NSW racing stewards and the RacingNSW welfare unit have started an audit of declarations by horse owners on the welfare of ex-racehorses to make sure horses have not been sent to slaughter.
In the wake of the ABC exposure of horse cruelty at an abattoir in Queensland where interstate racehorses had been sent for slaughter for the export horse meat market, NSW stewards launched a new audit of ownership declarations.
Under NSW racing rules, ex-racehorses that had been predominantly domiciled in NSW during their career must not be sent to slaughter, and must be rehomed.
The Land heard of one Tamworth horse owner being quizzed by Racing NSW officials this week over ownership declarations of an ex-racehorse.
The Land understands also that four ex-racehorses on a list on the ABC website that it said had been sent to slaughter, were actually still alive.
The ABC expose sent shockwaves through the racing industry at the treatment of ex-racehorses at an abattoir at Caboolture in Queensland. The Queensland Government has announced a full review of racehorse welfare and a separate inquiry into alleged cruelty at the Meramist abattoir.
NSW chief steward Mark van Gestel confirmed an audit was being done to make sure owners of ex-racehorses were obeying declarations on the thoroughbred register that horse were not to be onsold for slaughter.
"We are taking this matter very seriously," Mr Van Gestel said. "We have also asked the ABC for the evidence regarding slaughter of ex-racing horses from NSW but they have not provided that at this stage."
"We often carry out audits on horse declarations and we are doing another one now with stewards also involved. This is to ensure the declarations on horse sales are truthful."