AN immediate investigation has been ordered into the cruel treatment of horses at a Queensland abattoir.
Agriculture Minister Mark Furner said he was appalled by vision of horses at the Caboolture abattoir shown on ABC TV's 7.30 program on Thursday night.
"Like all Queenslanders and as a former owner of a retired racehorse I am appalled at what I saw," he said.
"That's why I've ordered Biosecurity Queensland investigators to go to the facility to find out who is responsible for the cruel treatment of those animals.
"Queensland has the toughest animal welfare laws in the country and anyone found breaching them could face a jail term of up to seven years."
Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said a previously organised forum dealing with life after racing for horses had been brought forward to next week.
"We've brought that forward to next week, with details to be finalised, and it will involve industry stakeholders, including Racing Queensland and the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission," Mr Hinchcliffe said.
Mr Furner said as a facility licensed to export food product overseas, the abattoir was required to have a Commonwealth vet on site to monitor animal welfare and report any breaches.
Racing Queensland chief executive officer Brendan Parnell also condemned the footage.
"The inhumane treatment of horses - be it Thoroughbreds, Standardbreds or otherwise - is abhorrent and should not be happening under any circumstance," Mr Parnell said.
"As an industry, we have a collective responsibility for the safety and wellbeing of our horses.
"We fully support Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe's decision to fast-track the industry forum on re-homing and are committed to working alongside the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission and the broader industry to deliver change.
"This is a national issue. In Australia, there needs to be a system to track horse movement once they leave the industry. A national horse traceability program is critical".