Queensland racehorse owners will have to prove they have tried to rehome their animals multiple times before they can apply to send them to slaughter, under recommendations set to be implemented by the State Government.

The overhaul in the treatment of retired racehorses is a key recommendation of an inquiry into the sector, after the ABC’s 7.30 program revealed hundreds of the animals were being sent to slaughterhouses, in contravention of racing rules.

The 7.30 story also exposed multiple allegations of mistreatment of racehorses at a Queensland abattoir, including being lashed, kicked and stomped on.

The independent inquiry, conducted by retired District Court judge Terry Martin, recommended boosting Queensland’s Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) to reduce the numbers of horses being sent to slaughter.

QRIC, along with Racing Queensland, will also establish and run a rehoming scheme to ensure horses find a new life after racing retirement.”It will require owners to make two genuine attempts to rehome the animal, before they can consider euthanasia,” QRIC boss Ross Barnett said on Monday.

“After making two attempts, if they’re unsuccessful, they will then have to put the horse up to the rehoming scheme.

“Only if that animal can’t be accepted into the program will they then be able to give consideration to either having the animal humanely euthanised on farm, or send it to an abattoir.”

The rehoming scheme will be funded by a 1 per cent levy on prize money, expected to raise about $1.5 million a year.

Article written by state political reporter Allyson Horn