectives set out in this plan are met.”