Veterinary services and animal welfare

The Queensland Racing Integrity Commission’s Veterinary Services and Animal Welfare department, together with the Racing Science Centre team, provide a range of services both on and off course to ensure the health and welfare of racing animals and to ensure that husbandry practices and medications meet the required standard and rules for each racing code.

Animal welfare can be thought of as the way an animal’s health, safety and wellbeing are affected by its physical and social environment.

Health and behaviour indicators provide information about how an animal is responding to a situation, thus enabling us to make informed decisions relating to its welfare.

When humans manipulate or limit animal’s choices in relation to its physical or social environment, the welfare of that animal must be considered.

Humans have a duty of care towards these animals and the greater the level of intervention or control of an animal or its environment, the greater those responsibilities become.

QRIC Animal Welfare Strategy

The Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) has a mandate to safeguard the welfare of racing animals. The Commission’s Animal Welfare Strategy 2016-2020 specifically refers to key objectives to ensure all racing animals are well cared for before, during and after racing.

The ‘5 Provisions’ are an update on the ‘5 Freedoms’, reflecting the current scientific understanding of animal welfare and pointing towards an improved focus to minimise negative experiences and states and promote positive animal welfare experiences and states.

  1. Good nutrition: Provide ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour.
  2. Good environment: Provide shade/shelter or suitable housing, good air quality and comfortable resting areas.
  3. Good health: Prevent or rapidly diagnose and treat disease and injury, and foster good muscle tone, posture and cardiorespiratory function.
  4. Appropriate behaviour: Provide sufficient space, proper facilities, congenial company and appropriately varied conditions.
  5. Positive mental experiences: Provide safe, congenial and species-appropriate opportunities to have pleasurable experiences.

As an owner/ licence holder, you are required to ensure that your animals are kept healthy and well at all times and that your establishment is maintained to a high standard.