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Racing Industry - Animal Welfare Concerns

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 29 March 2023

Tags: TasRacing, Horse Racing, Animal Welfare


As you know, harness racing trainer Ben Yole has a very similar business model to the notorious greyhound trainer, Anthony Bullock. Both men are, unsurprisingly, very close friends. They are mates. Just like his mate, Yole, who seems to have the favour of the Office of Racing Integrity, when Bullock was found not to have a kennel licence last year, ORI refused to stand him down from racing.

Are you listening to the question, minister? You just walked over to the adviser's box and had a chat with your adviser.

Once Yole's neglected horses reach their use-by date, he sends them down the road to Bullock to kill, butcher and feed to his dogs. Such is the Tasmanian racing circle of death.

If you would like to see the revolting truth of the nexus between Ben Yole and Anthony Bullock, we have pictures here of horses strung up, of horses being dragged to their death. I am very happy to pass them on to you, minister.

Are these images of horses being led to their death, of strung-up carcasses, of butchered bodies and entrails, what you would call 'an industry that has never been in better shape'?



Mr Speaker, I thank the member for her question. It is very concerning that there are issues in animal welfare. I cannot tell you how much I care about animal welfare. To address that, we have been working hard, over many years, to reform the regulatory structures of this industry. We have developed the Monteith report. We have given a detailed response to that, and we are developing new legislation.

Today, I was able to announce the name of the investigator who will do that full review, and we want that to occur. Anybody who has information like that, which you have held up in the Chamber this morning - and I hope you have reported whatever you have to the appropriate authority -

Ms O'Connor - It has been reported, do not worry about that.

Ms OGILVIE - to the RSPCA, who I know has visited those sites a number of times, because they have had those conversations. I am obviously concerned about that. However, let me say again, this industry is incredibly important to Tasmania, and regional and rural areas in particular. We have families who live and breathe the racing industry, who put their hearts and souls into it, who love their animals, who love their jobs. They are passionate about it. This is their livelihoods, these are their jobs. It is incumbent upon us, here in Government, to make sure we have the best industry we can.

That is why the reform process has commenced. That is why I am pleased to be leading the reform process. The work is occurring -

Dr Woodruff - It is going to investigate you. That is the point - you need to be investigated.

Mr SPEAKER - Order.

Ms OGILVIE - What I get from those opposite - and I think we saw this yesterday - is a relentless attack on me personally. Let that not continue to taint the extraordinary work being done every day by good, hardworking men and women of the racing community, of their families, their kids, their local communities and the grassroots communities around them.