AN urgent inquiry will be held into the treatment of retired racehorses in Queensland.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the probe on Tuesday, after vision of retired racehorses being mistreated at the Meramist Abattoir at Caboolture was screened on ABC TV's 7.30 program on October 17.
"This was deeply disturbing, horrendous footage and I was just as appalled to witness it," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"I know that my minister for agriculture along with my minister for racing have spoken to many racing industry figures in the past few days and they have all been deeply concerned about the allegations of animal abuse that surfaced.
"My government stands with the many industry figures who love their racing animals and, like them, I want to make sure we leave no stone unturned to stamp out animal cruelty."
The inquiry will be overseen by the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission, which is the industry watchdog charged, in part, with safeguarding the welfare of racing animals during their racing career.
The inquiry will examine:
- The management of retired racehorses.
- The operation of facilities accepting horses for slaughter.
- Arrangements for detecting, assessing, mitigating and prosecuting welfare breaches.
- Arrangements in other states.
- Changes required in the tracking and welfare of retired horses.
The inquiry will be headed up by retired District Court judge Terry Martin SC, with the support of equine veterinary surgeon and Australian Veterinary Association representative Dr Peter Reid.
LNP Opposition spokesman for racing, John-Paul Langbroek, said the inquiry must also investigate glaring failures in the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission.
"Labor's Racing Integrity Commission received complaints about these issues and failed to deal with them," Mr Langbroek said.
"It took the media to expose horrendous mistreatment and shame the Palaszczuk Labor Government into taking animal welfare seriously.
"The inquiry must investigate QRIC and why it failed their own animal welfare objectives to ensure racing animals are cared for before, during and after racing.
"Otherwise, it's just another Palaszczuk Labor government cover-up."
The inquiry is expected to report back to the government early next year.