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Horses will now be traced from birth to well into retirement as rules involving thoroughbreds and their welfare are tightened.
The rules, which come into force today, will be enforced by New Thoroughbred Racing.
In a statement, NZTR said its focus on ensuring comprehensive traceability of the racing and breeding thoroughbred population had involved extensive consultation with industry sector groups.
It said this commitment from NZTR and industry participants has led to the development of these new rules concerning foal notification and those concerning death or retirement from racing and breeding.
The 30-day foal notification requires NZTR to be advised of a foal’s existence within 30 days of its birth.
The introduction of the 30-day foal notification was supported by the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association and addresses the previous window of up to six months between foaling and registration.
From today, all horses will be required to have an accountable person — an owner, racing manager, trainer or studmaster.
That person will become responsible for informing NZTR of the death or retirement from racing or breeding of the horse(s) under their care.
In the case of retirement and rehoming, they must also ensure the horse goes to someone with appropriate horse knowledge and they must also provide NZTR with the contact details of the new owner.
NZTR has been undertaking work on retirement, following up with the registered owners of those horses listed as “inactive” on its website.
NZTR said while horses were well cared for in their retirement, recording this information allowed it to better document where retired horses end up once their racing days were over.
Meanwhile, NZTR chairman Alan Jackson will retire from the board at the annual meeting on November 17.
Jackson has been on the board for five years.