A move by Racing NSW to force veterinarians to become licensed with the organisation has an Australian equine vet group digging in its toes.
Equine Veterinarians Australia (EVA) say veterinarians are already licensed under NSW legislation and there is no need for Racing NSW to add another layer of regulation for vets who treat race horses.
EVA Vice-President Dr Ian Fulton said that veterinarians were already regulated, licensed and held to account by the NSW Veterinary Practitioners Board.
“Racing NSW has claimed that the licence provides a level playing field – where vets abide by the rules of racing like every other participant including jockeys, trainers and stable hands.
“However vets already do abide by the rules of racing because it’s a condition of their registration with the Veterinary Practitioners Board,” Fulton said.
Racing NSW’s efforts to impose a licence on veterinarians dates back to 2012, but the Australian Veterinarian Association (AVA), the parent body of the EVA, has asserted all along that there was no need for another license. The case was argued in the NSW Supreme Court, with the judge decided that the Thoroughbred Racing Act in NSW gave Racing NSW the legal right to license veterinarians working on thoroughbreds in training, but he did not rule on the terms of any such license.
AVA members have made their opposition known to NSW parliamentarians in a letter-writing campaign.
Fulton said: “It makes no sense to have a second layer of unnecessary regulation. There are other racing participants who aren’t licensed including owners, punters, chiropractors and dental technicians.
“We care very much about the integrity of racing and want to stamp out any unethical practices. We want those doing the wrong thing out of the profession completely, not just in racing. Only the NSW Veterinary Practitioners Board can do that.
“The board has well-established complaints and disciplinary processes that can result in a vet no longer being able to practice – not just for the treatment of racehorses – but for any animal,” Fulton said.