Racing NSW has slammed the ABC over its investigation into horse racing cruelty in a lengthy 21 page complaint.
Chairman Russell of Racing NSW Russell Balding accused the public broadcaster of breaching editorial guidelines.
Balding said The Final Race investigation which aired 7.30pm on October 17 committed “serious and numerous breaches of the ABC’s statutory duties, editorial policies and code of practice”.
You can read the full complaint here.
The report aired graphic footage of former racehorses being mistreated and killed at the Meramist abattoir in Caboolture, just north of Brisbane.
The ABC also claimed NSW racehorses had been sent to abattoirs, which is in breach of the state’s racing rules.
Balding, a former ABC MD, wrote a letter to current ABC boss David Anderson complaining Racing NSW was not given adequate time to respond to the allegations.
He wrote: “Extremely serious allegations were made about the racehorse industry, requiring meaningful information to have been provided to Racing NSW prior to an interview being conducted and the program broadcast.
“Only during the interview did it become clear that serious allegations were being made about the industry and in relation to Racing NSW.”
The investigation by the ABC revealed widespread slaughter of racehorses for human consumption and pet food. While official data promoted by Racing Australia says less than one per cent of retired horses end up in an abattoir each year, the ABC report, which is based on a two-year investigation, says the percentage is far greater.
In his letter, Balding said any animal cruelty issues should have been reported to authorities before the ABC report went to air.
“The ABC and the ‘investigators’ could have taken timely action and reported the suffering they witnessed to authorities; action that may have resulted in the alleviation of suffering of some animals,” he wrote.
An ABC spokesperson confirmed the complaint had been received and said it will be dealt with “according to usual procedures.”