What is happening with horse traceability?
In October 2022, national agreement was reached via the National Horse Traceability Working Group (Working Group) on a recommended National Horse Traceability System (NHTS).
Agriculture Ministers issued a communique on 7 December 2022 which included their consideration of the Working Group’s report. Agriculture Ministers endorsed the Working Group’s recommended approach to development of a horse traceability system.
The Agriculture Senior Officials’ Committee comprising heads of government agencies responsible for primary industries policy agreed in April 2023 that a National Horse Traceability Implementation Taskforce (Taskforce), led by industry with Secretariat support provided by Agriculture Victoria, be formed to oversee the implementation and operation of the traceability system on behalf of the jurisdictions.
National Horse Traceability Implementation Taskforce
Agriculture Victoria is progressing the arrangements for the implementation Taskforce. Members of the Taskforce are expected to be appointed in coming months with the first meeting to occur in late 2023.
The latest communique from Agriculture Ministers providing an update on horse traceability was issued on 15 May 2023.
Further updates will be provided as work progresses.
The National Horse Traceability Working Group
The National Horse Traceability Working Group (Working Group) is a non-statutory committee constituted by the Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting and the Australasian Racing Ministers’ Conference to provide advice on matters relating to the design and introduction of a traceability system for horses, donkeys and mules in Australia.
The Working Group met regularly as required to provide recommendations for the implementation of a national horse traceability system to Agriculture Ministers.
Final Report to Agriculture Ministers Meeting (AMM)
The Working Group finalised its report and recommendations after considering the diverse range of purposes for which horses are kept in Australia, current biosecurity threats and the cost of various NHTS design options.
The report was tabled at the AMM meeting on 7 December 2022.
Download the final report
Members of the NHTWG bring to the table a wide range of organisational and community connections.
The Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR) provides secretariat support to the National Horse Traceability Working Group.
The NHWTG is chaired by Mr Stuart McLean, OAM. The following organisations are represented on the Working Group:
- Animal Health Australia
- Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment
- Harness Racing Australia
- Racing Australia
- Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
- Australian Horse Industry Council
- Equestrian Australia
- Each State and Territory Government.
Further information on the NHTWG is available via the Terms of Reference
This report was conducted independently by Marsden Jacob and commissioned by DJPR to assess focusing on the potential role of a horse traceability system in the context of biosecurity.
Frequently asked questions
The National Horse Traceability Working Group has developed a list of commonly asked questions and answers specific to horse traceability in the context of a National Horse Traceability System.
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