Thank you Mr Speaker
My question is to the Minister for Racing.
Minister, I have finally received, after a lengthy RTI process, the David Sykes report into animal welfare, undertaken at the request of Tasracing.
The report makes 83 recommendations for improving the welfare of racing animals, noting there are significant structural, leadership and staffing concerns at both Tasracing and the Office of Racing Integrity.
In fact, the most alarming aspect of the report is that ORI did not participate in the consultation – AT ALL. To quote Mr Sykes on page 4:
“I was … unable to examine welfare data and statistics collected by ORI and could not make meaningful comparisons with similar data collected by other racing authorities. Additionally, I was unable to discuss welfare-related protocols that ORI has in place.”
Minister, ORI has racked up quite a list of failures:
- It won’t even participate in a Tasracing internal welfare review.
- It has turned a blind eye to licencing requirements for trainers, in flagrant breach of the Dog Control Act.
- There are serious concerns over animal welfare enforcement.
Minister, can you really expect the community to believe that you take animal welfare seriously, when the Office of Racing Integrity, under your watch, failed to participate or provide data to a crucial report into racing animal welfare?