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Key Industry Issues Decided By ARB
At the recent Australian Racing Board (ARB) Board Meeting on November 22, a number of key issues were discussed and relative decisions made. Following is a summary of the principle topics and outcomes:
- A Racing NSW paper was considered in relation to serious integrity breaches and relative penalties and the Board resolved to introduce a regime of stronger penalties in 2013.
- A submission from the Australian Jockeys Association (AJA) suggested that jockeys are self-employed contractors under common law.
- Further and substantial investment will be made to ensure appropriate horse welfare standards are upheld (retraining and re-homing of ex-racehorses). A new ARB committee ("Retirement of Racehorses Committee") has been formed to facilitate this.
- Horse handlers (principally strappers and trainers) drug testing will be delayed until July 1, 2013.
- The National Racing Integrity Advisory Group (NRIAG) has been established with ARB CEO Peter McGauran elected chairman. NRIAG will focus on facilitating a united approach to integrity issues and will also include the national chief executive of each racing code and a representative of each state and territory.
- A Hendra Virus vaccine (produced by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer with Commonwealth, NSW and Qld Government funding assistance) has been developed and is in the testing phase. Compulsory vaccination will need to be considered by individual racing associations (co-ordinated by the ARB).
- From January 1, 2013 riders will be unable to use electronic devices (including iPods and mobile phones) while mounted on a horse due to OH&S reasons.