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Horses need an identity Urgently - Article by Barrie Tapp, Animal Cruelty Hotline

Horses need an identity urgently, but in the State of Victoria there currently is no system nor accountability to accurately determine the number of horses. Nor is it compulsory to register them, unless your horse is a particular breed, in some cases. Some horse breed associations RVL, HRV, require mandatory registrations of both horses and owners, whilst other horse breed societies don’t subscribe to any such manner of registration. Editor: We have put this article up at the top of the front page again in view of the ABC program, "The dark side of the horse racing industry," broadcast 17 October 2019.

Victoria is undoubtedly a very large populated horse industry and, as the welfare of horses, in the opinion of experts, is maintained by the above-mentioned, cruelty and abuse is rife and expanding, as our database and evidence of proof show. Horses must be registered. The animal welfare agencies that are privileged to have the monopolized responsibility to enforce the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (POCTA) in this state are overloaded. Resourses, so they tell us, are limited. Furthermore, horses are not consistently categorized as livestock or domestic animals within the animal welfare act. In consequence, they unfortunately fall between the cracks of the animal welfare system!

The upshot is that policing is left to voluntary rescue organizations, and the community, to report infringements that are observed. This also put a heavier burden on the authorized
protectors. Councils and Shires also have the responsibility to investigate animal welfare complaints within their areas but seldom do. In any case they always pass the complaint onto RSPCA where once again the burden overloads!

The initiative or the ability to perform duties to investigate animal welfare complaints appears unfruitful within some councils. This, even though most local laws officers have been
endorsed by the minister for “general inspector qualification 18”. At times ti seems they do not enforce the action, through inexperience!

An exception is the local laws in South East Victoria. There is a great record of animal welfare within their shire, as proven by their ability to prosecute all offences under POCTA. Horses are a great contributor to the economy of Victoria through many outlets, for instance racing, trotting, breeding, pleasure, and as a companion animal. Unfortunately, however, many end up at the slaughter yards or sent overseas for human consumption.

The complaints we receive at Animal Cruelty Hotline must be passed onto the appropriate authorities but without any feedback forthcoming from these two authorities that claim, “privacy laws inhibit us to allow feedback!” Racing Victoria and Harness Racing have a duty of care to monitor their members regarding infringements of cruelty and abuse and should not leave it up
to RSPCA alone to investigate problems.

This government must undertake to introduce mandatory registrations/ micro chipping for all horses which will then give them at least an identity and will then curtail the continuance of abuse, cruelty and neglect.

The government introduced new "Puppy Farm laws" "to control abuse, cruelty and indiscriminate breeding." Well Minister, the same alleged abuse happens within the horse industry and, at present, anyone can hang out a shingle in the front paddock and say, "Here I am. I am a dealer/breeder. I can breed anything I like and sell the product without fear of intervention, no license, no experience needed."

We register all other animals before sending them off to sale yards, including cattle, sheep, pigs, calves - all ear-tagged and/or tattooed sowhy not register horses? There is no difference between puppy farming and horse farming, in this respect. Cruelty has no monopoly. It belongs to all and it exists within the horse industry, where a permit or license to trade or breed is not needed. Animals will still suffer.

In conclusion the state government cannot keep their heads buried in the sand whilst these animals, which helped settle this country, ploughed the fields, went off to war (none came back,) continue to suffer without the privilege of the mandatory requirements of all creatures great and small!

Defining the correct category in POCTA is a must and should be supported by more resources and aid to fight the war on cruelty and abuse to an animal that is not categorized as an identity!!

***. . Barrie TAPP Animal Cruelty Hotline Australia Operates 24/7. To report animal cruelty anonymously free call 1800751770 anytime/anywhere 24/7.

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Just heard that a man allowed his dog to kill a black swan at Albert Park. The more the population of Melbourne grows , the more stupid , cruel and insensitive people there are around. Stands to reason, i guess. The trouble is that it takes only one person to commit a vandalistic act and the rest of us lose out.

Farmers Thoughts. Poem By Joanna Collett . NSW

G’day Mr Morrison, I trust that you are fine,
Sorry to be bothering you, but there’s something on my mind
I listened to a bloke last week; he had a bit to say
You lot may have heard of him? He delivers all that hay?

He spoke of countless hours and the distances they drive
Feeding starving stock, to keep bush hopes alive
They do not get assistance from your tax funded hat
They do it on their own, all off their own bat

I’m not politically minded and I don’t have any clout
And I know you’ve done a tour, to learn about the drought
But there’s just some burning questions, that have left us feeling beat
Why did we fund a foreign land, to learn to cut up meat?

And what about those soccer boys, who went and got all lost
You pulled out all the bloody stops, plain just showing off
You’ve bigger problems here at home, there’s drought up to our necks
So what does your mob go and do ? Give them big fat cheques!

Don’t they have a government to deal with all this stuff?
Why should it be up to us, what’s with all your fuss?
Should we not be reigning in and look after our own
Have you never heard the phrase charity starts at home?

I realise there’s many things, that need an allocation
And I also can appreciate, complex trade relations
II’m not sure if you realise, but if our stock all die,
There won’t be any trade you see, your deals will all run dry.

As a rule we’re not a whinging lot, our requests are but a few
Most of us who work the land, are tested, tried and true
We respect that we are guardians, and sustain it for the kids
But I often have to wonder, what future will it bring?

I guess all that I’m wondering, is where’s the Aussie aid?
Wrapped up in a swag of tape, only then to be repaid !
There’s Aussie blokes and chicks out there, putting you to shame
Helping fellow Australians, in their time of pain

I’m just a simple farmer, grazier, wife and mum
And even though we’re feeding stock, we’re better off than some
have never had to shoot a cow, who could no longer stand
But many have before me, and I pray, I’m not dealt that hand

So will you take another look; admit that we’re in strife ?
And do more than bloody empathise, before another farmer takes their life ?
I’d like to think you’ll do what’s right and put Australia first
And help your own damn country, before this drought gets any worse.

Interestingly one of the points of the ABC program (7.30) was that horses who had had a name were ending up at the slaughter yards. They showed the races they had been in and we heard their names called; the point being that the horses had an identity which was so easily discarded and lost.

It's acceptable practise to send off to abbatoirs for slaughter, maybe that's a shift that needs to be looked at.
My past 17 years has been advocating for horse welfare . My suggestion for the racehorses is:
If the owner /trainer/syndicate can not guarantee the future of any horse that in their eyes fails the winning post then that horse MUST be pts at the yard, stable ,paddock where it knows. Not to be transported and subjected to a knackery death as was shown on the ABC report. Then maybe the trainer, track rider, stable hand or owner may have to be a witness to its death rather than be palmed off as trash maybe then more will get the true end of a horses life.
Just a thought and a way to minimize the horrendous practice rhat goes on behind closed doors. I'm sure a horse would be handled entirely differently if done with other eyes watching. You bring the horse into this world you be responsible for its exit.
Agree on the traceability and registering of all horses . How safe yards process them differently to other animals is wrong.