Equine welfare has no finish line and Harness Racing Australia (HRA) Members are committed to the improvement of welfare outcomes and safety for harness racing horses and participants via continuous benchmarking exercises, policy and rule review.
The social licence for harness racing to operate is hard fought among the changing expectations of the wider community - and needs to be protected. Questions of ethics, integrity and transparency need honest and ongoing assessment, while the provision of information is critical to educate and provide confidence for all sectors of society.
HRA recognises that the use of the whip in animal racing is one of the highest profile welfare issues among the community and animal welfare groups.
This recognition was reinforced by HRA Members who unanimously approved new Whip Rules, along with the release of a new video titled, "The Whip - It's In Your Hands" which was endorsed by industry Stewards and Regulatory Veterinarians at today’s HRA Integrity Conference, held at Tabcorp Park Melton.
While in its simplest form the rule requires drivers to hold a rein in each hand at all times in races and trials, the rule has also been designed to improve on the subjectivity of the current rule, welfare of the animal, public perception and community standards, ethics and the capacity to control the horse.
The new rule, to take effect on 1 May 2016, attempts to balance industry needs and community expectations, building on the previous moderation introduced in 2010.
To view a copy of the Rule, click here.
To view a copy of the Video, click here.
For further information, contact HRA Chief Executive Andrew Kelly on 03 9227 3000.