Kerrod wants to rein in concerns on horse welfare

ROCKHAMPTON'S Kerrod Smyth says Australia's racing industry is leading the world in animal welfare.

The former trainer and now racehorse breeder yesterday defended the industry from claims of cruelty and exploitation off the back of Tuesday's Melbourne Cup.

Kerrod said numerous changes had been made to common practice in the past 12 months, including the reduction in times a jockey can use the whip against an animal.

"Racing now is a very professional industry where we take the good advice of professionals that are trained and practiced in animal welfare and advice," he said.

"Horses love galloping. When they go to the races they get excited."

Kerrod said concerns with the young age of racing horses and the "wastage" incurred in the race horse breeding process were ill-founded.

"In any business there is wastage. It would only be bad luck or an exception to the rule where they are dogged without an opportunity at another life," he said.

"We eat plenty of cattle, 100,000 cattle are used each day for human consumption but as soon as you kill a horse it's wastage.

"And we breed horses to race as two-year-olds... this day and age we now x-ray their joints with trainers to be sure that they are eligible and can be raced."



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