Communique 1

Communique 1 - 26 April 2024

The National Horse Traceability Implementation Taskforce (NHTIT) met for the first time on 24 April 2024.

NHTIT is a committee established by the National Biosecurity Committee (NBC) to oversee the implementation and operation of a traceability system for horses, donkeys and mules in Australia on behalf of industry stakeholders and the jurisdictions.

The system is to be known as the National Horse Traceability System (NHTS).  The principal purpose of the NHTS is to enhance the ability for government authorities to trace horses during disease outbreaks and in times of natural disaster.  However, other flow-on benefits to the industry are anticipated.

A diverse range of stakeholder groups are represented on the committee.

The formation of the NHTIT continues the work of the National Horse Traceability Working Group (Working Group) which provided final recommendations to Australia’s Agriculture Ministers in 2022.

NHTIT at its first meeting endorsed its work plan for the coming 12 months and received updates on the progress of projects underway to assist in bringing recommendations to the NBC later this year.

To progress the development of the NHTS, Marsden Jacobs and Associates (MJA) has been engaged by Agriculture Victoria to undertake two projects to:

  • investigate the feasibility and benefits of improving data collection by commercial and industry horse databases/registries.
  • consider possible mechanisms for generating the funding needed to implement and maintain Australia’s preferred NHTS, in line with the recommended Option 2 within the December 2022 report on horse traceability prepared by the Working Group.

As endorsed by the Working Group, Agriculture Victoria, in collaboration with industry, has progressed two further pilot projects to assist with the implementation of a NHTS:

  • The Australian Horse Industry Council is undertaking the ‘Australian Horse Industry Size and Scope Study’ to investigate the size of the horse population and associated economic activity as a baseline to help inform strategies for the implementation and maintenance of a NHTS.
  • Harness Racing Australia is undertaking the ‘PIC’s in Practice’ Traceability Project to enhance its current IT systems to include Property Identification Codes (PIC’s), horse identification recording, enforcement and compliance recording, movement tracking and recording, consistent, accurate reporting and proof of concept testing.

These projects are also being guided by recommendations in the Working Group report.

The committee will next meeting in July 2024 and is expected to report to NBC in late 2024.

For further information please email

Ron Glanville
Chair, National Horse Traceability Implementation Taskforce

Page last updated: 03 May 2024