Racing Victoria (RV) has released its new Thoroughbred Racehorse Welfare Policy (TRWP). The policy defines the minimum standards and best practice guidelines for caring for and interacting with thoroughbred racehorses in Victoria.

The TRWP will come into effect from 1 May 2024.

It will be enforceable under Australian Rules of Racing 233 (a) – a person must not breach a policy, regulation or code of practice published by Racing Australia or a Principal Racing Authority.

The TRWP promotes good welfare and considers each horse’s:

  • mental and physical health;
  • supervision;
  • housing;
  • exercise and training;
  • transport; and
  • retirement and rehoming.

They say that most stables already meet and exceed the TRWP, but the policy ensures participants (especially Trainers) must address any required improvements.

RV Stewards will consider any potential TRWP compliance issue and exercise their enforcement powers in the case of a breach.

The TRWP was drafted after consultation with a wide range of industry stakeholders, including 30 licensed trainers, key industry representative bodies, RV’s Equine Welfare Advisory Council and RSPCA Victoria.

Following the consultation and review process, the TRWP was endorsed by the RV Board and the independent cross-code Victorian Racing Integrity Board.

See the following resources to learn more about TRWP:

RV CEO Andrew Jones said; “Victorian racing aims to be world-class on all key measures, especially care for horses.

“The Thoroughbred Racehorse Welfare Policy codifies this. The standards cover our horses’ mental and physical health, environment and the decisions made when they finish racing.

“Most racing stables and participants already exceed these standards, but in the rare cases they don’t, the industry can take improvement and enforcement action.

“Victorian thoroughbred racehorses should lead enjoyable and purposeful lives. And it is vital that the community has confidence in the care our horses are given.”