NZTR Thoroughbred Welfare Strategy Update

25 November 2022

NZTR’s focus and commitment to Thoroughbred welfare has been further reinforced by the publication of the 2022 NZTR Thoroughbred Welfare Strategy Update.

This document details NZTR’s commitment to continually improving and upholding high standards of welfare for our Thoroughbreds and has been prepared over recent months under the review of the NZTR Board, and in consultation with industry stakeholders and animal welfare interested representatives that attended the 2022 Thoroughbred Welfare Forum.

This updated Thoroughbred welfare strategy defines initiatives and objectives that will be undertaken in the two years to July 2024, and is structured in the following parts:

  • Welfare initiatives relating to horses in breeding, racing and training.
  • Rehoming, and showcasing Thoroughbreds in their ‘second careers’ including engaging with the community of owners of ‘off the track Thoroughbreds’.
  • Data gathering and reporting, including the comprehensive traceability of Thoroughbreds in breeding and racing.

Because NZTR recognises the progress of scientific knowledge and the evolution of public thought are key factors in the endurance of Thoroughbred racing’s Social Licence, another critical element is to develop and maintain increasingly detailed and transparent reports and communications for stakeholders, government and public.  This requires progressive development of additional key welfare related metrics that will enable future goal setting and monitoring.

NZTR is not accountable alone in the successful execution of this strategy. Our commitment is one that we also confer on breeders, trainers, jockeys, owners and all other participants involved in Thoroughbred training, racing and breeding, each of whom must share that same aspiration, or on a more base level, must proactively meet all traceability obligations under the Rules of Racing, and also meet or exceed the expectations set in the NZTR Thoroughbred Welfare Guidelines.

NZTR does however hold itself accountable to our participants and to public to ensure that our strategy is planned and consulted upon with thoughtfulness and undertaken with good effect.

NZTR’s accountability, on behalf of the industry and participants, extends to ensuring that relevant government agencies and animal welfare organisations remain appropriately and regularly appraised of our initiatives and by providing accurate relevant data.

NZTR is also accountable to our participants to ensure and assure that the 1% Thoroughbred Welfare Levy is invested appropriately in the most effective ways possible. NZTR will provide this accountability through the NZTR Annual Reports and via quarterly communications.

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