Prominent sporting commentator Peter FitzSimons has rubbished Racing NSW boss Peter V’landys’ reponse to a bombshell ABC report which revealed the widespread slaughter and abuse of retired racehorses.
ABC’s 7:30 Report aired a report on Friday night, which uncovered the slaughter and suffering of retired racehorses on an ‘industrial scale’.
V’landys, in response to the ABC’s report said Racing NSW was ‘proud of their animal welfare program, where we try to re-home every horse that’s been domiciled in NSW.’
‘BROKEN-HEARTED’: Racing industry figures respond to 'appalling' allegations
His response drew criticism from many corners, including from FitzSimons.
Taking both to Twitter and Channel 9’s Sport Sunday program, FitzSimons claimed V’landys was not taking the report seriously enough.
“Mate, what would it take before you’re not proud of it?” FitzSimons said on Sports Sunday.
“He was asked on 730 Report, 'How many go to the abattoir?', he said none.
“'Why's that?' 'It's against out rules and regulations'. 4000 of them go to the abattoirs treated in the most appalling fashion."
FitzSimons went on to suggest V’landys should step down from his role as ARLC commissioner to focus his attention on the racing industry crisis.
“He will, and should, have his hands completely full sorting out the atrocities of racing.” he said.
McAvaney calls for action on racehorse slaughter
Sporting commentator and horse racing industry figure Bruce McAvaney has declared the ABC’s expose on the treatment of retired racehorses was ‘horrifying to watch’ and called on the industry to act immediately.
McAvaney took a break from his coverage of the Caulfield Cup and The Everest on Saturday afternoon to address the report, saying the sport’s future hinged on action being taken.
“Thursday night’s ABC expose on what happens to some retired racehorses calls for immediate action,” he said.
“It was horrifying to watch. As a small time owner, it made me feel ashamed. And not to have known, is not good enough.
“The nurturing of our racehorses in retirement is just as important as the care and training given to a yearling or four-year-old champion. It’s a complex issue that must be addressed as a priority.
“Horse racing can be the very best of sports. For the sake of the future, we need to shine a spotlight on whatever might be lurking in the shadows, and take action right now.”