The Thoroughbred Welfare Initiative

Thoroughbred Breeders Australia

  • Project code: PRJ-012730

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Sunday, June 7, 2020

  • Project completion date: Tuesday, December 15, 2020

  • National Priority: HOR-Thoroughbred horse welfare, workforce safety and environmental sustainability


Our aim is that the panel will produce a report making practical policy recommendations that will enable the industry to improve welfare outcomes for our horses
The Thoroughbred Welfare Aftercare Working Group (TAWWG) is charged with producing a substantive set of recommendations on how to improve the outcomes for thoroughbreds leaving the racing and breeding industries.
These recommendations will be presented in a report that details the significant research and consultation that underpins the panel’s findings. The report will be presented to the Steering Committee, who will, along with the participants who have bought into the process, seek to have these recommendations adopted by Governments (likely both Federal and State) as well as by the relevant regulatory bodies in racing and breeding.
The timeline is for the report to be finalised by the end of October 2020.


Thoroughbred Horses

Research Organisation

Thoroughbred Breeders Australia

Objective Summary

The challenges of the welfare, rehoming, retraining and the end-of-life for thoroughbreds are national issues that are of concern to all participants in the industry.
At present, each state racing jurisdiction deals with these issues in very different ways, with no agreed approach or minimum standards across the thoroughbred industry.
Participants believe this lack of commonality undermines our ability to adopt best practice and leaves our industry vulnerable to criticism. In the face of this national challenge we believe in the need for a national discussion and a national approach to solutions.
The national bodies for thoroughbred breeders, trainers and jockeys, allied with other industry participants, such as major race clubs have established an independent body, the Thoroughbred Aftercare Welfare Working Group (TAWWG), to address these issues.
This body is comprised of experts who can review the current welfare landscape in the Australian thoroughbred industry, look to world’s best practice, consult with participants in the industry and also draw upon the learnings from other animal industries.
The TAWWG is to be focused on horses exiting the thoroughbred industry, whether as retired racehorses or unraced animals, through to end-of-life management.