Thoroughbred Welfare guidelines released

25 October 2019

Today marks the culmination of two years focus with the publication of NZTR’s Thoroughbred Welfare Guidelines which can be viewed here.


The time spent developing these guidelines, and the rules which support them, has been necessary to ensure the framework is well considered and reflects the knowledge and perspectives provided by industry participants, equine experts, and external stakeholders, including the Ministry for Primary Industries.


NZTR is committed to the welfare of the thoroughbred racehorse and the maintenance of appropriate horse welfare standards.  Our Thoroughbred Welfare Guidelines are created around the Five Domains model of equine welfare which defines optimal provisions and aims to reduce avoidable negative experiences and ensure our horses enjoy a life worth living.


NZTR has been fortunate during the development of the guidelines to have worked in partnership with Professor Emeritus David Mellor, who is globally recognised in the animal welfare field.  His input, along with that of other skilled veterinarians and industry stakeholder groups, has been greatly appreciated.


As part of our welfare strategy we have also made amendments to the Rules of Racing to allow for better traceability of our horses from birth to death.  There will be a clear onus on each racehorse’s owner, or “accountable person”, to ensure they sell or re-home their horse to someone who is both appropriately skilled and with an appropriate property for horses.   There will also be a requirement for information relating to foaling, changes of ownership, location, and death or retirement to be promptly submitted.


In addition to those who participated directly in the development of the guidelines, NZTR appreciates the feedback from those who made submissions during the period the draft guidelines were available online earlier this year.

The changes to the Rules of Racing which support the Thoroughbred Welfare Guidelines will come into effect in December and can be viewed here.

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